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AOL Straw Poll: Bush 535, Kerry 3

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Granted, this is a non-scientific poll. Granted these are AOL users. But 535-3?

That just doesn’t make sense. The only votes Kerry got were from AOL users in D.C. Check it out here. Here’s a screenshot:

My attempts to dismiss this poll as representing AOL users didn’t work, as according to the National Business Review:

An informal straw poll of AOL members has also taken a startling turn for the incumbent.

After months of showing Senator Kerry well ahead, in recent days the poll has shown George W Bush out in front — in all states. Only Washington, DC, with three electoral votes, is currently in the Kerry camp, according to AOL.

That would translate into a national landslide for the incumbent, handing him 535 of the country’s 538 electoral votes.

There’s not enough spin in a Texas tornado to make those numbers look good.

love it, hate it, there’s more of it at pacetown.

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  • Eric Olsen

    that’s one serious convention bounce

  • I think Penn & Teller have a word for this, so appropriate, they used it for their teevee show: “Bullshit”.

    Dressing up nonsense with some made up numbers and a map doesn’t make it any less nonsense.

    However, this does lead me to prove I can make you richer and sexier immediately. Ask me how, only $49.95. Act now!

  • boomcrashbaby

    AOL has a reputation as being the internet for dummies. They’ve had to simplify how to get on the net and how to surf around, for the technically challenged, for people who don’t know how to do things for themselves. This isn’t an AOL slam from me, this is AOL’s reputation that they’ve had for years. AOL is for the clueless. That voting result is no surprise.

  • Does this mean AOL could have been hacked by evil internet hackers who kill kittens to send me porn spam? I’m shocked, because, like AOL has always been the go-to guy for porn and teen-age truck stop hookers, so that they can’t be relied on to provide credible USAian political information is just shocking. Shocking I tell you!

  • I’m not suggesting these numbers reflect the reality of the election, but they do reflect the opinions of nearly 200,000 AOL users who bothered to take the time to express their opinion.

    Before 6/23, Kerry was winning this poll (AOL resets the poll, I believe on a weekly basis). Since then, Bush has been winning, but as recently as the last update, Bush was only ahead 54%-44%.

    As of today, on this straw poll, Bush leads 65%-34%…by 31%. That’s a 21% bounce from last week to this, and is a 6% larger gap than Bush has ever had (in this poll obviously).

    I suspect it’s certainly BS, and that the election won’t be reflected in these numbers, but to simply dismiss the numbers because they come from AOL members is a mistake. The numbers are not necessarily predictive of exact numbers, but they are predictive of a trend.

    Look at the tracking info on the link.

  • I have AOL and as far as I’ve been following this stupid poll, Bush has been winning by considerable margins. It’s clearly unscientific and the fact that AOL markets to families and less tech-savvy people (like, well, me) probably distorts this poll beyond any credibility. I wouldn’t put any stock in a bump in the AOL poll — the bumps Kerry should worry about are in the legitimate polls.

    That is all.

  • I don’t know what you’re looking at (or toking), but the chart here:


    shows that Bush was leading the poll since last June, but dropped during the week of August 25th while Kerry got a nice bump (see the National tab).

    The convention seems to have given him a bash rather than a bump with the AOL audience.

  • If you look at the details of any state, it gives the total margin that Bush has in the ‘poll’. Currently, as of 9.37 CST, it breaks down as follows:

    Bush: 175145 65%
    Kerry: 92509 34%
    Nader: 2411 1%

    I believe they reset it each week. Before the convention, I see Bush with roughly a 10% lead, what looks like 54%-44%. Yes, Bush has been ahead historically, but this is a poll that Kerry has ‘won’ before.

    I don’t particuarly feel that any poll ‘matters’, as only the results on November 2 matter. But this ‘poll’ like the Time magazine poll that was released on Friday, indicate that Kerry is losing momentum.

    Can he regain it? Yes.

    Will it be difficult? I think so.

  • So what you’re trying to say in a not-so-subtle way is that Bush is going to steal the forthcoming election using computers?

  • I think he’s trying to drive down Time Warner stock, then, through a number of third party buyers (Read: House of Saud), buy up a bunch, only then to award no-bid, monopoly contracts to AfOL (Afghanistan online) and IOL (Iraq online).

    But of course, Iraq’s name will change after Bush renames the country Karlrovia.

    That’s just my guess.

  • Joe conason

    These results are only a little different than the just released Time and Newsweek polls, when you translate to electoral votes. The new Gallup, which has Bush with a 16 point lead, appears a bit closer to the AOL numbers, however.

  • Don’t buy it. Even in an admittedly unscientific poll, that kind of disparity would not occur. Looks like multiple votes by the same people, assuming that voting actually occurred.

    And, let’s not overlook the ‘darkies are dumb enough to vote for Democrats’ slam at D.C. That has to be contrived. Fits the Right Wing talking points memo perfectly.

    Furthermore, I think nonsense like this should not be blogged. Why spread stupidity? Never mind. I just figured it out. The answer is partisanship.

