Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Doldrums and Poll Numbers

The summer doldrums have arrived. The heat has creeped into the triple digits here on the southern plains and the air can best be described as molten.

Hunkering down in a darkened apartment with the air conditioner going full bore while watching episodes of "Ghost Hunters" play endlessly on cable seems perfectly sensible. Indeed, the less movement the better. Sip gently and slowly at the gin and tonic and pray to God that the can of Glade air freshner covers up the stench of that Oliva Series G robusto before the wife gets home.

Everything seems to have settled into slow motion. The basketball playoffs ended badly. Despite promises to the contrary no charges have been filed in the murder of Carina Saunders. Alina Fitzpatrick's death appears to be as much of a mystery now as it did last November. There is no word as to when the trial, or trials will begin in the Kelsey Bransby killing. Jerry Sandusky is being serenaded nightly in a Pennsylvania lockup by fellow inmates. In Norway, Anders Breivik is still as crazy as a bed bug on acid.

The only real action at this moment comes from the pollsters who are parsing percentages on the presidential race. In their unending desire to predict how the election will come out they continue to spew numbers left and right.

According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll Barak Obama's slim lead over Mitt Romney has remained fairly steady. Right now it stands at 47% to 44%.

The break down of the numbers really show no surprises, well almost none. Obama leads among African Americans 92%  to 1%. Among women his lead is 52% to 39% and in the Latino community it is 66% to 26%. He also leads in the contest among independents 40% to 36%.

Romney has a commanding lead among the Tea Party mob 94% to 1%. Also, and you knew this was coming, white voters prefer him to Obama 52% to 38%. He also leads in three other categories that all start with the word "white", but why beat a dead horse. By now we all get it. The same people who say George Zimmerman is innocent aren't going to vote for the president.

Where it gets dicey for the Mittster is in some of the swing states. The poll shows that in Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, Romney trails Obama 50% to 42%.

In those same states 18% of voters think Romney's business experience is a positive, but 33% consider it a negative. MSNBC's report speculates this is because Romney has "yet to define himself" and credits Obama's attack ads. It could also be that in many of those locales voters understand that they are just the sort of people Bain Capital loved to layoff when they swallowed up various enterprises, gutted them, then walked away with millions in profits.

Finally there is this double edged sword. 58% of all Romney supporters say they are voting against Obama rather than for Romney. In other words, we don't necessarily think the guy is qualified, we just hate Obama so much we're willing to vote for anyone other than him. Although it is probably a stat that doesn't do much for Mitt's ego, he'll take it every day of the week. Any port in a storm and all that.

The election is still a long way off. Romney hasn't even hinted at his choice of a running mate, although it is obvious casting calls have been made. Many are reading for the part, but only one can be chosen.

Ultimately we are a fast food society that is subject to swooning over the newest version of pizza and the latest concoction at the local Subway sandwich shop. What happens right now, short of some sort of a complete mental breakdown on either candidate's part, will mean very little come November.

No, it won't be decided until after the conventions and the leaves begin to turn in October.

For now there is nothing to do, but lazily gaze at the poll numbers and wonder what sort of monster electric bill will be in the mail next month.

Keep the blinds closed and stay out of the heat. Save your strength for the hysteria that is out there on the horizon like a blooming, billowing, thunder head.

For now anyway, reflection is the watch word. Inaction should be the calling.


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