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Presidential polls: FL
Dem pickups: (None)
GOP pickups: IN IA NC

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News from the Votemaster

Republican Governor May or May Not Have Called for Romney to Release Tax Returns

Yesterday Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL) called on Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns. This request was widely reported in the media. Today Bentley has denied that he said that. So much of our politics is now like this. Somebody says something that rubs someone else the wrong way (especially if it is true and obvious), then there is pushback and the person who made the statement denies that he made it, despite a bevy of reporters being present when it was made. This practice goes back at least to Richard Nixon when statements previously made were later declared "inoperative." The sad thing here is that the media just accept the denial at face value and never point out that is it untrue.

A Look at How Polling Works

A reporter at the Christian Science Monitor managed to get a behind-the-scenes look at how polling works at Gallup. Her article covers how questions are formulated and ordered, what Gallup thinks of robopolling (not much), how telephone numbers are chosen, and a lot more of the mechanics of polling.

Green Party Nominates Massachusetts Doctor for President

The Green Party has nominated Dr. Jill Stein for President. This is good news for Mitt Romney. He no doubt remembers what happened in Florida in 2000. To jog your memory, here are the certified results.

Candidate Party Votes Pct
George W. Bush Republican 2,912,790 48.847%
Al Gore Democratic 2,912,253 48.838%
Ralph Nader Green 97,488 1.635%
Patrick J. Buchanan Reform 17,484 0.293%
Harry Browne Libertarian 16,415 0.275%
John Hagelin Natural Law/Reform 2,281 0.038%
Howard Phillips Constitution 1,371 0.023%
Other   3,028 0.051%
Total   5,963,110 100.000%

George Bush won the popular vote--and the presidency--by 537 votes--in an election in which the Green Party candidate got 97,488 votes. If Green Party candidate Ralph Nader had not been on the ballot, probably the majority of the Green voters would have held their noses and voted for Al Gore. If even 1% of the Green Party voters had changed their minds at the last minute and voted for Gore, he would have won. Stein is not nearly as well known as Nader, so her vote total is likely to be way under 1%, but in a close election, a candidate getting even 0.1% of the vote could change the outcome of the state and the electoral college. Stein obliquely addressed this issue by saying: "You don't get democracy by silencing the voice of the public interest." Her platform is an emergency program to create 25 million jobs and jump start a green economy to make wars for oil obsolete.

Romney knows who Stein is. In 2002, she ran for governor against him and got 3% of the vote. One can only wonder if Romney will ask some of his wealthy friends to make large donations to her campaign in the hope of siphoning off votes that would otherwise have gone to Obama.

Today's Presidential Polls

State Obama Romney   Start End Pollster
Florida 46% 45%   Jul 09 Jul 11 Mason Dixon