  • Sean

    You know… in 1984, Ronald Reagan was losing to Mondale in polls. Ronald Reagan was abused in the news, by the press, not too unlike Bush has been. We all know the turnout of that election — a 49 state landslide, the largest in election history. This “poll” could be accurate, it might not be. The bottom line is, that unlike a “poll” taken by the usual people, there is no formula that you plug in, that changes the results of the polling data for demographics, etc. This is raw data. The internet allows us, unlike in 1984, to view real time voting trends. As such, it is possible, that this polling data is accurate in that sense.

    Personally, after 1984, or even the Nixon landslide, I don’t think that anyone should ever just discount a poll, that shows a massive victory for one candidate or the other.

    As others have stated in here, however, one must remember though — the election is what, 56 days away? A lot can happen between now and then.

  • Wow. If this is a Bush conspiracy, and it’s any indicator of things to come, then I think it’ll be pretty obvious when he and his evil cronies tamper with all of the new touch-screen voting machines.

    I can just hear the local directors of elections now…

    “Five bazillion votes for President Bush and two for Kerry.”
    “Two bazillion?”
    “No, just two.”

  • David Murray

    While this poll may not be scientific, it gives you an idea of the mood of the country. I think the president will win without much trouble. It’s also interesting that you can’t see the poll anymore by going to election main and then to presidential race like you could before. Could it be that Time/Aol, that infamously liberal organization, is a bit embarrased by the results of their own poll, and is attempting to hide it? What a surprise!!

  • The so-called poll is a joke [edited]So, reasonable people have moved on to considering current polling that does not suffer from the defects of this boondoggle. Wishful thinking notwithstanding, the election will not fulfill the fantasy of the people who believe this ‘poll.’

  • True, we should consider scientific polls. Such as these:

    ABC News-Washington Post, Sept. 6-8, 788 likely voters, MoE +/-3.5

    (Results from ABC-Post poll in late August in parentheses)
    George W. Bush-Dick Cheney 52 percent (48)
    John Kerry-John Edwards 43 percent (48)

    Ralph Nader-Peter Camejo 2 percent (1)

    Unsure, 3 percent (3)

    CBS News, Sept. 6-8, 909 RV, MoE +/-3

    (Results from CBS poll from August in parentheses)


    George W. Bush-Dick Cheney, 49 percent (45)
    John Kerry-John Edwards, 42 percent (46)
    Ralph Nader-Peter Camejo, 1 percent (1)
    Unsure, 8 percent (8)


    George W. Bush-Dick Cheney, 50 percent (44)
    John Kerry-John Edwards, 42 percent (47)
    Unsure, 8 percent (9)

    Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, Sept. 7-8, 1,000 LV, MoE +/-3
    (Results from late August Fox poll in parentheses)
    George W. Bush, 47 percent (43)
    John Kerry, 43 percent (44)
    Ralph Nader, 3 percent (3)
    Unsure, 7 percent (10)
    George W. Bush, 47 percent (44)
    John Kerry, 45 percent (45)
    Unsure, 8 percent (11)

    Thank you, MD, for pointing out that all scientific polls show Bush ahead.

  • Well, you didn’t point it out, but it prompted me to see out the latest polls, all which show Bush clearly in the lead.

  • Looking over those polling results, Kerry has one thing working for him. If he was at a water park, the slide he is engaged in would be a boost for the park. Hell, they could even advertise it. “Come take a ride on the Kerry Vietnam War polling slide…”

  • (Sigh.) Why is it that so many conservatives can’t read? I have not said that most polls favor Kerry or that he will win the election. What I said was that this fabricated ‘poll’ is too flawed to be taken seriously.

  • Bob

    AOL has takent the straw poll off their Website or moved it so as not to be able to be found. Gee…I wonder why an unbiased AOL/Time Warner/CNN liberal rag would do such a thing. They play the liberals as if they were mindless puppets. Poll not going their way so they just remove it. Typical

  • The straw poll is still at the same link that was in the original post, so what’s all the blather about, Bob?

  • boomcrashbaby

    The poll is still there. There’s a line of type that says if it doesn’t show up for you, you need to make sure you have the latest version of flash. But that’s obvious info to me, mindless liberal that I am.

  • Bob

    Sorry to disagree folks but the straw poll is NOT visible to AOL users on AOL today. If it is, as I said earlier, it has been moved. I have been following this poll on AOL for two months now and I know were it WAS on AOL. Maybe just an AOL/CNN gliche for today? Or not.

  • I am indifferent as to whether the poll can still be located or not. My gripes are that it was never really a poll and that the people pushing it are doing so out of wishful thinking. Hopefully, if we are going to discuss polls we can talk about viable ones. If the opposite had occurred, favoring Kerry, I would have said the same thing. I would not have blogged the ‘poll,’ claiming it was reliable. But, conservatives seem unable to resist an opportunity to try to impose their strange views on the rest of us — even when said opportunity is this flaky.


    If all you nutty liberals want to think that AOL hasn’t moved their straw poll to a different location and made it very difficult to access, be my guest. A lot of people believe in UFOS too. The fact remains that AOL was happy when Kerry was leading back a few months ago, but they’re not happy at all now that the president leads in all 50 states. It’s a real surprise that they would take down their banner that said “vote in aol straw poll” on the home page, and move the poll. I mean, we all know that the media in this country is always fair and would never do something like that, don’t we? Aside from all that liberal media nonsense that we’ve all grown accustomed to, your boy John is going to get a good old-fashioned ass-whipping on November 2, and there’s nothing aol or cbs or abc or nbc or cnn or msnbc or the NY Times or the LA Times or any of Kerry’s other buddies in the media can do about it. So get used to it.

