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TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  RNC, Day 4: Trump Speaks (and Speaks, and Speaks, and Speaks...)
      •  BidenWatch 2024: Pride Goeth Before the Fall?
      •  Republican Donors and Activists Are Propping Up Kennedy and West
      •  Today's Presidential Polls

Sigh. We did the legwork for the fun stuff, like freudenfreude and schadenfreude, but we had to write up the convention first. And it took FOREVER. So, we'll have to wait until next week to finally resume those features. Sorry.

RNC, Day 4: Trump Speaks (and Speaks, and Speaks, and Speaks...)

It was Donald Trump's day to shine, and he squeezed it for all it's worth, giving an acceptance speech that lasted more than 90 minutes. That's longer than the longest State of the Union address (Bill Clinton; 1:28:49 in January 2000), it is longer than the longest candidate acceptance speech (Trump; 1:33:00 in July 2016), and it's in competition with the longest inaugural address (William Henry Harrison; approx. 1:45:00 in March 1841).

Here is the C-SPAN feed of the fourth and final primetime RNC session:



Warning: Viewer discretion is advised. As rough as the first 3 days of the convention were to watch, the fourth day was hands-down the worst. As an alternative, reader S.B. in Los Angeles, CA, writes: "I saw the wind blowing some of those blades of grass and it was too much for me. I was looking for 10 hours of a car rusting and came across this instead which actually captures my sentiment when trying to watch the RNC":



Alternatively, D.E. in Lancaster, PA, suggests this:



D.E. observes: "Two hours of beautiful peaceful snowfall to help one prepare for an administration with even more whiteness."

And now, our remarks on Day 4:

  1. The Story: On Wednesday, (Z) made reference to the time he was shot at with a gun similar to the one used by the would-be assassin of Trump. He would have included the story in that post, but time was tight. So, he'll tell it now (the shortened version), because it's semi-relevant to this rundown.

    In August 1992, a friend of (Z)'s from his high school theater class was directing a Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night. A couple of days before the play's 2-day run commenced, one of the actors dropped out, and the friend called (Z), knowing well that (Z) could (and can) learn lines and blocking very quickly when necessary.

    Opening day was August 29; the play took place on the outdoor stage in Recreation Park, which is located in Long Beach, CA. Readers who know the area will know that there is a curved street that bisects the park; the stage basically bumps up against the street so performers can unload props and scenery. Here is a satellite picture:

    greenery surrounds an ampitheater area, there is a 
street to the north of the ampitheater

    The first day of the play basically went well. In the final scene, all the actors were on stage, as tends to be the case with Shakespeare plays. (Z), by virtue of the role he was playing, happened to be the first character to exit, about two-thirds of the way through the final scene. He descended the staircase located stage right, and heard what seemed to be fireworks. His initial thought: "Those are not very good fireworks."

    He then looked over at the copse of trees that (partly) appear in the top left corner of the image. There were two young men standing next to them, both wearing black jeans, white t-shirts and black baseball caps. One of them turned around and ran away at top speed. The other pitched forward. (Z)'s thought: "Hmmm. That's odd."

    At that point, (Z) turned to his right, so he was looking at the street (Federation Dr.), roughly where the walkway meets the street. He saw three young men, in similar attire, hopping out of the bed of a white pickup truck with black objects in their hands. (Z)'s thought: "Hey, those look like guns. That would mean that wasn't fireworks, it was gunfire. Which means this is a drive-by shooting, and I am the only witness. Perhaps I should hit the ground."

    Readers are free to believe this or not, but there was no fear involved here. Because (Z) was still in "play" mode, his mind never fully shifted gears, and so the whole thing was more like watching a movie than anything else. Seconds after he got down and covered his head, the shooters sent several bullets in his direction. The purpose was clearly to intimidate, and not to kill, because the shots were not well-aimed, with the closest striking the ground 3 or 4 feet from him.

    Once the shooters climbed aboard their truck and departed, pretty much everyone in the park froze. There were hundreds of people who knew something had happened, but nobody really did anything. So, (Z) ran over to the fallen individual by the tree, and it was clear he was dead, having been struck in the forehead by a bullet. Cell phones were not a thing in 1992, so (Z) ran to the nearest pay phone and called 911. Despite the effort to intimidate, (Z) nonetheless spoke to the police and told them what happened. That said, as far as he knows, the perpetrators were never caught.

