Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sep. 9: Pieces on Pundits, Palen, Polls and Bruno Barreiro

By Sylvia Gurinsky

*MSNBC made a good move taking Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann off election-related anchoring. Given that the two men are regular commentators, with interview/commentary shows, they should never have been anchoring in the first place.


*Speaking of anchors: The Los Angeles Times has a good piece on the kinds of questions ABC News anchor Charles Gibson could ask VP candidate Sarah Palin:


He's likely going to get criticized by someone on one side of the political spectrum no matter what he does, so he might as well take the almost four decades of experience he has and give it his best.


*The Pew Research Center has an interesting study going on throughout the 2008 elections about polling, specifically a group that often gets left out of polls - those who use only cellphones:


Gallup has been trying to incorporate cellphone-only users into its presidential polls. My question is: What's a representative sample, when cellphones are comparitively easier to purchase than land lines? In a family of four, there may be two landline phones, but four cellphones. People can upgrade phones every couple of years, which often means new phone numbers. Heck, even homeless people have cellphones. Are pollsters basing data on last year's information?

And what's the way to ask questions - through standard phone calls, or text messaging? Remember that Sen. Barack Obama first announced the pick of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate with a text message.

In 2004, Howard Dean, then a candidate for president, used the Internet to his advantage. This year, Obama's been using text messaging and sites like MySpace and Facebook. Polling everywhere needs to catch up.


Finally, a hark back to the old "Darts & Laurels" editorials at WPLG-Channel 10:

Here's a dart to Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Bruno Barreiro, who tried a power grab, sponsoring an ordinance trying to eliminate the term limits of his post and expand its powers. A laurel goes to his commission colleagues, who didn't dignify his efforts with even a motion to second it, as Miami Today and The Miami Herald reported.

The same rules apply for everyone, Mr. Chairman.


Next week (assuming there are no more tropical interruptions), this blog will begin a once-weekly look at how the presidential candidates and their running mates stand on major national and international issues. In October, the focus will turn to the issues on Florida's November ballot.

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