  • Bob

    Thank You David. That was exactly my point. I don’t think the liberals got the point I was making. And the talk about it not being unscientific? It’s probably just as scientific as any CNN/Gallup poll where they skew the questions so the answers come out the way they want them to or call a bunch of Democrats and ask who they are voting for. The AOL poll was just AOL members regardless of their party affiliations. We on the “right” side see the liberal media for what it is and don’t fall into their agenda trap. The AOL staw poll is not there today either. Maybe just a two day gliche? And yes AOL is for dummies because it takes a real genius to figure out how to use Internet Explorer and Google.

  • Bobby

    I have been following the straw poll for at least a month. Suddenly it is no longer found on AOL. I had to Google it and found this link. Time Warner has a strong liberal bias in its news reporting and I can only conclude that they were only too happy to display the straw poll when Kerry was ahead and now they are totally astounded/embarassed/nauseated when Bush carries all 50 states. They cant believe their own stupid eyes! Whether the poll was scientific or not is not the point.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Above the screenshot of the map, on this page, the blog includes a link to the straw poll. When I click on it, it’s still there.

  • boomcrashbaby

    there’s nothing aol or cbs or abc or nbc or cnn or msnbc or the NY Times or the LA Times or any of Kerry’s other buddies in the media can do about it.

    I’m unaware of the AOL poll before the posting of this blog, but if they moved it, based on the discussion here, it looks like they moved all election/political stuff to electionguide04.com.

    The numerous right wing rants about this being a tactic by the liberal media to supress information to the masses makes for a good chuckle.

  • Bobby

    It is not on electionguide04. Can’t be found,dude. Previously, it was in your face.

  • brian

    go to keywork straw poll it is there

  • RJ

    “And, let’s not overlook the ‘darkies are dumb enough to vote for Democrats’ slam at D.C.”

    Uh, blacks make up about 60% of the population in DC, and DC always goes for Dems.

    I didn’t notice any implied “darkies are stupid” reference in this post. Please cite it.

  • RJ

    “this fabricated ‘poll’ is too flawed to be taken seriously.”

    Of course. As an unscientific poll, it is pretty much meaningless.

    However, this poll does show a major Bush bounce. And the scientific polls show the same thing. So there is a slight correlation there, no?

  • michelle scott

    Accuracy is related to sample size. Hard to skew 273,000 votes.I trust this sample size compared to the 1000 in Rasmussen polls. 35% is also Kerry’s last favorability rating.

  • Accuracy is also related to the sample selection.

    The commercial polls develop their samples using statistics to get a representative sample geographically, economically, and with other demographics.

    AOL results are based on only AOL members. I don’t know what that profile is, but one thing is that they’re dial-up users and those have a different profile from broadband users.

    I don’t think that anyone knows whether they’re urban or rural, young or old, likely voters or not, etc. nor whether they are representative of populations of the states they “vote” from.

    It’s just an AOL poll, and not projectable to the real world.

  • Eric

    I noticed after the big boost aol moved the poll link……but then again I’m a conservative idiot that uses aol and yahoo, so I figured it was just me.

  • boomcrashbaby

    The reason is simple: there are not nearly enough ACFs in the world to accommodate all the technologically challenged. For example, there are currently 860,000 beds available in ACFs but there are 29 million AOL users.

    I think my comment #3 has upset several AOL users on this thread. I should restate that it isn’t my own personal opinion but something that has ‘tagged along’ with the AOL name ever since it’s inception. That is part of the reason behind AOL’s success, is that it made technology easy for the technology challenged.

    Nowhere in comment 3 did I imply that only conservatives use AOL, I’m quite sure there would be millions of liberals there too.

    Rather than getting upset about it (it’s bad on the heart), perhaps you should smile like those at homeschoolchristian.com:


    Several corporations have sought permission to have certain employees, or at times entire sales departments, committed to ACFs. At present, however, individuals can be committed only by direct family, or self-internment. The reason is simple: there are not nearly enough ACFs in the world to accommodate all the technologically challenged. For example, there are currently 860,000 beds available in ACFs, but there are 29 million AOL users.

    The only thing worse than a conservative with political power is a conservative with no sense of humor.

  • boomcrashbaby

    oops. Ignore that part in italics. I goofed. Maybe that qualifies me for free 600 hours on AOL dial-up?

  • Bob

    For those that beleive that the poll is mostly from the dull witted people who use AOL, remember that there are a LOT of dull witted people and even the dull witted get to vote!

  • RJ

    “For those that beleive that the poll is mostly from the dull witted people who use AOL, remember that there are a LOT of dull witted people and even the dull witted get to vote!”

    Good point!

    Which is why I believe Kerry will probably carry West Virginia in November.

    [rim shot]

  • boomcrashbaby

    That was a good one, RJ.

