Monday, October 18, 2004

POLL WATCH In fifteen days, CONTRAPOSITIVE will return to a balanced diet of film recommendations, theater tips, trans fat-related diatribes, and more--the mix of political and non-political coverage you've come to know and love.

But right now, we're in the homestretch of the most important election of most of our lives. So at least for the next two weeks, that's where the focus will be.

Your patience is appreciated.


In the last couple days, a lot of attention has been paid to the latest Gallup poll--the one showing an eight percent lead for President Bush among "likely" voters. It's been used by pundits and reporters to support all sorts of wacky theories, and it's been cited widely as evidence of a Bush bounce.

CONTRAPOSITIVE's advice? Disregard the poll.

First, some context: As Andrew Sullivan has noticed, Gallup had Bush up over Gore by thirteen points on October 26, 2000. Even on November 4 of that year, Gallup was showing a five point Bush lead. And we know how that one turned out.

But more important: National polls are a distraction at this point in the process. State-by-state results are the only thing that matters--at least as long as we're saddled with the electoral college.

And on a state-by-state basis, things look just about deadlocked.

Or, to put it another way: If you know anyone in Ohio or Florida--or know people who know people--now would be the time to get on the phone.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: Keep an eye out for CONTRAPOSITIVE's handy election night cheat sheet. Arriving at fine internets everywhere later this week.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.