“The Sunday Political Brunch” -- May 20, 2012

Curtis Graduation 1.jpg

(Providence, Rhode Island) - We are about to hit that transition time in the campaign season, when things quiet down somewhat during early summer before the parties gear up for their respective national conventions. Of course, politics never goes completely quiet, so here are some thoughts about what happened this past week and a look at the days ahead:

“Who’s On First?” – We are now less than six months away from Election 2012. Every day people ask me, “Who’s winning?” This week’s latest Real Clear Politics Composite Poll has it Barack Obama at 45.9 percent to Mitt Romney's 44 percent. It’s the average of ten different national polls, with Obama ahead in five of those polls, Romney ahead in four of them, and one poll showing the men tied. The race is that close, and I expect it to stay that way until November 6.

“There You Go Again!” – That classic line from Ronald Reagan reminds me of something we may face again in 2012 - something which, so far, no one else is talking about. With the race this close, there is a very good chance we could have an Election 2000 repeat. That is: One candidate wins the most electoral votes, while the other wins the most popular votes. Right now, polls indicate Obama has a big overall electoral- vote margin from the states in which he is leading. But, Mitt Romney was ahead last week in the popular-vote polling. So, a possible scenario right now is for Obama to win the Electoral College, while Romney gets the most popular votes. Aside from 2000, this has happened only three other times in our history.

“Don’t Forget About Us!” – Oh, yes! There are other races this year, including the one for control of the U.S. Senate. Right now, Democrats hold a 53- to 47-seat margin in the upper chamber; but the latest polls indicate a tie, with 46 seats for each party if the elections were held today. Eight races involving incumbents (six Democrats and two Republicans) are listed as toss-ups. So, Republicans have a good shot at winning back control of the Senate. We will be discussing a lot of fascinating races in the coming weeks, including one featuring professional-wrestling-executive-turned-politician, Linda McMahon! What an interesting career path!

“Enough, Already!” – Okay, here is my appeal to both sides of the political aisle: Can we please stop using references to Adolph Hitler when criticizing our opposition? This week I heard complaints about people at a Tea Party rally using Barack Obama’s image next to Hitler’s on protest signs. In the past, I have seen similar images of Newt Gingrich with a black, square mustache, and of Dick Cheney juxtaposed with Hitler, just to name a few. People in both parties have been guilty of this, and it needs to stop. Hitler was the most evil human being ever to walk this planet, exterminating an estimated six million Jews and committing countless other atrocities. For anyone to portray Obama, the Bushes, the Clintons, or any other U.S. political figure as Hitler-like is both morally wrong and historically inaccurate. Just criticize them on the perceived merits and demerits of their policies and agendas; and let’s have the discussion there! Enough with Hitler!

“Graduation Day” – And, finally, it is graduation day! I was today officially awarded my Doctorate in Education from St. Mary’s College of California. Because of my work schedule on the East Coast, I could not be there to receive my degree in person, so my diploma and my cap and gown were sent to me so I could get some graduation photos taken. I want to thank my entire family, my friends, my fellow students and especially my professors for helping me make a lifelong dream come true! My dissertation was a study on how people in different age groups use various types of media to get information about politics and to help make their voting decisions. Since I live at the “intersection of media and politics,” it was a perfect topic! Here is some more information from a news article: WLNE-TV/ABC6 News Reporter & Political Author Awarded Doctorate Degree http://pbn.com/detail.html?sub_id=67696

“Photo Finish!” – Given that I make my living covering politics and that my dissertation was on media and politics, it was only appropriate that my graduation photos had a political twist, too! Soozie Sundlun, wife of the late Governor Bruce Sundlun, (D) Rhode Island, took my pictures and did a great job! If you need an excellent photographer for any occasion in Southern New England, just contact Soozie at East Greenwich Photo and Studio: www.EGphoto.com.

Have a great week, everyone. As always, I welcome your comments at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

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