  • David Murray

    All you technological geniuses who seem to think that AOL is dial-up, let me enlighten you. I have AOL with high-speed internet. And I don’t live in some hillbilly part of the country like Arkansas or West Virginia (which both coincidentally, have a lot more democrats than republicans residing there). And I don’t have a room-temperature IQ like most liberals I know. I have more common sense in my little finger than most liberals have in their whole body. So relax and enjoy the ride for the next month and a half. Your boy is going down in flames, then he can go back to his mansion and his butler in Boston where he belongs. He,s not qualified to be dog-catcher. Just because the people of Massachusetts are dumb enough to elect this spoiled rich fool doesn’t mean the rest of the country is.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I’m surprised that the joke about AOL is so new to people here, it’s as old as blonde jokes. There’s even television commercials where people make fish sculptures of all the AOL CD’s they get in the mail. It’s not a partisan attack any more than a pollack or blonde joke. But I see how quickly it becomes one from the right (comment 43). If the jokes ran that the French were the ones technogically challenged I’m real sure your manchettes de chemise would be getting all hérissé.

  • My shirt cuffs would be getting ruffled?

  • boomcrashbaby

    I’m practising.
    What I’ve learned here though is that too many conservatives now see absolutely everything from the left as an attack. Even a joke that had nothing to do with political ideology.

  • Ricard

    I think the liberals have to concede that AOL did in fact move the straw poll intentionally. Before September 10 you could access it by going to key word “straw poll.” But this is not the case anymore.

  • David Murray

    Of course they moved it in order to hide it from everyone because they were embarrassed by the results. It’s not even something that you can intelligently dispute (but that has never stopped liberal democrats before, so why should it now?) If you told a democrat that the sun rose in the east, and it hurt Kerry’s chances of being elected, they would all swear that it rose in the west. AOL moved the poll on Sept. 8. At that time, there were 328,00 votes registered in the 8 day period between Sept. 1-8. (the poll is reset at the beginning of each month). Since moving it, only another 5,000 votes have been registered in the past 8 days for a total of 333,000. Let’s see- 328,000 the first 8 days of the month and 5,000 the next 8 days, you don’t think there’s a correlation there do you? nah, they did’nt hide the poll, that’s just a coincidence. There goes that sun coming up in the west again.

  • jimibovo

    Yeah, I found this site while looking for the straw poll. Been going to AOLs election site looking for a link to the poll, which I had easily accessed previously. Haven’t found them link to it at all since the convention boost.

  • bhw

    I just searched AOL keyword “straw poll” and got to the poll.

    I must fit AOL’s demographic, though, because I can’t figure out how to vote in the poll.

  • bhw

    One legitimate question about the poll, as is sometimes the case with online polls, is if a single user can answer the poll question more than once.

    But since I can’t figure out how to participate even just once, I’ll have to settle for leaving it as a question.

  • Eric Olsen

    If Bush wins every state but DC will that constitute a “mandate”?

  • bhw

    In the straw poll or real life? 😉

  • I’ve blogged the real polls today. Seems to need doing before this AOL straw poll becomes ‘reality’ to our large Right Wing cadre. Wake up, everybody.

    The Blogcritics version should appear soon.

  • David Murray

    It only lets you vote once each month

  • Right Wing Conspirator

    AOL is definitely not the best ISP, but it provides some nice features for the whole family. Not everyone is a technical genius like boomcrashbaby, but my 3 year old son is getting there.
    P.S. That link could always be found when Skerry was up in the poll, usually 5 times a week. Now you have to do a keyword search to find it.

  • bhw

    It only lets you vote once each month

    Per screen name? I have three on my account, so could I vote three times, once for each name?

  • boomcrashbaby

    If AOL has moved their poll, have any of you AOL users bothered to send them an email and ask why?

  • One vote per month, even for people who are not sneaky. Multiple accounts. And, I bet, the cookies can be erased, if AOL bothers monitoring it at all. This thing is looking more and more like an exercise in wish fulfillment.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Dan Rather hacked into their server and moved it.

  • pizzaman

    it’s not so much the bush landslide you libs should be worried about…. it’s his coattails… with 60+ republican senators and a firm grip on the house, we’ll get sensible federal judges appointed, permanent tax cuts, spending rate reductions etc. with the mainstream media withering on the vine ( great theatre by the way…must see t.v.) the left has been exposed as a fossil whose time is up….required reading should include “after” by stephen brill and “the future of freedom” by fareed zakaria for all idealists who think if we just apoligize for everything and get in touch with our feelings and then everything will be all better….a little research into the crusades might also shed some light of truth about why prayers at the mosque always end with “death to america”

  • Wow! The Crusades of 2005, eh? So much to look forward to if Shrub wins.

  • pizzaman

    don’t worry mac, we’re gonna keep some of the uneducated ones around to do the heavy lifting…. you’ll be spared

  • a little research into the crusades might also shed some light of truth about why prayers at the mosque always end with “death to america””

    And why U. S. Cabinet meetings begin with a prayer that ends: “God told me to do this.”

  • pizzaman

    you think i made that up , don’t you hal….well, we’ll keep you around too… with mac…. exhibit a and b…

  • No, I don’t think you made it up.

    But U.S. Cabinet meetings do all start with a prayer, and George W. Bush has said that his God made him president, so there are similarities.

  • harry carter

    I am so glad to know that I am not the only one to find that AOL made it so hard to access the poll. It looks as if NO votes have been recorded since I looked at the site over a week ago. What a surprise to find that this little poll has been buried. I doubt that this would be the case if the results were reversed. There is a monumental landslide coming in November.

