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government | political theory | technology selection 2004

Election Rides on the 917 Vote

Not one cell phone has been called during the presidential campaign. This is because there is no method for polling cell phones. Nobody has their numbers. Nor do they know who the users are, where they live and what they do. You have 170 million phones and you talk to none of them and then try to say you know what the public is thinking.

The newspaper and television polls aren't worth glancing at. They are taken of people who have land lines, as your house phone is known. Many millions have cell phones and land lines both, and can be reached. But there are about 40 million between 18 and 29 who only use cell phones. They are heavily Democratic. The usual view is that they vote sparingly. This time, with the word "draft" in the air the young breathe, and with a general and intense dislike of Bush, the number should be higher than usual. Even if it is disappointing, the numbers are so huge to begin with that Kerry will be your president on a 917 vote.
Published on Thursday, October 21, 2004 by Long Island / NY Newsday

Election Rides on the 917 Vote

by Jimmy Breslin

On Sept. 15, there were 168,900,019 cell phones in America, according to the cell phone institute in Washington.

Not one phone user was called by the political pollsters reporting with such marvelous accuracy on the Bush-Kerry race.

A month later, on yesterday afternoon, there now were 170,475,160 cell phones in America, according to the cell phone institute.

In one month, 1,575,000 new cell phones have been bought.

Not one cell phone has been called during the presidential campaign. This is because there is no method for polling cell phones. Nobody has their numbers. Nor do they know who the users are, where they live and what they do. You have 170 million phones and you talk to none of them and then try to say you know what the public is thinking.

A month ago, pollster John Zogby said he had discontinued telephone polls because cell phones had made any and all results meaningless. Now if you pay attention to polls, you are insane.

Yesterday, the polls showed a Bush surge. It never happened because they were basing it on thin air. There also were figures showing Kerry winning states like Ohio in the Midwest. They came up with the percentages without calling one cell phone of the millions and millions of them in the area. I believe nothing.

Everybody maintains that the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat. Nobody knows that. With a huge number of new registered voters, overwhelmingly of color, and young, and with 40 million using cell phones, the only thing going on in this election is how many times George Bush goes under before he drowns on Election Day. As he should. He is the worst president we have had, maybe ever.

Yesterday on the East Side of Manhattan, they counted 40,000 new registrations. You didn't need 10 of them, for this is a Kerry district, and state. But it showed the level of animosity toward Bush. I was at a book signing at Sarasota the other day, and 400 Democrats were there. A rare number. The next day, they raised $100,000 when Joe Biden appeared for Kerry. Over the last several weekends, groups have come down from Connecticut to go door to door for Kerry in Tampa. I saw cell phones everywhere.

The newspaper and television polls aren't worth glancing at. They are taken of people who have land lines, as your house phone is known. Many millions have cell phones and land lines both, and can be reached. But there are about 40 million between 18 and 29 who only use cell phones. They are heavily Democratic. The usual view is that they vote sparingly. This time, with the word "draft" in the air the young breathe, and with a general and intense dislike of Bush, the number should be higher than usual. Even if it is disappointing, the numbers are so huge to begin with that Kerry will be your president on a 917 vote.

Older people are Bush voters and they are deficient in making cell phone calls. When it buzzes, chimes or rings with an incoming call, they are breathless.

Yet the newspapers and television are running polls as if they are excerpts from textbooks at MIT. They are taken with 20th century methods for a 21st century political race. "Our scientific poll is based on interviews with 532 people, and has an error margin of 3 percent, one way or the other. Of course that makes 6 percent, but that's close enough for us."

They are lies by numbers. The reporters basing their coverage on these polls are lazy, unimaginative and irresponsible. That everything is based on an untruth could be the reason for the dreadful election coverage. What they write or say so often has nothing to do with the times in which they are supposed to live and report.

In the week ending Oct. 17, there were 23 American soldiers killed in Iraq. I saw no prominent mention anywhere. If there were 23 policemen killed in New York in a week, the city would shut down. If there were 23 police officers killed in the nation in a week, it would be a national calamity.

