Posts Tagged ‘Gallup Poll’

Election Home Stretch: But First a Hurricane

October 27, 2012 Leave a comment

(OK, this graphic could have been done more professionally but my resources are limited)

I’m not sure which hype will win the day.  The closest, craziest Presidential election race ever, or the storm of the millennium- a combo hurricane/blizzard/nor’easter more perfect in its evil ingredients than even the last Perfect Storm in 1991 that was so horrific it was turned into a popular movie.

I do know this.  Because I live in the all-important swing state of Virginia, any possible power outages will have the added benefit of wiping out several hundred political TV commercials, thus frustrating the mass media strategies of both campaigns.   Honestly, these media strategies have always been puzzling to me.

On the 833rd viewing of a particular campaign spot, is something supposed to suddenly click?  Does the viewer slap his head in a moment of unexpected epiphany?  “You know, the first 832 times I saw that commercial, I must have missed the candidate’s furrowed brow at the mention of massive deficits- but now it all makes sense to me!”

I get a kick out of the regular “people” in these commercials.  It’s not bad enough that the “small businessman/woman” is clumsily reading cue cards, but they’re also not even a small businessman/woman, they’re just bad actors.  “Ok, honey, at the end of the speech about how your kids are all in debt, give us that forlorn look, right into the camera- bingo, that’s a wrap!”

I’ve been whipsawed now for several months.  It’s Morning in America!  Millions of new jobs have been added!  No, it’s Armageddon in America!  It’s all a living hell until January 20th when everything suddenly changes!

Ok, so Hurricane Sandy’s impending visit will give us a political commercial respite, but what if the power outage also takes out the internet?  Then, what?  Where, exactly, am I supposed to find out the latest on the political polls?  My God, what happens when 1pm comes and goes and I haven’t been able to check the latest Gallup tracking numbers?   Is it really possible I may not be able to read Nate Silver for over 48 hours?

Well, the good news is that not only do I still have leftover tuna cans from last year’s big hurricane, I added to my supplies yesterday with a last-minute, late night visit to the local Harris Teeter.   True, they had run out of cheap water, but I do now have several dozen very attractive and incredibly expensive bottles of Fiji water.

I also have a very entertaining Saturday ahead of me.  From my 10th floor Pentagon City apartment, I have an excellent view of the Costco parking lot.  Storm preparation mayhem and panic all unfolding right before my very eyes as I sip my Fiji water and munch on my tuna and crackers.

God, life is good.

Gallup Asks For My Opinion

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

If I’m strutting around like a peacock a little more than usual today, it’s because my opinion suddenly mattered last night. I got questioned by the Gallup polling organization. Here’s a scary thought: If it’s a sample size of 2,000, not atypical for a national poll, that means I’m speaking for 150,000 people.

This was “the right track/wrong track” and “Obama approval numbers” poll. It’s a biggie. Based on what I saw on the Gallup web site, these results will be out tomorrow, so I suppose you can give me .05% of the blame if the findings are not to your liking on Tuesday.

Before they got to the Obama approval question they asked several about my level of support for “the national leadership.” I asked the guy, “What does that mean, exactly?” His response: “Uh, I don’t know.” They asked about the courts. They asked about Obama. They did not specifically ask about Congress. So I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out what “the national leadership” means. That would explain my ”not sure” response.

There were a number of questions aimed at getting me to reveal how happy or miserable I am. Like “on a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you?” Hey, I’ve got a job and a nice apartment. Put me down for a “7.” They asked if I had health concerns. I thought about this joint pain I currently have in my left thumb. I recently had flu-like symptoms. And I get a little more heartburn than I used to. Could be worse. Put me down as “healthy.”

Then, I guess to see where I was really coming from, they asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the quality of life of a 35 year old single woman, raising two children, with back pain and bringing in $4.000 a month?” Poor lady. That would be a “3.” They went on and on with various combinations of ages, genders, family circumstances, health problems and income levels. I figure that’s to see how my own, personal “7” stacks up to the ratings I was giving these other folks.

I’m not telling you how I rated Obama because that’s between me and my pollster. But I did vote for America headed “on the right track.” The economy is improving, slowly, but definitely in the right direction. We’ve had three consecutive months of falling unemployment and Wall Street (therefore my 401k and IRA’s) has been pretty decent lately. But I should have asked them to call me back if Greece and Italy go under because then we’re screwed and you can put me down as “wrong track.”

I did grade the nation’s current economic condition as only “fair,” so I feel I was realistic in my assessment on things.

Anyway, I shall wait anxiously for tomorrow’s poll results knowing that, for once, I actually had something to do with them. Back in the day, as a starving college student, I used to be the one asking the questions with a phone-bank full of fellow questioners. It always amazed me when people actually took the time to answer these questions. And I did last night, willingly, and fairly politely.

Put me down as “sucker!”