  • bhw

    harry, you’re assuming, for one thing, that the people willing to click a button on their computer screen will also actually drive to the polling booths on election day. We are known here in the US to not have the best voter turnout.

  • the gaulieter

    you are correct harry…it won’t be pretty….here’s some even more horrifying news for the left. my son is a member of the young republicans at a very fashionable and expensive private college in the northeast, and he reports that they had a much better “recruiting class” this year than the young dems…..more proof that liberalism is on life support….amen

  • Sondra

    To dismiss the AOL poll because it is from AOL members (characterized on this page as not computer savvy), is a big mistake. There are many, many registered voters in the US who do not own a computer and have never used a computer, yet alone AOL. AOL is a cross-section of the county, albeit not computer savvy. In addition, the number of repondents to the poll is far greater than the 800-900 polled by pollsters on a regular basis.
    Incidentally, I have AOL and another ISP and I chose to keep AOL.

  • RJ

    “That was a good one, RJ.”

    Thank you, Boom. I have my moments…

  • RJ

    “In addition, the number of repondents to the poll is far greater than the 800-900 polled by pollsters on a regular basis.”

    But 900 polled SCIENTIFICALLY bests a hundred million polled UNSCIENTIFICALLY every day of the week.

    Please take a Statistics course, everyone. You’ll quickly learn about “self-selection” and the like…

  • RJ

    HOWEVER, this flawed poll DOES correlate somewhat with what the REAL professional pollsters are saying.

    In other words, Bush got a nice bounce from his convention. And Kerry didn’t get anything from his.

    Dems should be worried, though not because of some AOL poll. They should be more concerned about Gallup…

  • Hey Hal, as soon as a group of fundamentalist Christians fly a few jumbo jets into buildings in the Middle East, then you can start counting similarities.

    Praying for a higher power to give you guidance to do the right thing and praying for the death of America just don’t quite count as “similarities”.

  • harry carter

    I choose to believe that a cross section of Americans using AOL participating in their straw poll IS more scientific and more believable than a pollster calling 900 people from New England and asking them whom they would vote for for President. I also firmly believe that many pollsters are attempting to influence the election with their skewed polling results, so much so that the AOL poll becomes much more believeable. Besides, Sondra, a poll of 100 million would be called an “election” would it not? Should we disregard the votes of these great unwashed unscientifically chosen heathens in favor of a “scientifically” chosen few? I have learned over the years that “statistics” can be (and are) too often bent to the desires of the person utilizing the data.

  • harry carter

    Sorry, my comment should have been directed to RJ not Sondra. Sorry, dear.

  • the gaulieter

    you get it evil….you’ll be asked to be on the board when the dust settles….hal, rj, and mac, keep your head down and keep banging away at the keyboard. if you look up now, the anvil will look like a bird or some othrt small spec in the sky. it won’t hurt as much if you don’t see it when it hits….ask wile e. ….he’ll tell ya

  • JimB

    Okay, here’s my take on this AOL straw poll. Liberals.. you should be afraid. very afraid. AOL is extremely representative of middle America likely voters. In many polls I’ve seen on conservative/lib leanings, AOL is fairly balanced in subscribers..maybe leans a little right. But 300,000 votes is 300,000 votes. I have been watching this straw for several months and it has gradually moved more and more to Bush. It is reset on the first of the month and you are limited to one vote per screename per month (unless you dump your cookies of course.. but dems are as likely to do that as convers. ) I don’t think it’s as strong Bush as this straw suggests, but along with all else I’ve seen including a raw numbers on MSNBC of over 500,000, Bush is going to win by someone between 56-59% and probably at least 40 states. That’s what it is folks. My suggestion to liberal friends would be to deal with it.. and contact Hillary who has already formed her 08 committee. By the way.. you havent seen Hillary stumping for Kerry lately have you? Hmmmm. And it seems like everytime we see lady Hillary on TV, she’s smiling. A lot. I think she is very happy with the way things are going..how bout you?

  • RJ

    “I choose to believe that a cross section of Americans using AOL participating in their straw poll IS more scientific and more believable than a pollster calling 900 people from New England and asking them whom they would vote for for President.”

    Scientific polls are not run that way. Look into it.

    “Besides, Sondra, a poll of 100 million would be called an “election” would it not?”

    Not if the only people polled were Democrats. (Or Republicans.)

    Scientific polls are carefully calculated to include a realistic cross-section of the electorate. They are imperfect, but vastly more credible than anything AOL puts up for the teens to play around with…

  • RJ

    “Bush is going to win by someone between 56-59% and probably at least 40 states.”

    Care to bet on that?

    I can name 11 states right now that Kerry will win for certain, keeping Bush under 40:

    New York
    Rhode Island
    Washington state
    (and DC too)

    Now, I think Bush will win the election. But it won’t be a Reaganesque victory, by any stretch of the imagination.

  • j

    the aol poll is absolutely unscientific, but that doesn’t mean that it’s some evil conspiracy. it is what it is — a straw poll. it’s reset every month and it only allows you to vote once per cycle.

    prior to the republican convention, john kerry was way ahead, and no one was questioning the acuracy of the poll or the intelligence of the participants. all of a sudden, the radical left doesn’t like the results of the poll, so they throw a tandrum by attacking the poll itself and insulting the participants.

    truly pathetic, but entirely predictable.

