Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


Polls for Everyone

Several polls were published this week to determine who will be elected president eight months from now. They cleared up a lot of confusion. “The Republican party has a big problem. Huge!” writes The New York Times’ liberal columnist Charles Blow in “Obama-mentum.” Blow dissects a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, which begins, “Mitt Romney has retaken a significant lead nationally in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, even as he has fallen further behind Barack Obama in a general election matchup.”

“For the Republicans,” writes Blow, “there is no way to put a positive spin on these trends.”

Well, maybe for that poll.

In “The Vulnerable President,” the Times’ conservative columnist, Ross Douthat, cites other polls – Times/CBS (“President Obama is heading into the general election season on treacherous political ground”) and ABC/Washington Post (“Four bucks a gallon gas is taking its toll”) to dissect the president’s ratings drop: “Obama’s political position is tenuous enough that it doesn’t take all that much bad news – particularly on the economy — for his approval ratings to go negative.”

So take heart, there is a poll to suit everybody’s tastes . . . . and many more on the way.

Are the polls worthless? I think they tell us that a lot of people are unsettled about the future, and they are hoping someone will speak honestly to their concerns – and their hopes – instead of robotically reciting talking points. I believe that is what made Obama a special candidate in 2008. And I think it is heartening news that people want to look through a candidate's carefully manicured image to the person himself.

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