Don't shoot the pollster

Published September 22, 2004 10:45PM (EDT)

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.

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

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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