  • harry carter

    Bottom line is that this poll showed that the great majority of people voting favored the President. Period. Scientific or not; Bush wins, big time. Personally, as a two tour (full tours…no four month bullshit) Vietnam veteran, I would not vote for Kerry for dogcatcher.

  • No, the “bottom line is that this poll showed that the great majority of the people” taking this particular poll, with all its warts, said they would vote for Bush.

    And how about Bush? Would you vote for him for dogcatcher? You might get a lot of agreement.

  • harry carter

    Bitter! Bitter! Bitter! Can’t stand the truth, can you? I sure hope Santa brings you some positive energy.

  • Molly

    I’m kind of late posting on this issue. I had just done a search on AOL’s straw poll and I can’t believe so many people are covering and fretting over the AOL straw poll as a source of voter intent. I could vote all day on AOL with my COOKIEWALL that blocks their voting cookie. Every time I check the straw poll, I get the opportunity to vote. If I can do it, I imagine THOUSANDS on AOL do it. Let’s HOPE TO GOD the REAL voting machines don’t work like AOL’s Straw Poll.

  • Catrina

    Aol has rigged the poll so you can’t vote if you are going to vote for Kerry. I have emailed them about this to no avail. I have tried to vote for Kerry several times and the system won’t let me.

  • BOBL811

    This poll was one of the most pathetic polls I’ve ever participated in. Yes, you could vote once a month & expect your vote to be counted. In the beginning, you could keep track of the total number of participants & watch the numbers change. After the RNC Convention, things changed rapidly. Votes cast for Kerry were NOT added to the total in my particular state. Also keep in mind, ANYONE with multipal screen names & family members with the same, were able to vote more then once a month. Also, when a new political news story was posted on AOL, somewhere within the story was a link to go to the straw poll map & you could again cast another vote during the same month! Showing the ENTIRE map in red is absurd! Especially since Bush’s numbers have been declining. The REAL national poll numbers show Bush & Kerry in a virtual tie which should be proof even to the mentally challanged, that the AOL straw poll map is nothing more then BS. Ah, the age of computers! If you expect your vote to count in November, the ONLY way to be certain, is to vote on PAPER via ABSENTEE BALLOT! BOYCOTT ALL TOUCH SCREEN VOTING MACHINES!!!!!

  • bomar

    How can a patriotic American vote for Kerry after what he did to our troops still in the field and prisoners of war?? Even Lib/dems, if they were candid would agree that anti war marches,speeches etc aid and abet and support the enemy’s will to go on. After the war a North vietnam General said in an interview that if it were’nt for the Fondas, Vets Against (Kerry) etc they would have lost the war. Then the question is when would North Vietnam have conceded, called for a cease fire etc? Six months before the end? A year? Two years? Who knows how much sooner. But whatever the period those troops that were killed and maimed then were the direct result of the Kerry/Fondas of this country! Lenin once called them USEFUL IDIOTS. our prisoners did not confess or admit to the things in Kerry’s speech and they were subjected to his speech over and over again. KERRY HOLDS A PLACE OF HONOR IN THE NORTH VIETNAM WAR MUSEUM IN HANOI!! What a disgrace. And he might be elected Pres. of the United States of America. I pray that the AOL poll is correct.

  • Kerry told the truth about Vietnam — which would have been lost in any event because American involvement was a bad idea, as was Iraq. What I don’t understand is how anyone can vote for Bush, who as President blundered into war, and has consistently lied or misled his own people about it ever since — and who now finds himself very much in the same position as Lyndon Johnson 40 years ago: telling the public we’re winning when the facts on the ground tell a different story altogether. Does anyone really believe that a free Iraq is possible? Why? Enlighten me. From what I hear the people over there are waxing nostalgic for the good old days of Saddam Hussein, when you could at least walk down the street without getting your head blown off — and they’re all way too bloody scared to vote in these forthcoming free elections. Daddy Bush was right after all: “No exit strategy.”

  • Rodney, I am hopeful regarding a free Iraq, and so are a lot of Iraqis.

    I submit for you this post from a native Iraqi, blogging from Iraq:


    I have been listening to the report about the WMD’s by Mr. David Kay. Now, all of you in the West must know that as far as we, the Iraqis, are concerned, we care very little that stocks of WMD’s existed or not at the time of liberation. For us Saddam and his regime were in themselves, the most lethal WMD that cost our people hundreds of thousands of victims not to mention the destruction of the economy and the very fabric of society in our afflicted country. That regime was a dead end for our people and with its continuation there was no hope whatsoever for the future. Mr. David Kay did mention something about this, and he should know, since he spent so much time in Iraq and has intimate knowledge of the situation. Saddamism is a cancer that we have yet to recover from. Western intervention lead by the U.S.A. was a God send to us, despite all the pain and misery that accompanied the operation and the repercussions that continue to rock the process of recuperation and rebirth of the nation. The U.S. soldiers are bravely standing in the thick of the turmoil and contributing with their blood and sweat not to mention the treasure of their land, towards curing us from the remaining ulcers of the disease after having performed the main surgery which no one else even dared even to think of.

    Perhaps, the interests of our people were not the main consideration that led to that action; nevertheless, that does not change anything about the importance and implications for the people of Iraq of this tremendous historical act. Yes there is pain, chaos and loss; yet on the other hand, there is possibility of hope, and a clearly discernible “light at the end of tunnel”, to use this worn out phrase.

    Were we better off during Saddam’s time? – A question to which many outsiders are very keen to know our answer. Well, in many respects the streets are much more insecure, yet the security that existed in Saddam’s days was like someone quietly waiting for certain death; like a cancer stricken individual carrying the disease in his guts with no hope or attempt at cure. Yes, the pain and torture may be much more terrible when the surgeon has operated and the disease is tackled; but at least there is hope of recovery and healing, and the prospect of life saving. And this is not allegory, nor a parable; this is coming from someone whose house has been standing in the midst of bombs and explosions for so long now, protected by none but the mercy and grace of the Lord; from someone who has suffered robbery, kidnapping and constant daily danger.

    And here we are, trying to organize elections, trying to control the security situation, trying to restart the reconstruction, able to talk, able to think, able to watch satellite T.V., use the internet, the mobile etc. – in short everything that we have been forbidden to do before. And without the slightest hesitation, we hail with Love and Gratitude our giant U.S. friend and his allies, standing with us shoulder to shoulder, braving the elements, braving death, calumny and hatred, shedding blood; to help us heal, to help us reach the shores of safety. And make no mistake, the campaign is winning and will achieve its objectives. Make no mistake; you have already created an allied nation in the very heart of the M.E. despite all appearances, which will produce all the long term benefits and consequences so many times reiterated by President Bush, to the ridicule and insults of the profoundly mistaken, of the profoundly hating.

    America, stay the course – God, Decency, Honor, Hope and everything that is virtuous and right is on your side, beside the majority of the Iraqi people. America do not waiver, for you have never waged a more noble and just campaign in your entire history. America, we are winning, God’s willing, and Victory is coming sooner than many might think.


    You might also check out the Good news from Iraq series at http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com

    Amidst all the bad news, there is some good news, and reason, I believe for hope, regardless of who is elected.

  • Jeremy,

    A most interesting letter. However, I must say I find the following one, which you may have already read, far more persuasive. It was penned by Farnaz Fassihi, a Wall Street Journal reporter, and privately e-mailed to friends. It was not intended for public dissemination, but — this being the Internet — that’s what it became:

    “Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.

    “Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people’s homes and never walk in the streets. I can’t go grocery shopping any more, can’t eat in restaurants, can’t strike a conversation with strangers, can’t look for stories, can’t drive in any thing but a full armored car, can’t go to scenes of breaking news stories, can’t be stuck in traffic, can’t speak English outside, can’t take a road trip, can’t say I’m an American, can’t linger at checkpoints, can’t be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can’t and can’t. There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick-ass story but to stay alive and make sure our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first, a reporter second.

    “It’s hard to pinpoint when the ‘turning point’ exactly began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S. military? Was it when
    Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq’s population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency began
    spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to include most of Iraq? Despite President Bush’s rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a ‘potential’ threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to ‘imminent and active threat,’ a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.

    “Iraqis like to call this mess ‘the situation.’ When asked ‘how are thing?’ they reply: ‘the situation is very bad.”

    “What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesn’t control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country’s roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health — which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers — has now stopped disclosing them.

    “Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day.

    “A friend drove thru the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trapped. He said on the main roads of Sadr City, there were a dozen landmines per every ten yards. His car snaked and swirled to avoid driving over them. Behind the walls sits an angry Iraqi ready to detonate them as soon as an American convoy gets near. This is in Shiite land, the population that was supposed to love America for liberating Iraq.

    “For journalists the significant turning point came with the wave of abduction and kidnappings. Only two weeks ago we felt safe around Baghdad because foreigners were being abducted on the roads and highways between towns. Then came a frantic phone call from a journalist female friend at 11 p.m. telling me two Italian women had been abducted from their homes in broad daylight. Then the two Americans, who got beheaded this week and the Brit, were abducted from their homes in a residential neighborhood. They were supplying the entire block with round the clock electricity from their generator to win friends. The abductors grabbed one of them at 6 a.m. when he came out to switch on the generator; his beheaded body was thrown back near the neighborhoods.

    “The insurgency, we are told, is rampant with no signs of calming down. If any thing, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every day. The various elements within it-baathists, criminals, nationalists and Al Qaeda-are cooperating and coordinating.

    “I went to an emergency meeting for foreign correspondents with the military and embassy to discuss the kidnappings. We were somberly told our fate would largely depend on where we were in the kidnapping chain once it was determined we were missing. Here is how it goes: criminal gangs grab you and sell you up to Baathists in Fallujah, who will in turn sell you to Al Qaeda. In turn, cash and weapons flow the other way from Al Qaeda to the Baathisst to the criminals. My friend Georges, the French journalist snatched on the road to Najaf, has been missing for a month with no word on release or whether he is still alive.

    “America’s last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard
    units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being
    murdered by the dozens every day-over 700 to date — and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained to get rid of them quietly.

    “As for reconstruction: firstly it’s so unsafe for foreigners to operate that
    almost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18
    billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things are going here.

