Television is not so much interested in the business of communications as in the business of delivering audiences to advertisers. People are the merchandise, not the shows. The shows are merely the bait. That's how former Ohio Rep. Les Brown put it. And he was dead right and on the doggone money. In today's media-driven world the United States Presidential Elections is the show, and the national polls, conducted by these media houses, are the bait -- and switch.
So, maybe it was a slow news cycle after the recent Labor Day. Or maybe the mainstream media salivating over the billions of dollars still lying around in this US Presidential Election cycle just could not help themselves. When CNN announced that its latest polls showed the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a "virtual dead heat" and that both we "tied" if the elections were held that day, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, went berserk and into an acute state of panic. People were glued to TV screens to see if they were any answers to the question: "how did this happen?"
Indeed, the very picture, or nightmare, conjured up by these poll numbers, of a President Trump in the White House, sent many a Hillary Clinton supporter reflexively rushing into the nearest restroom suffering an immediate and acute attack of panic diarrhea and nausea. That the corporate news networks routinely do this EVERY presidential election cycle in modern times still do not make these spontaneous stomach attacks and reactions any easier.
Swooping down from its hidden orifices in the opaque clouds, the clawing, hacking Trumpite bird of prey came flashing into the public optical sphere and consciousness with a two-point lead over Hillary Clinton. People cried, I believe, others shuddered involuntarily, and political pundits and media-created talkocracy, searched the far recesses of their collective and feeble brains for answers to this astounding and baffling "new news" development. They went on national television, affecting an air of sagely know-it-all, offering all manner of grim forebodings, political doomsday scenarios, and "what ifs" to an already malleable, "softened and receptive" populace.
Ah, the American corporate media and its legion of gullible believers. My reaction? Really? Where the hell did this come from all of a sudden? CNN and a carefully selected "polling" outfit came up with these "results" and presented them to the American people as "proof" that an enabled Donald Trump was "winning." But who or what is Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) the polling organization that CNN singled out for partnering with to come up with these astounding poll results? First, ORC is a demographic, health, and Market Research company based in New Jersey. Second, The company's expertise is focused in the areas of consumer engagement strategies, market planning & development, employee engagement, corporate brand & reputation management, competitive intelligence and, on-demand business intelligence. [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_Research_Corporation]
Today, no matter which media news outlet is doing it, national polls are the modern political versions of "Nightmare on Elm Street." They are designed to induce shock, fear, and TV ratings that drive super-profits and revenues. So you poor suffering sods continue to hang on to every "recent poll" and experience the same panic, the same rush to the bathroom, and the same reflex action to regurgitate -- time after time. When will you ever learn? So, am I saying that these polls are deliberately fabricated, skewered? Is simply a corporate media invention to drive more advertising dollars to their greedy coffers? Yep, you're darn right I am. My proof? Let's examine the political math.
First, the math is about and based on the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and the number of votes needed to win the presidency of the United States. That number is 270. Second, let's do a Jeopardy! Session: ELECTORAL COLLEGE & US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS for $1,000. When each American voter casts a vote for a single candidate in which the candidate with the most votes wins, then the election procedure is called plurality rule. Many people in the United States think of plurality rule when they think about voting, because they cast a vote for a single candidate in many of the governmental elections, including the U.S. presidential election. But, the election for U.S. president is more complicated than plurality rule, as a candidate becomes the next president of the United States when he or she wins a majority, or 270 of the 538 electoral votes.
For starters, each state in the Union is assigned a number of electoral votes according to its population. The number of electoral votes is set at 538. Each state receives one electoral vote for the number of members it has in the US House of Representatives; this accounts for 435 of the 538 electoral votes. The number of representatives of a state is determined through apportionment that is a function of the U.S. Census population for the state. Accordingly, each state receives one electoral vote for each of its members of the Senate; this accounts for 100 electoral votes, as each state has two senators.
Finally, the District of Columbia has three electoral votes (as granted by the 23rd Amendment). In 48 of the 50 states and in the District of Columbia, the candidate who receives the most votes from its voters -- the plurality winner -- wins all of the electoral votes from that state. The two exceptions are Nebraska and Maine that do not use a winner-take-all system. Instead, these states allow for a split among the electoral votes according to the number of votes each candidate receives and how the votes are distributed.
Now on to the math based NOT on so called Republican "red states" or Democratic "blue states" -- so called safe states -- but on where the elections will be determined -- battleground or as I like to call them "swing states." So no matter what the CNN/ORC poll claims, on a national level the reality is that these polls account for diddley squat. The REAL place where Americans should be focused 60- days to November 8 is on these swing/battleground states.
Let me offer an objective and blunt electoral cautionary tale: Donald Trump, CNN/ ORC et all, could manufacture poll numbers, jigger results, and so everything to confuse and divide American voters but unless he wins Florida AND Pennsylvania he has NO PATH to the 270 Electoral College votes necessary and needed to win the White House.
That said, the followings is where Hillary Clinton leads (conservatively) in the polls (percentage points) against Donald Trump and her projected standing in terms of numbers in the Electoral College Vote (ECV):
Colorado: +4% = 9 ECV
Florida: +2% = 29 ECV
Michigan: +5% = 16 ECV
Minnesota: +5% = 10 ECV