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I know I already mentioned the piece ran a couple of days ago, but the amended version that ran is a bit different from what I originally had in mind, so I decided to post it here just to say I let it out somewhere.

And away it goes:

Some of the American public has spoken and the results suggest that both Barack Obama and John McCain face additional bumps on the road to the White House.

As millions of conflicted Americans compare the presidential contenders, two new polls released by the Associated Press highlight major weaknesses in each of the candidate’s efforts to sway undecided voters.

For presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, his reputation as a “maverick” doesn’t appear to resonate as well with people outside of the D.C. Beltway as previously believed.

When asked to name which candidate reminds you more of the person you hated most in high school, an AP-Yahoo News poll found that embittered ex-high schoolers favor Obama 52 percent to 38 percent.

“McCain just seems like the jackass who pissed everyone off all the time. I’m not voting for anyone that reminds me of the person that used to taunt or annoy me,” said Brian Myers, 39, of Minneapolis, Minn.

The majority of the 1,548 adults polled described Obama as “prom king” and “likable,” while McCain was viewed as a “bully” and “irritable.”

“I think it’s important that we have someone used to being popular representing us in the world. It shows those abroad that we still want to be liked. Who knows, maybe it can lead to lower gas prices,” argued Nicole Ball, 44 of Atlanta, Georgia.

Although Obama’s persona is seen as an asset in some areas, a separate poll hints at Obama’s remaining troubles with certain blocs of Americans. In a poll prompting voters to answer which candidate would they let eat off their plates, McCain topped the Democratic candidate 58 to 42 percent. Results show that many voters are more knowledgeable of McCain, making him seem easier to appease.

“I don’t know what this arugula is, but I got an email saying that’s all Barack Obama eats so he’s probably too fancy to want anything from my kitchen. Why can’t he just eat a burger or some other food that’s easier to spell and pronounce?” said Monica Maynard, 60, of Charleston, South Carolina.

“Do Muslims even eat BBQ? If so, I’d be glad to toss him a rib, he looks like he needs one anyway,” said Keith Norton, 53, of Silver Spring, Maryland.

Pollsters argue the survey illustrates how Obama’s lingering unfamiliarity with much of the American public is spurring resistance among undeclared voters to support his campaign.

I imagine if I took a poll of this piece so far, an overwhelming majority would think I was out of my mind. Before you start writing nasty comments ranging from, “Who is this fool?” to “This is proof that not every root should grow!” let me tell you: These fake polls and quotes of my own creation are no are no less ridiculous than the real ones currently circulating.

Like a recent AP-Yahoo News poll that found that pet owners favor McCain over Obama 42 percent to 37 percent. The two joint news outlets felt compelled to spend ten days asking 1,759 adults how pet ownership influences their vote. Apparently the political wisdom in dog lovers and cat people should not go unacknowledged. Janet Taylor told surveyors, “I think a person who owns a pet is a more compassionate person – caring, giving, trustworthy. I like pet owners.”

Does the fate of this country tinge on which candidate Velma feels loves Scooby and Scrappy more?

Or will the deciding factor be who voters prefer having over for a BBQ? Or maybe it’s going to all come down to which prospective presidential spouse we like better? Both topics were the subjects of two additional polls released in recent weeks.

President Bush will leave the country with the largest deficit in history, there is still no word on troop withdrawals in Iraq in sight despite evidence of rising violence in Afghanistan, and we have an energy crisis that continues to burden average Americans. Yet much of the political discussion has been limited to the spending habits of Cindy McCain, the college thesis of Michelle Obama, who is too black, who is too old, and the all the too important question, “Who would you rather have a beer with?”

We could ask the candidates to touch on the BBC’s report that China is fueling the war in Sudan, but that might interfere with the debate over inappropriate illustrations, or our collective preparation for the swooning of Angelina’s new baby pictures. Covering substantive issues would also distract the media from using polls to make new and interesting discoveries like Barack Obama’s candidacy not bridging the gap between whites and Blacks, or that Hispanic voters don’t hate all Black people.

The most honest poll I’ve seen this election came from “fake news organization,” The Onion. Their poll asked, “What’s the most important issue to 2008 voters?” The answer?


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