Archive for the ‘Poll Position’ Category

Poll Position: How many debates for a presidential primary?

Last night brought us the 19th or 22nd — depending on how you count them — GOP presidential debate of 2011-12. It was the second this week and sixth this month.

Mercifully, there won’t be another for almost four weeks.

To say the networks have had to strain to keep things fresh would be an understatement of Newt-ly grandiose proportions. We were only two debates into the schedule when moderators tried the “This or That?” gimmick (as in: Elvis or Johnny Cash?). Last night, we were treated to questions about such issues of immediate national importance as lunar exploration, Puerto Rican statehood and why each candidate thought his wife would make a good first first lady. (Note that CNN was responsible both for these and “This or That?”, as well as the infamous debate-opening exchange between Newt Gingrich and moderator John King in South Carolina last week about allegations by Gingrich’s second wife that he’d asked her for an “open marriage.”)

How many debates should there …

Continue reading Poll Position: How many debates for a presidential primary? »

Poll Position: Whose interests to guard in SOPA/PIPA debate?

A remarkable show of public opposition this week threw a wrench into the legislative gears in Washington, at least for now.

The Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate were moving along toward passage until campaigns against them, boosted by blackouts by Wikipedia, Reddit and some other websites, grew so strong that lawmakers stopped to reconsider. A dozen members who had co-sponsored SOPA or PIPA pulled their names off the bills. Each piece of legislation seems likely to undergo a significant rewrite before it surfaces again.

Which interest should take precedent when fighting online piracy?

  • Preserving freedom on the Internet (276 Votes)
  • Protecting intellectual property rights (19 Votes)
  • Piracy? I thought PIPA was the sister of an English princess (13 Votes)

Total Voters: 308

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When one or the other does re-emerge, however, the same basic tension — between the rights of digital companies and their users to operate freely …

Continue reading Poll Position: Whose interests to guard in SOPA/PIPA debate? »

Poll Position: Who’s right about Romney’s time at Bain?

(Note: Apologies for the late Poll Position today, but I wanted the ethics reform post to be online all day.)

This week has seen one of the more amazing attack lines in any GOP presidential primary. It seems some Republican candidates think Mitt Romney was too much of a capitalist.

Well, that’s not exactly how they’d put it. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (yes, he’s still running, despite barely beating the combination of Buddy Roemer and “total write-ins” in New Hampshire) refers to Romney’s career at Bain Capital as “vulture capitalism,” not venture capitalism. A so-called Super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich produced a 28-minute video titled “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” about a company in South Carolina — the site of the next primary — bought by Bain.

Who’s right about Romney’s time at Bain Capital?

  • Gingrich and Perry (178 Votes)
  • Romney and his defenders (95 Votes)
  • Who knows? (38 Votes)

Total Voters: 311

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Their attacks have been lauded by some on the right, …

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Poll Position: What’s your top priority for the Legislature?

Hold onto your wallets — the Legislature is back in session beginning Monday.

Given that this is an election year, and the first election year using newly drawn districts with new constituents for the incumbents to meet, it’s likely that the 236-member General Assembly will try to get ‘er done and get out of town as soon as possible. (Of course, you’d have thought that would be the attitude in 2010, too, and the session nearly dragged on until May.)

What is your top priority for the 2012 General Assembly?

  • Charter schools (45 Votes)
  • Transportation (42 Votes)
  • Ethics reform (25 Votes)
  • Job creation (25 Votes)
  • Tax reform (20 Votes)
  • Something else (specify in comments) (13 Votes)
  • Criminal justice reform (11 Votes)

Total Voters: 181

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In any event, there are a number of topics to be dealt with. To name a few:

  • the budget, which in all likelihood means dealing with a shortfall of at least a couple of hundred million dollars;
  • the tax reform fight held …

Continue reading Poll Position: What’s your top priority for the Legislature? »

Poll Position: What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

One of the joys of parenthood, I’ve already learned in 35 months, is getting to see the things that capture your child’s imagination. Some of them are things that never particularly interested you as a child: I played with some trucks in my day, but my son has an astonishing obsession with bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks, excavators, graders, rollers (yes, he can and does identify them all by name, including skid steers). And then there are the things that you enjoyed, and which your child does, too.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

  • A Christmas Story (115 Votes)
  • Christmas Vacation (107 Votes)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (89 Votes)
  • Something else (specify in comments) (45 Votes)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (25 Votes)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (21 Votes)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (18 Votes)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon or live action) (17 Votes)
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (12 Votes)
  • The Nutcracker ballet (4 Votes)
  • Frosty the Snowman (3 Votes)
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Poll Position: Was the war in Iraq worthwhile?

