September 30th, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Letters to the President: #619 'Striking while the iron is hot'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama is campaigning for Democratic candidates around the country in hopes of staving off big congressional losses in November. I’m wondering, however, if in this climate it might be a shade premature.

Dear Mr. President,

Do you think all of the polls about the upcoming vote really mean anything right now? Because I really feel like they don’t.

Sure, there are some candidates with such commanding leads, they’ll hold onto their seats unless they’re caught holding onto someone else’s, if you know what I mean. But so many other races seem so much in flux, who the heck knows what will happen?

We’ve already gone over the problems. The voters’ dislike of your party is only matched by their distaste for the other one. Faith in government is in the toilet, optimism is rarer than a 49er’s victory, and all the “Yes, We Can” chanting has been replaced by a muttering chorus of job seekers humming Fast Car.

That’s why the polls are popping up and down like a Dick Cheney heart monitor. I’m convinced that in a lot of places people are so skeptical that this vote will produce a positive change that when pollsters call, they give one answer one day, then a different one the next, and on and on it goes.

So what to do about it? Well, I’ve seen this situation before and in terms of the election itself, the answer lies in a single word: Patience. Unless either side has a ridiculous amount of money to spend every day from now until the vote, the goal is to keep expenses down while keeping the situation just generally close, and then pour it on in the final ten days. That’s it.

After all, when people can’t make up their minds or keep changing them, neither party has much to gain by winning them over early. On the other hand, when your party is getting pushed around a bit, maybe you better grab any edge you can when you can, eh? Who knows?

Got to go. Things to do. Mañana


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    I like this suggestion – not only would it save money in the campaign but it would reduce noise pollution on the tv and radio and unsightly signs and billboards. This is one piece of advice I hope they follow....

    September 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  2. madderkayne

    this is not about anything you have reported on, but i found an oddity on Google sky that i thought with your tools as a reporter that i thought you might help get an answer to.
    If you plug in the coordinates
    5h53m27s -6 10'58 there is a large black box in the stars. I thought at first it might just be something wrong with the program itself until I zoomed in close to the little icon toward the bottom of it and there is the lower half of a shining star as if someone intentionally cropped out the image. It's the only place in google sky that does this. I would like to know why.
    I understand you're a busy person and have alot to do but in your spare time check this out and if you think you can get an answer on this I'd apprecieate it

    September 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  3. Boomer in Mo

    The only poll that matters is the election. I usually lie to pollsters when they call because I'm ticked off that they called me. Most Americans are in the middle, either slightly left or slightly right, so I think on Nov. 2 they will be looking at the individual candidates and voting for the one they believe matches their views the best. Election night results will be all over the place is my prediction.

    September 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm |