Don't shoot the pollster


Geraldine Sealey
September 23, 2004 2:45AM (UTC)

As a Marylander, Alan Keyes knows next to nothing about the state he's trying to represent in the U.S. Senate, Illinois; only 22 percent of Illinois voters have a favorable impression of him; fewer than half of Republican voters in the state support him; reporters love him because he creates a bizarre spectacle nearly every time he opens his mouth -- from babbling about "smelly toads" to publicly insulting Dick Cheney's daughter during a homophobic tirade. Along with being a beyond-back-benching last resort candidate for the Illinois GOP, Keyes is up against rising star Democratic golden boy Barack Obama. Beating Obama would be no easy feat, even for a viable candidate.

Keyes got a harsh reality check when a recent poll showed him trailing Obama 68 percent to 23 percent. Faced with this ominous news, Keyes found a strategy. He wants to ban polling. Not just the publishing of polls, either. Actual polling, within a certain number of weeks before an election. "I would suggest that what would be appropriate is a complete ban on all polling activity and all publication of such polling activity within a certain time frame," Keyes told the Bloomington Pantagraph's editorial board. "They (polls) are manipulative and degrading and damaging to our political system," he said.

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We hate to break it to Mr. Keyes, but the polls don't seem to be the problem here.


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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