Yesterday, more than eight and a half years after it began, our war in Iraq officially ended. The debate about the war’s merit may rage for the rest of our lives.

Was the war in Iraq worthwhile?

  • No (389 Votes)
  • It’s too soon to say (58 Votes)
  • Yes (45 Votes)

Total Voters: 492

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You know the costs well: the loss of almost 4,500 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqis in the face of a brutal insurgency; thousands upon thousands more who were wounded; $800 billion spent; bitter divides at home and some chilled relations abroad.

But the gains are significant, too: the overthrow of the tyrannical Saddam Hussein and the meting of justice by Iraqis; the birth of a functioning, if messy (and durable, one hopes) democracy in the heart of the Middle East; a union of disparate ethnicities once thought to be irreconcilable to one another.

The costs certainly are permanent. Only time will tell whether the gains are lasting, as well.

As things stand today, …

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Poll Position: How much time is enough for an illegal immigrant to qualify for legalization?

During a debate last month, Newt Gingrich unexpectedly and voluntarily went out on a limb by endorsing a form of legalization for illegal immigrants who have been here a long time, have roots in the community and have committed no other crimes. By way of explaining himself, Gingrich said he didn’t think the American people wanted to deport that group of people.

What amount of time should be the cutoff point for legalizing illegal immigrants?

  • A day is too long — deport ‘em all (154 Votes)
  • 10 or more years (79 Votes)
  • Time shouldn’t be a primary factor (72 Votes)
  • 5 or more years (44 Votes)
  • 20 or more years (29 Votes)
  • A day is long enough — let ‘em all stay (18 Votes)

Total Voters: 396

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A new opinion poll suggests he may be right.

The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds that just a quarter of all respondents wanted to deport all illegal immigrants without considering any mitigating factors. While the …

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Poll Position: Should Herman Cain drop out of the GOP race? (Updated)

After a holiday from Poll Position last week, I’m going to ease y’all back into the routine with a question already on plenty of people’s minds: Should Herman Cain drop out of the GOP race?

If you’re reading this blog, you probably know the story by now. But just in case:

Should Herman Cain drop out of the GOP race?

  • Yes, he can’t win now (1,092 Votes)
  • No, it’s still anyone’s race (485 Votes)
  • Yes, to protect his family (247 Votes)
  • Undecided (64 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,888

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Opinion polls showed Cain, the Atlanta-area businessman, was leading the Republican primary race. Then he was hit, in succession, by allegations of past sexual harassment of at least three women; a disastrous, videotaped interview with a newspaper editorial board in which he was confused by a straight-forward question about U.S. policy toward Libya; a couple of mediocre performances in debates focused on foreign policy; and, this week, an accusation by Dunwoody resident Ginger White …

Continue reading Poll Position: Should Herman Cain drop out of the GOP race? (Updated) »

Poll Position: Should Obamacare’s day in court be televised?

This week, the Supreme Court agreed to weigh the constitutional merits of Obamacare. But even if the court decides to throw out the president’s health reform, unless something changes, the revolution will not be televised.

It may come as a surprise to some of you that proceedings at the Supreme Court are not televised already, given that we’re several decades into the TV era. In fact, only last year did the court begin to let the public hear audio of oral arguments — but only afterward.

C-SPAN chief executive Brian Lamb, in a letter this week to Chief Justice John Roberts, asked that the justices allow video just this one time:

The court’s decision to schedule at least five-and-a-half hours of argument indicated the significance of this case. … We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument. It is a case which will affect every American’s life, our economy and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential …

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Poll Position: Who should pay to deepen Savannah’s port?

Throw a rock, and you just might hit a Georgia politician or business leader who says Savannah’s port needs to be deepened.

With the Panama Canal set to accommodate larger cargo ships within three years, once its expansion is complete, the port at Savannah could reap huge benefits. So, too, could the rest of the state, given that Georgia is already a hub for freight. But to do so, the Savannah River has to be dredged so that the port can handle the larger ships.

Who should pay for the deepening of Savannah’s port?

  • The port itself (82 Votes)
  • The state — it’s not the feds’ responsibility (56 Votes)
  • The state — if the feds don’t deliver (29 Votes)
  • The feds (17 Votes)
  • No one, it shouldn’t be deepened (15 Votes)

Total Voters: 199

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Yesterday, the port got a huge win: South Carolina’s environmental agency, which has a say in the matter because it shares authority with Georgia over the Savannah River, reversed an earlier decision to block the deepening. …

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