CNN and Opinion Research Corporation are the guilty parties. And of course you want to now who's ahead. Okay, voters. The frontrunner is (drum roll here) Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 34% of the sample leading his way. Second? You guessed it, the moose-shooter, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at 32%. And since the margin of error in the poll is 4.5 %, it's fair to say that they are in a statistical tie. CNN's Polling Director Keating Holland (a friend) notes that Palin does better among men and Huckabee among women. Huckabee leads among evangelicals and born agains; Palin, among other Republicans.
Oh yes, and other Republicans got votes: Mitt Romney, a candidate last time, 28%; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 27%; former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, 23%.
But that's not the point. The point is that this is absurd, silly and wrong. Nobody knows how many people will remember Sarah Palin four years from now--or any of them, come to that. New stars may deck the GOP heavens by then. Joe the Plumber may have a national organization. You just can't know.
I'm a believer in freedom of speech, the First Amendment, all that good stuff. But if Congress decided to ban 2012 polling until, say, 2011, I might burst into applause. I mean, wouldn't you?
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