    “Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a result of sabotage
    and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel. Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq?

    “Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for
    insecurity. Guess what? They say they’d take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

    “I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.

    “Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about
    elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, “President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost.”

    “One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it’s hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can’t be put back into a bottle.

    “The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months
    while half of the country remains a ‘no go zone’-out of the hands of the
    government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said they’d boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war.

    “I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in
    the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree
    elect a leadership. His response summed it all: “Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?”


  • You beat me to it, Rodney, but I doubt many on the Right will even read the letter, much less think about the content – it doesn’t agree with the “all the good things happening there” pitch we keep hearing from the administration.

    And that’s too bad.

  • Hal,

    Yep — like I said earlier, just like LBJ, and I’ll bet Bush’s behind-the-scenes talks with Cheney and Rumsfield are like LBJ’s with McNamara and Rusk — a lot of worn-out old men seeing a country in free-fall, mopping their brows and wondering what in the hell they’re going to do. Watching the news about Iraq is like watching a high-impact car crash you are powerless to stop.

  • So will Bush withdraw from the race like LBJ did? Nah, too much to hope for.

    (I remember seeing the LBJ announcement on a marquee alongside the freeway as I was driving to work on the morning of April 1, 1968 and thinking it was an April Fool’s Day joke.)

  • Sandra

    It was hard to find, but here is the new location of AOL’s straw poll. Only about 500 people have voted so far.


  • Sherry

    Does anyone know the address to go to where one can vote (NOT JUST SEE THE RESULTS)in AOL’s straw poll for president? Everytime I go to the link I have, it justs shows all the results so far. I’ve not been able to locate a link where a person can actually place their vote. I, myself already voted but my husband would like to be able to vote under his own name. Thanx

  • harry carter

    Log in on AOL and paste in the address located in Sandra’s post and it will take you to the voting screen. Your husband will have to log in on his name since you have already voted under your name.

  • Sherry

    Thank you but that does not work. That addy still just takes me to the page where you see the results–the page with the states being either red or blue. 525 people have voted so far it shows. Maybe they have changed it so only one vote will be taken from a computer even though there may be two people with 2 different screen names on aol such as in my case. I don’t understanhd why they are hiding this straw pol other than it always shows Bush way ahead of Kerry and AOL owners are clearly for Kerry.

  • Sherry

    Please disregard the above post. Apparently my husband must have already voted this month very early and mixed up his memory of it as he voted very late in the September poll. I just went on with 2 other screen names and it did let me vote. So all you people who think the poll is fixed in Bush’s favor….take note- my family just placed 2 more votes for Bush (NY state) and the total never went up at all from the original 17 he had before they voted!!!!!

  • I did read that letter Rodney and Hal. It’s pretty convicting, but it is only the opinion of one person, and a lot of postings on the BBC arabic board seem to disagree with his assessment that “They say they’d take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.”

    I’ve seen a number of opinions to counter that. For example, at this BBC story, one finds interviews with 6 women who are at worst equivocal about their situation in Iraq.

    Says UM Samir:

    The last war was not as big a catastrophe for our people and for my family as the Kuwait war, which brought us much pain.

    And despite the fact that electricity is in short supply and that there is fear because of the security situation, our material situation has improved a lot.

    The income of my sons, who have been working as blacksmiths since graduating from university, has begun to increase.

    This is a general trend.

    I’m not saying it’s great in Iraq, far from it, but, all things considered, I don’t think it’s the unmitigated, train-wreck writeoff that is characterized above.

    You might check out Arthur Chrenkoff’s updated good news from Iraq series…

  • Well, check the news videos form Iraq.

    Now look out your window and imagine that three of the five houses across the treet are rubble from the bombs of those who invaded your country.

    Think back to the ambulances and funerals that you’ve seen again and again over the last 18 months, and the people you’ll never see again, many of them your (former) relatives.

    Then go out to your front porch and tell me you’d stand there and shout: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, you foreign invaders! I love you for what you have given us!”

    That’s the way it is for many in Iraq.

  • don

    Is this life supposed to be utopia or heaven? Maybe “all men are born to suffer” is right. I know that sounds callous but does anyone really care about my pain? (Not that I expect them to) I’m somewhat undecided and this will be my first time voting and both sides treat the other like they are trying to be wrong when I think it is mostly perceptions, but what do I know I’m just an AOL user.

  • Shelly

    Imagine instead a dictator dragging your neighbors, or worse yet you and your family to be tortured and killed. Sometimes you have to do a lot of messing up to clean up. Iraq needed cleaning.

  • Cris

    I believe the President is going to be reelected but not with 535 electoral votes. Perhaps by 300+ EV. Now that the election is getting closer, Kerry is getting desperate. He says ANYTHING, he does ANYTHNG to discredit the President. I think Mr. Kerry is a little bit 45 States late. GO BUSH!

  • I believe that Kerry is going to win with a 6% margin in the popular vote.


  • curt

    aol??? what!? oops, sorry…i misread the title. i thought it said awol, and i knew bush led kerry in that category, 1-0.

  • Cris

    Noticed the similarities between the comments made by Bin Laden and the Democrats about President Bush’s first reaction to the 9/11 attacks, when the President was in the classroom with the children? OBL and the Democrats seemingly think alike. Do they communicate with each other?