Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Answer Some Pre-Election Questions

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Answer Some Pre-Election Questions

Article excerpt

Like it or not - mostly not, if we assess the voting climate correctly - there is an election of some sort Tuesday.

As it is a rather curious election, raising the kinds of questions of its value in voters' minds that the fortunate North Korean electorate doesn't have to deal with, we're going to dip into the Mythological Morning File Mid-Term Election Mailbag and address some of the more reasonable queries.

Q: The Republicans in this election seem to be focused on nothing but what Barack Obama has done wrong as president. I didn't realize he was on the ballot this year. What office is the president running for, and shouldn't he be content with just being president for two more years?

A: While Mr. Obama doesn't really want to be president any longer, as it has aged him about 16 years in the past six, he's not really a candidate for anything except president with the worst favorability ratings. This is all a misdirection play by Republican candidates, who have a hard time pronouncing the names of their Democratic opponents, which are often ethnic and polysyllabic. It is easier for them to just repeat "Obama" over and over, in hopes that voters will believe he is their opponent.

Q: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf has been leading Gov. Tom Corbett by substantial numbers in polls for months, but he keeps saying not to trust those, and that everyone who favors him had better get out and vote or he could lose. Is this just a case of the Wolf who cried wolf? I'd rather not go to all of the trouble of voting, because, man, do I have a lot of leaves to rake.

A: Usually, the polls do prove to be correct, although this column's readers 70 and over (a redundant statement if ever there was one) will recall how pollsters and day-after-election newspaper headlines in 1948 got the Truman-Dewey presidential election wrong. There have been advances in the intervening 66 years that have made polling more accurate, though we're not sure we can say the same about newspapers.

Q: I've seen a lot of TV commercials about a state Senate race in which candidates are arguing about the significance of some corruption at a sewer authority board. …

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