    There's a second half to the story, but it's not germane to our current purposes, and this is already somewhat long. The second half is pretty good; it involves police racism, an angry grandmother, gay pornography, an arrogant newspaper editor and the only time (Z) ever had an armed security detail. Maybe next week. For now, we'll just end the way that (Z) ends when he tells the story to his California history students: "And that's the story of how I became the only person in human history to be shot at in a drive-by while wearing Elizabethan clothing."

  2. The Daily Grindr: Speaking of gay pornography or, at least, gay sex, many readers will know that Grindr is the dating app for LGTBQ people, particularly GBT people, and even more particularly GBT people who are looking for casual hookups.

    A month or so ago, we made a remark about how there would be a fair amount of illicit gay sex taking place at the RNC. And we were chastised by some readers for making a homophobic joke. But it wasn't a joke at all, and was never intended as such. For many attendees who are living a less-than-honest straight life, the convention offers one of their few opportunities to follow their hearts without prying eyes looking on.

    This has proven to be the case again in 2024. This week, a Grindr executive described the RNC as "basically Grindr's Super Bowl," and the service currently has no shortage of profiles like this one:

    It says: 'DL. Military 26.
Near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Taken. Here for a week. Looking to see what I'm missing. Size 13 if it matters.

    Assuming that the profile is legit, and it probably is, then it's not terribly likely that this soldier's friends know about his orientation. It's even less likely that the person who "took" him knows. And in case you are wondering, DL means "on the down low," while if this gentleman was ACTUALLY "Size 13," that would be in competition with world-record holder Jonah Falcon. Anyhow, Grindr is pushing so much traffic in Milwaukee that yesterday, its Milwaukee servers crashed.

    Obviously, we have no issue with people who want to do whatever they want to do with other consenting adults. However, as we pointed out yesterday, an ongoing theme of this convention is hypocrisy, and this is another form of it. It's B.S. to spend your day talking about monitoring people's morality/sex lives, and then to spend your night hooking up with people on Grindr.

  3. Tipping Point: Speaking of hypocrisy, one of the few clear-cut policy proposals that Donald Trump has during this campaign is a promise to end taxes on tips. He's mentioned it many times, including in his speech yesterday.

    As with many of his promises, this one is fairly empty. First, there's no guarantee he will follow up on it, should he regain the reins of power. Second, even if he tries, he has no particular skill at getting things he wants through Congress. Third, even if he gets such a law passed, it won't matter to most workers, since most of them (80%+) don't earn enough to pay federal income tax on their wages. Far better would be an increase in the federal minimum wage (currently $2.13 per hour for tipped employees). Of course, there is zero chance that Trump or any other Republican president would touch that with a 10-foot pole.

    A break on taxes matters even less if... workers don't get tips in the first place. And that's where the hypocrisy comes in; despite the RNC's ostensible pro-worker posture, eX-Twitter is full of posts like this one right now:

    Uber driver tells me that nobody he picked up for the RNC has tipped him.
This has also been confirmed by bartenders, waiters, and strippers in town in general, nobody from the RNC is tipping service workers a dime.

    We have no doubt that at least some conventioneers are tipping the people who serve them. But we also have no doubt that many of them are not doing so. This comports with a pretty well-established truth of life in Washington, DC, that a Republican administration means belt-tightening time for service workers.

  4. Music: The convention organizers really pulled out the stops on Thursday, supplementing the house band playing other people's songs with actual artists playing their own songs. Kid Rock performed; (Z) saw him in concert about 20 years ago, and... wow, his voice is shot. What wears black, is white trash, and is red all over? Kid Rock.

    Lee Greenwood was also there, to perform "God Bless the USA." Is there ANY song worse than that one? We don't object to patriotic songs, but this one feels like what you would dash off if told "You have 2 minutes to write a patriotic song or you die!" How about some nuance, or some compelling imagery, like "This Land is Your Land" or "America the Beautiful"? Rolling Stone once declared "We Built this City" by Starship to be the worst song ever recorded, but they made that determination before the Greenwood song was written. The competition will be fierce once the magazine updates that particular list.

