Sunday, October 31, 2004

Apocalypse Delayed 

OK, perhaps I overreacted about the Osama tape a little bit. Perhaps I owe an apology to certain friends who, out for nothing more than a pleasant pre-Halloween cavort last night, were instead subjected to rant declaring the Ultimate Triumph of the Bush-Osama-Devil-Christ in the form of Composite Deity, and my call for not only plagues of locusts, dust, frogs, snakes, cicadas, wasps, and so forth, but an apocalyptic flood of shit and fire to sweep over all America, bringing its citizens the Death they clearly craved.

Perhaps I spoke too soon.

I can now say that for the first time since Friday evening I feel good about Election Day again; in fact, I feel even better than I did before Friday evening. Here are a few things that have renewed my faith in the slight possibility that a majority of Americans might actually not want to die in glorious holy mushroom cloud:

The Washington Post daily tracking poll, updated early today, has the race tied at 48%. Yesterday's poll had Bush leading 49% to 48%, and Friday's poll had Bush up 50% to 47%. If I understand the rolling 3-day methodology correctly, at least two thirds of today's poll was conducted after the release of the Osama tape.

Even better: today's Fox News poll, conducted Friday and Saturday, has the race tied at 46%. Yesterday's poll had Bush leading 47% to 45%, and Friday's poll had Bush up 50% to 45%.

Even better: the 46% tie is in the oft-reported 3-way Likely Voter matchup. But in Fox's news' 2-way and 3-way Registered Voter matchups, Kerry leads by 2%; and in the 2-way Likely Voter matchup, Kerry leads by 1%.

Let me repeat this: in 3 out of 4 Fox News polling matchups released today, Kerry leads.

Now, this just warms my heart:

The Democracy Corps has a new poll, conducted Friday night and Saturday morning. While the full survey will be completed on Sunday, the half-sample of 500 interviews conducted after the release of the Bin Laden tape, show the race unchanged compared to a survey completed Thursday night. The partial survey shows Kerry at 48 percent and Bush at 47 percent. Like the survey conducted before, it shows the two parties with equal numbers of party identifiers.

The Saturday respondents (250 interviews) were asked the following question: "I'm going to read you a pair of statements about the release of Bin Laden's videotape. Please tell me which one comes closer to your view.

-- It makes me think that George Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan and diverted resources to Iraq.

-- It underscores the importance of George Bush's approach to the war on terrorism.

By 10 points (46 to 36 percent), voters were more likely to think that Bush took his eye off the ball. (These results will be updated when the full survey is completed on Sunday.)

So, to repeat: let's suspend the shit-and-fire Flood, give the Bush-Osama-Devil-Christ Composite Deity a nice pretzel to choke on, and keep looking forward to a very, very happy result on Tuesday.


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