Dem 51
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GOP 49
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I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Love Is All Around

Antibiotic #3 is working well (knock on wood), such that (Z) has the focus needed to resume the Friday headline theme. It's been long enough since the last one that we will remind you of the last set of headlines:

  1. Manchin Deals (Slight) Blow to Democratic Senate Hopes
  2. Stein Is a Presidential Candidate... and a Vegetarian?
  3. The Day After: The Third Republican Debate
  4. The Fallout Has Begun: Progressive Mayor Jumps Into Virginia Governor's Race
  5. I Read the News Today, Oh Boy: Silver Threads Among the Gold
  6. This Week in Schadenfreude: Mark Meadows, Straight Talking American Government Official... Or Not
  7. This Week in Freudenfreude: Surprise!

We warned you that the commonality was so obvious, at least for us, that it was like the answer was hiding in plain sight. And now, the answer, courtesy of reader J.N. in Zionsville, IN:

It appears the theme to this week's headlines is an ode to the American Political Party. The political party referenced:
  1. The Democratic Party (of Andrew Jackson fame)
  2. The Vegetarian Party (perhaps Dr. Oz would have run under this party if it still existed)
  3. The Republican Party (of Abraham Lincoln fame)
  4. The Progressive Party (of Robert M. La Follette fame)
  5. The Silver Party (although, there were also the "Gold Democrats")
  6. Straight Talking American Government Party, or STAG (of Pat Paulsen fame)
  7. Surprise Party (of Gracie Allen fame)

J.N. correctly got all seven of the political parties we were thinking of. That said, #6 also contained the name of the American Party (a.k.a. the Know Nothings), so we also accepted that. And the headline for this item—which, recall, fits with both the previous and current theme—contains the name of the Love Party, which was a relatively short-lived American offshoot of an Italian party founded by two porn stars.

Here are the Top 10 finishers:

  1. J.N. in Zionsville
  2. S.G. in Durham, NC
  3. D.M. in Oakland, CA
  4. J.O. in Cleveland, OH
  5. D.V. in Las Vegas, NV
  6. P.P. in London, England, UK
  7. R.N. in Miami, FL
  8. S.H. in Palm Springs, CA
  9. M.B. in Honolulu, HI
  10. B.Z. in Sydney, NSW, Australia

We're still thinking about ways to level the playing field for geography/time differences, but (Z) isn't quite hale and hearty enough to be working out that particular puzzle yet.

As to this week's theme, it's songs again, and so belongs in the Trivial Pursuit category of "Entertainment." And your hint is that the theme actually belongs in that category on multiple levels. We'll give the added hint that this week's theme kinda favors American readers (and for those readers, we suspect that two of them will be a dead giveaway). As always, we'll have another hint in the intro to tomorrow's Q&A. If you have guesses, send them here. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates