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Back on July 1st

Back on July 1st a source first told me that Allen Raymond, the man at the heart of the New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal, had fingered Jim Tobin as one of his accomplices. (Tobin's role was reported first on TPM on October 11th.) Tobin, as we've noted earlier, was the New England regional director of the Bush-Cheney campaign until he resigned last Friday.

That's more than three and a half months ago. The Bush campaign has known at least since then. And I suspect much longer. And yet they left him in the post.

That means the campaign kept in place a man implicated in an election tampering scam that took place in the same part of the country over which the campaign had given him oversight.

What does that tell you?

Another point ...

To the best of my knowledge no political reporter covering the Bush campaign has asked a campaign spokesperson 1) when they found out about Tobin's role in the election tampering scheme and 2) why they didn't remove him from the campaign after they learned.

What does that tell you?

If anyone knows of a reporter who's asked or an article where an answer has been published, please let me know.

In other phone-jamming news, yesterday the Justice Department again went to the mat to prevent New Hampshire Democrats from gaining access to evidence about Tobin's role in the case.

Talk about pathetic ...I

Talk about pathetic ...

I don't know how much sense there is getting into the nitty-gritty of which pol has gotten a flu shot and which hasn't. But this is pretty feeble. If you look on Drudge as of around 12:31 AM there's a big headline about the Kerry campaign hitting Cheney, Snow and Frist for getting flu shots, notwithstanding the shortage.

And then just below there's a headline: "BUT CLINTON GOT ONE."


Didn't Clinton have a quadruple bypass like about six weeks ago? And, as long as we're on the topic, isn't Clinton, like ... not on the ballot?

For myself, I don't begrudge the Veep getting a shot. He's over sixty and he has a serious heart condition. But the White House is ill-positioned to make that case since the whole point is that the Vice President is, by definition, not in good health.

Ive received a slew

I've received a slew of emails over the last twenty four hours asking about the status of the Sinclair situation, and where things stand. I would refer people to the update put up yesterday on the Sinclair boycott site, which gives a good sense of where things are.

Put simply, this isn't over. Not even close.

Sinclair made a largely cosmetic retreat. They won't show 'Stolen Honor' in its entirety -- only, presumably, the most inflammatory parts, along with some padding whining about media bias.

Despite the fact that they've moved the program to Friday and later in the evening, they're still forcing most of their stations to turn over an hour of the airwaves to what seems certain to be an hourlong anti-Kerry smear just before the election.

Unfortunately, I sense they have fooled many into thinking they've backed down. But they haven't.

Anybody who is concerned about this should not be lulled into a sense that Sinclair isn't still using its control of the airwaves in many households throughout the country to game the election. To see what more you can do head back to the Sinclair Boycott website.

More on Sproul Associates

More on Sproul Associates: the same MO in Pennsylvania. More lies. More getting access to venues by falsely claiming to represent other organizations.

Over at his blog

Over at his blog DonkeyRising, Ruy Teixeira has been running an on-going critical commentary of the Gallup poll.

Some of his criticisms I have found stronger than others. I think, for instance, that he's definitely on to something with the sharp Republican skew in the party-identification of the Gallup polls. But I wonder whether this problem skews the horse race numbers as much as Ruy says.

It's not that I disagree with his reasoning. And Ruy knows much more about public opinion research than I do. I think it's just an instinctive skepticism I have about finding arguments for disregarding polls that don't say what you want them to. Put more simply, I try to be on guard against spinning myself.

On Tuesday though Ruy came back with a further analysis of the Gallup poll which seemed to make an indisputable case that the Gallup likely voter screen clearly underrepresents minority and young voters.

One might say that minority or young voters vote less consistently than affluent whites. But Ruy shows pretty clearly that Gallup's numbers presume rates of participation that defy history and common sense.

For instance, minority representation among voters in 1996 was 17% and in 2000 it was 19.4%. Yet Gallup says it'll be 14.5% this year. That's hard to figure since, as Ruy notes, minorities are growing as a percentage of the population.

With blacks, it was 10.1% in 1996 and 9.7% in 2000. But Gallup says that it'll fall this year to 7.5%.

On young voters (18-29 year olds), it's a similar story. Young voters made up 17% of the electorate in 1996 and 2000. This year, says Gallup, they'll account for only 11%.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not say that the demographic breakdown numbers Ruy was going on here came from Steve Soto, who has a further discussion of these demographic problems in the Gallup numbers on his website.