  5. Tucker Carlson: It's not just the politicians who have to get up on stage and eat sh** in hopes of preserving their future career aspirations, it's media members, too. Now that Tucker Carlson is an independent broadcaster, his only hope at remaining relevant is his ability to score interviews with Trump. And those interviews will only be of interest if Trump is a president, as opposed to being an inmate. And so Carlson came out to talk about what an AMAZING guy Trump is, and how he (Carlson) can't imagine why he might ever have thought otherwise.

  6. Hulkamania: A prime speaking spot, more prime than any non-Trump politician got, was given to a man who made his living staging fake wrestling matches. There were also speeches from a wrestling executive, a mixed martial arts executive, and two golf pros (NOT pro golfers, mind you, golf pros). This says something about the modern-day Republican Party, or about modern-day American politics, or both.

  7. Eric Trump: Donald Jr. spoke on Wednesday, and Eric spoke on Thursday, and both of them spent roughly 10 minutes reciting a list of reasons their dad is the awesomest. Translation: "Please love me."

  8. Dana White: In general, the more experience one has with public speaking, the better one gets at it. Makes sense, right? That said, the rule is not universal by any means. We wrote yesterday about how good Shabbos Kestenbaum was, despite his young age, and—we presume—lack of experience. And then there is the other side of the coin. Dana White has VAST experience speaking in front of cameras and large crowds, and yet he was AWFUL yesterday. Shouting every single word may work when you're peddling combat sports. It does not work at a political convention.

  9. Donald Trump: We write this entire (lengthy) section starting with a pretty basic presumption—the point of a convention, and in particular the point of the speech from the nominee, is to attract some votes to the ticket. Yes, firing up the base is good. But if you don't get votes beyond that, particularly if you're Donald Trump, you've got trouble. He himself seemed to recognize this, as he said before the convention that he had rewritten his speech to focus more on unity and bringing people together.

    Speaking from that vantage point, Trump's speech was an absolute disaster. We wrote the critical assessment of Dana White to raise the point that even experienced public speakers blow it sometimes (we've written the same about Joe Biden). Trump has been a showman, of various sorts, for half a century. And between his business career, his reality TV career, and his political career, last night was most certainly not his first rodeo. And yet he blew it.

    Stylistically, there were three problems with his speech. The first, which we already alluded to, is that it was way too long. (Z) has a pretty set presentation that he gives on the first day of classes, and as part of that presentation, one of the first things he says is: "The human mind is not designed to passively absorb information for 60 or 90 or 120 straight minutes. So, there will always be some sort of film clip or discussion or musical selection inserted into the lecture, so as to change gears a bit." Last night, Trump prattled on, and on, and on. By the end, the cameras caught some people in the audience dozing off, and others exiting the convention hall early.

    The second problem with the speech was the delivery. It was, on the whole, very flat. If the speech had been delivered by Joe Biden, using that same affect, we 100% guarantee that Trump would have slurred him as "Sleepy Joe."

    The third problem was, for lack of a better term, a lack of structure. It was often hard to follow what point Trump was making, or how what he was saying related to what he had just said. The fact that he "wrote" a speech (presumably that means he had a speech written for him) implies that he was reading from a teleprompter. But we seriously, seriously doubt that was the case for much of the speech. It seemed to us that he was working from the teleprompter for a few minutes, and then freestyling for many minutes more, before going back to the prepared text. This is not a way to keep people engaged.

    And now, having covered the stylistic problems, let's talk a bit about the substance:

    • Trump the Martyr: The former president began his address by talking about how very hard it is for him to even ponder his near-death experience, and then promptly squeezing that experience for all it was worth. He must have gone on for 10 minutes about how you should simultaneously sympathize with him and yet should also regard him as a hero for how well he handled the situation.

      This is why (Z) shared the story above, about his own shooting incident. It gives him at least some basis for having an opinion. He was not traumatized in any way; it's just a thing that happened, and there it is. Other people would undoubtedly respond differently, and that's OK. But trying to trade on that experience is not only crass, it also significantly undermines the response that other people have. That is to say, if you TELL people how to feel about what happened to you, they are less likely to respond how you want than if you just humbly let them reach their own conclusions. We think Trump, et al., with their ear bandages and t-shirts and tacky sneakers, are grossly overplaying their cards here, and that we will soon enter into "meh" territory.