But the 23 dead American soldiers went virtually unmentioned. I watch the "Today" show and they say that now we are going to see all the good things happening in Iraq. Insanity.

I think common sense says that the issue of the campaign is the dead soldiers who are in Iraq because George Bush lied to get us into the war. Younger people might feel a little closer to a casket holding the young.

They talk on cell phones, and when they talk they say, "Where are you? Did you hear George Bush saying the jobs are improving? Where? And for how much? He is making this a $9-an-hour country. Did you hear his idea on Social Security? We can give it to a stock broker to steal. Did you hear him saying a word about the guys getting killed in Iraq? No. He wants to make like it never happens. So long. I'm going into the building, and I'm going to lose you."

homepage: homepage: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1021-28.htm
address: address: Long Island, NY Newsday via Common Dreams NewsCenter

thank you Jimmy B 21.Oct.2004 21:39

disgusted with the rest of the press

Whew! At least there's ONE reporter who writes the truth. I have never seen or heard so much blatant LYING as I have in the media. Personally... I think each newspaper, magazine, network, etc. should have their license taken away and criminal charges made against them. Since when is promoting obvious lies and propaganda legal? There's no question that the polls are lying but I believe it is done with an exacting intention not only to manipulate but to lay the groundwork for stealing the election.

When Kerry Rewards All These Young Folk... 21.Oct.2004 21:45

alsis38 alsis35@yahoo.com

...by sending them to Iraq and Iran, I hope Breslin is still incensed.

Scotty B. 21.Oct.2004 22:27

Errr...

I used to work for a polling agency, and the reasons that pollsters don't call cell phone numbers is because it's ILLEGAL because it cannot be done in a toll-free manner under the current telephone system. It's not that "nobody has their numbers" - phone numbers for polls are randomly generated by a computer program. It's that it's illegal to call them, because calling them would charge them money, and therefore be illegal. I mean, seriously, how many of you want to PAY to talk to a pollster for 20 minutes?

That's why cell phones can't currently be polled. It's not like it's a conspiracy.

"Errr..." 21.Oct.2004 23:02

ummm

who the fuck ANYWHERE on here said ANYTHING WHATSOEVER about "conspiracy" until YOU did, "Errr..."???!?

yes, quite obviously the reason pollsters DON'T CALL people on cellular telephones is because it's illegal to do so - we didn't require former pollster "Errr..." to inform us of that.

What Breslin was gisting/implying is that Pollmeisters have NO RELIABLE DATA on cell phone users' political leanings/favoritism for the upcoming election - because of the above-mentioned personal interview (predominantly done by telephone) access impediment.

To quote from above article: "A month ago, [most widely respected US political pollster] John Zogby said he had discontinued telephone polls because cell phones had made any and all results meaningless."

the numbers are there:

170 million cell phones -

1.5 million new ones, per month -

40 million used - exclusively, with no land phone line - by the 18 and 29 age bracket.

whether they are registering to vote now for the first time (in much greater numbers than during the 2000 election cycle, BTW) or whether they remain undecided / won't actually register until Nov. 2nd,

they remain a huge statistical wild card.

(btw, who the fuck is "Scotty B." ?)

SET UP PEOPLE'S COURTS 22.Oct.2004 12:00

Justice or hell ?

Community education and community security groups are of the utmost URGENCY. A People's court can be also set up in each community but citizens must be WELL INFORMED as to the facts and the corruption of the corporate government at the local and at the federal level. There will be attempts to buy the citizens out (with their own tax dollars, of course) but mecanisms can be set up to prevent this. Money must be made superfluous and barter return in communities setting up such courts.

It's becoming evident that barbarism is the culture of those who stole power. It is legitimate and moral for people to rebel and take back what is theirs: the resources of the land, the freedom and the sharing community spirit. Governments only exist because we want to exist. Corruption, greed,lies, state murder,propaganda should not be part of a truly democratic society. The people are SOVEREIGN!

This is an urgency as fascism (corrupt,barbaric capitalism) is raising its ugly head once again.