      And speaking of crass, when Trump talked about how the shooter had been killed, he smirked, while the crowd cheered lustily. This was a human being and, by all intentions, a confused, angry kid. Cheering his demise is pretty vile, and does not comport with the message of the Bible, as we understand it.

      Oh, and as to the "hero" crap? You're a hero if you put yourself in the way of gunfire you know is coming, or if you enter into a situation where gunfire is a real possibility. You're a hero if you are a medical professional who helps pull someone back from the abyss, preventing their death. But just so happening to end up on the wrong side of a gun? Please. (Z) is no hero, and neither is Trump.

    • Unity?: We assume that the first portion of Trump's remarks were much more scripted. Certainly, that's where the "unity" stuff was. But after that, when he began freestyling (we assume), the unity theme vanished and it was grievance after grievance after grievance. As we have pointed out numerous times in these convention write-ups, Trump might be well served by trying to moderate his message and his style, but he just can't do it. That runs fundamentally counter to who he is. Imagine Richard Nixon trying to reinvent himself as Jimmy Carter, and maybe that helps illuminate the problem.

    • Lies: Everyone knows that Trump is truth-challenged. But again, if the goal is to get some voters beyond the base, then you gotta rein that in, right? Not only did he lie, but he told lies so transparent that nobody could possibly believe them. For example, he declared that Democrats want to quadruple everyone's income taxes. Clearly, no political party would do that, it would be both political and economic suicide. To take another example, he told a meandering story about how the government installed eight electric vehicle chargers somewhere in the Midwest at a cost of $9 billion. Huh? He also said that three of the eight didn't work; that part, at least, is probably true.

    • Promises, Promises: Just to confirm what you already knew, most of what Trump promised for his second term was meaningless. That is to say, "the middle class will prosper like never before," to take one example, sounds great. But the hard part is explaining how you plan to accomplish that. As is his wont, the former president never addressed that part of the equation.

    • Iron Dome: One of the few specific policy proposals that Trump DID unveil was his plan to build an Iron Dome... for the United States. If he has proposed that before, we're not aware of it. What we do know is that St. Ronnie of Reagan, who was a considerably more skillful politician, proposed the same thing. "Star Wars" didn't go anywhere, and we doubt that Iron Dome USA would go anywhere, either.

    • I Don't Believe in Jesus: Trump mentioned God at least half a dozen times (though Jesus did not make any appearances). His religious references are always extremely forced, but it's well-established by now that the base doesn't care. However, we don't think non-base Christians are going to buy his alleged religiosity.

    • War Is Peace: Trump had much to say about himself as peacemaker, repeating his claim that he's the only recent president that had no wars start on his watch.

      "Now, wait a minute," you might say. "What war started under Barack Obama? Or George H.W. Bush? Or Ronald Reagan? Or Jimmy Carter?" Trump actually answered that question, blaming several of those men (though not St. Ronnie) for wars that happened in OTHER countries while they were president. Of course, if that is your standard, then Trump's claim to be war-free becomes laughable. In fact, there were at least 51 active conflicts worldwide while he was in office.

      Meanwhile, at another point in the speech, the supposed peacemaker declared: "And to the entire world, we want our hostages back—and they better be back before I assume office, or you will be paying a very big price." What, exactly does that mean? It would seem that the fellow who brags that there were no wars on his watch is threatening to promptly invade Russia, Gaza, Rwanda, DRC, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and Venezuela, among others, upon taking office. How can a "man of peace" threaten such things? It's all very Orwellian.

    • Hypocrisy: We are going to return to this one last time, because it was just so pronounced over the course of the last 4 days. Trump spoke out of both sides of his mouth many times last night, calling for others to behave one way, while he behaves another. Here was a particularly egregious example: "We must not criminalize dissent or demonize political disagreement. In that spirit, the Democrat Party..." The rest (which was a rant about the weaponized Department of Justice) doesn't matter. He talked about how wrong it is to demonize your enemy and then, a fraction of a second later, used an insulting name for the Democratic Party. And, of course, there was plenty more where that came from.

    We say again, we don't know what Trump was trying to accomplish, or what he actually did accomplish. We'll just conclude with one observation: A lot of the things we talk about here are somewhat subjective; reasonable minds can disagree about his delivery, or some of his messaging. But going on way, way, way too long? That's an objective question, and the fact that he could not limit himself suggests that we're right back to a place where the needs of his ego and the needs of his political career are in conflict, with the ego often winning.

  10. Melania Trump: The former first lady was begged to give a speech yesterday, and flatly refused. Why? Who knows? Maybe she just hates public speaking. Maybe she couldn't find yet another Michelle Obama speech to plagiarize. Maybe she only does the bare minimum spelled out in her pre-nup. She did show up in Milwaukee, however, and she joined her husband on stage at the end of his endless speech. You should really click on her name, and watch the portion of the proceedings where they greeted each other. Was it a kiss? An embrace? Hard to tell, but it would be hard to convey less affection than the Trumps did. It looked more like the maître d' greeting a well-heeled customer at a fancy restaurant.

And there it is. Four days up, four days down. Thank God. And Jesus. (Z)

BidenWatch 2024: Pride Goeth Before the Fall?

Things are moving fast and furious on the Joe Biden front. And these days, most of the news is adverse. A quick rundown of yesterday's developments:

  • Another Senior Moment?: Biden did yet another interview, this one with BET. It is not clear exactly when it was recorded, but it was released by the broadcaster yesterday. Here it is:



    On the whole, he was strong. Perhaps a 7.5 on the scale of 0 (debate Biden) to 10 (SOTU Biden). However, there was a moment, which you can watch by clicking here, where he may have forgotten the name of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and he definitely garbled the name of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

    We have watched the clip several times, and are still not sure if he actually forgot Austin's name, or if he was merely making a general point about Black appointees. But this nonetheless illustrates the problem that Biden faces, namely that he can be fine for 20 minutes, and be maybe off his game for 10 seconds, and people glom on to the 10 seconds. It's not fair. But it is reality.

  • Obama: The biggest shoe appears to be close to dropping. Yesterday, it was reported that Barack Obama has told prominent Democrats that Biden's path to victory has "significantly narrowed." If Obama were to go public with a call for Biden to drop out, that probably wouldn't be survivable.

  • Another Senator Goes Public: Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) called on Biden to drop out, future senator Adam Schiff (D-CA) has joined him and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) came as close to that line as is possible without actually crossing it. Yesterday, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who might need presidential coattails more than any other Democrat, officially joined the list: "[W]hile I appreciate his commitment to public service and our country, I believe President Biden should not seek re-election to another term."

  • Another Representative Is Twisting Biden's Arm: Unlike Tester, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) hasn't gone public... yet. But behind the scenes, he has implored Biden to consider dropping out. He's one of the five or ten most prominent House Democrats.

  • Team Biden: Off the record, many White House staffers have reportedly said Biden needs to go. Meanwhile, several former Biden staffers are putting their names to a petition calling him to drop out.

  • Insecurity: Right now, national security pros are holding the annual Aspen Security Forum. Normally, they stay out of politics. And normally, they think Biden knows what he's talking about when it comes to national security. However, several of the attendees—speaking anonymously—told reporters yesterday that they think Biden's continuation in office makes the nation less safe.

  • The Worst Kind of Poll: We have repeatedly noted that public polling, in general, does not support the conclusion that the Democrats would be better off with a different candidate. However, we've also pointed out that party insiders have access to polling that the general public does not. Polls like the latest from BlueLabs, which says that there are four Democrats who would outperform Biden by 4-5 points in the battleground states: Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Gov. Wes Moore (D-MD), Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI). Kamala Harris outperforms Biden, too, but by 2-3 points.

So, was there any good news for the President yesterday? Only a little. A group of 1,400 prominent Black women leaders released a letter calling for the Democrats to stick with Biden and to close ranks behind him. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released an Instagram video saying the same.

But on the whole, the tea leaves are not looking good for Biden. Some Democrats now say it's inevitable he will drop out, and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been telling allies that she thinks he can be persuaded to leave the race.

As to Biden himself, people in his orbit say he's begun pondering the possibility that his position may be untenable, and he has reportedly started asking "Do you think Kamala can win?" On the other hand, after Donald Trump's convention speech, his campaign said the President was "more determined than ever" to defeat Trump again. So, who knows what his thinking really is? Whatever is going to happen, it really has to happen soon. It is hard to imagine this drama extending beyond next weekend; either Biden will withdraw, or the Democrats will have to shut their yaps. (Z)

Republican Donors and Activists Are Propping Up Kennedy and West

Some investigative journalism is turning up evidence that the ballot-access drives of Cornel West and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are being funded by Republican groups and activists that think these candidates will pull votes away from Joe Biden. In North Carolina, Trump activist Scott Presler gathered signatures outside a Trump rally to get West on the ballot. He told potential signers that West was a far-left Marxist who could take a point away from Biden. He was not the only one. Blitz Canvassing, a Republican firm that earned millions of dollars working for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), helped West collect more than the 13,800 signatures needed for ballot access. Some of the gatherers failed to sign the form, which will lead to court challenges. The firm refused requests to say who paid it for its work. Another group of signature gatherers refused to provide any information about their work, even after being subpoenaed.

In the D.C. suburbs, signature gatherers worked a Target parking lot asking people to sign a petition to keep Donald Trump off the ballot. Actually, it was a petition to get West on the Virginia ballot. One signature gatherer was told the petitions would be turned over to the state Republican Party, which is apparently in cahoots with West.

Last month, more than 80 paid out-of-state people went to Arizona to collect signatures for West. Many of the workers listed Wells Marketing, a secretive Missouri LLC, as their employer. The company is closely associated with Mark Jacoby, a California Republican operative who was convicted of voter registration fraud in 2009. In 2020, he was back at work collecting signatures for a different West, namely Kanye, in an effort to get Black voters to not vote for Joe Biden. Jacoby has a long history of asking people to sign petitions for one thing—say, allowing supermarkets to sell wine—when the petition is actually for something else, typically getting some left-wing candidate on the ballot to dilute the Democratic vote.

Cornel West's heavy reliance on paid signature gatherers could get him into legal trouble, since the company doing the work is de facto making an illegal in-kind campaign contribution that he is forbidden from accepting.

West isn't the only third-party candidate getting help from Republican donors, secret or otherwise. Republican megadonor Timothy Mellon donated $25 million to a super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the grounds that Kennedy's earlier work as an environmental lawyer could pull votes away from Biden. The Colorado Libertarian Party has allowed Kennedy to use its ballot line, even though Kennedy is anything but a Libertarian. The state chair, Hannah Goodman, says she despises Democrats and plans to vote for Trump, but thinks that by putting Kennedy on the ballot, she might help Trump eke out a plurality.

Kennedy could yet be a wild card. If the Democrats get some rich donor to start running ads touting Kennedy's anti-vaxx beliefs and speeches, he could end up taking more votes from anti-vaxx Trumpers than from Biden. That wouldn't be what the donors wanted.

Election experts say that as long as the first-past-the-post system is in place, there will always be spoilers. The only way to get rid of them is to introduce ranked-choice voting everywhere. Then someone who voted for West or Kennedy to make a point, would then have to state a second choice, and that is very unlikely to be Trump. In practice, then the first-choice vote would be a show vote and the second-choice vote would be the real vote. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

Another group of not-good polls for Joe Biden. Trump's numbers are probably a bit artificially high right now, but probably not 5 or 7 points' worth of artificially high. (Z)

State Joe Biden Donald Trump Start End Pollster
Arizona 44% 49% Jul 15 Jul 16 Insider Advantage
California 55% 30% Jun 24 Jul 02 Public Policy Inst. of Calif.
Nevada 42% 49% Jul 15 Jul 16 Insider Advantage
Pennsylvania 45% 49% Jul 15 Jul 16 Insider Advantage
Washington 50% 36% Jul 10 Jul 13 SurveyUSA

Click on a state name for a graph of its polling history.


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---The Votemaster and Zenger
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