Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Political Talk Here

The elections will be here in a week, and everybody wants to talk about that. On the other hand, this web site does have a kind of theme that we stick with, we tend to talk about general issues having to do with sexual minorities and topics dealing with the culture wars, especially as they affect our community in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the nearby Washington area.

It turns out, no matter what topic I post, somebody ends up throwing a bunch of poll numbers in the comments, and people started arguing about who's the better candidate, and people who want to discuss the topic at hand -- for instance, we might want to discuss the pros and cons of PFOX-GAG, or the implications of the new research on the genetics of transsexuals -- get drowned out.

So let me start posting a daily, or whenever-I-can, discussion topic for the political stuff. TTF doesn't advocate a party or candidate, but our readers can say whatever they want in the comments. So for the next week or so I'll post an arbitrary topic and political discussions can go there. If I post something "on-topic" and people put irrelevant political comments under them, I'll just delete them. I will clearly mark open threads in the title.

Please use this post for political talk and related matters. The delete rule goes into effect in a few minutes. Move your other discussions here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The genetic was nothing new or earth-shaking. Everyone has always agreed their is a genetic influence on sexual preference. The only question is whether the influence is determinative.

October 28, 2008 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong topic, once again, AnonBigot.

BTW-- "their" is a possessive adjective and "there" is used as an auxiliary verb as well as an adverb. It is also generally used to state that something "exists".

You meant to say, "there is a genetic influence...", not "their is a genetic influence...".

October 28, 2008 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how you think deviance is genetic but don't realize that you're rudeness isn't!

October 29, 2008 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trend is clear:

McCain Support Continues Downward Spiral

Obama Leads by 19 Among Those Who Have Already Voted

Barack Obama leads John McCain by a 52% to 36% margin in Pew’s latest nationwide survey of 1,325 registered voters. This is the fourth consecutive survey that has found support for the Republican candidate edging down. In contrast, since early October weekly Pew surveys have shown about the same number of respondents saying they back Obama. When the sample is narrowed to those most likely to vote, Obama leads by 53% to 38%.

A breakdown of voting intentions by demographic groups shows that since mid- September, McCain’s support has declined significantly across most voting blocs. Currently, McCain holds a statistically significant advantage only among white evangelical Protestants (aside from Republicans). In addition, Obama runs nearly even with McCain in the so-called red states, all of which George W. Bush won in 2004.

Just as ominous for the Republican candidate, Obama holds a 53% to 34% lead among the sizable minority of voters (15%) who say they have already voted. Among those who plan to vote early but have not yet voted (16% of voters), 56% support Obama, while 37% support McCain.

While Obama’s support levels have not increased much in recent weeks, a growing percentage of his backers now say they support him strongly. Currently, 74% of Obama voters say they support him strongly, up from 65% in mid-September. A much smaller majority of McCain backers (56%) say they support him strongly, which is largely unchanged from mid-September.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 23-26 among 1,500 adults interviewed on landline and cell phones, for the first time includes minor-party candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr. Few voters support either candidate, and their inclusion does not substantially affect the margins of support in the Obama-McCain race.

The survey finds that the proportion of Americans who disapprove of Bush’s job performance has hit a new high in a Pew survey (70%); just 22% now approve of the way Bush is handling his job. Since January, when Bush’s job rating was already quite low, at 31%, his approval mark has declined by nine points.

As disapproval of President Bush’s job performance has edged upward, fewer voters say that McCain would take the country in a different direction from Bush’s. Currently, more voters say McCain would continue Bush’s policies than say he would take the country in a different direction (47% vs. 40%). Just a week ago (Oct. 16-19), voters were divided over whether McCain would continue Bush’s policies or not (44% continue, 45% take new direction).

Favorable ratings for the Republican Party, which rose sharply following the party’s convention in early September, have declined to about their previous levels. Currently, 50% say they have an unfavorable opinion of the GOP, while 40% express a favorable opinion of the party; in mid-September, about as many had a favorable opinion of the Republican Party as an unfavorable one (47% favorable vs. 46% unfavorable).

By contrast, a solid majority (57%) continues to express a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, while 33% have an unfavorable impression. Majorities have expressed positive opinions of the Democratic Party for the past two years (since October 2006)...

October 29, 2008 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

State Polls

Colorado, Obama +8.3
Ohio, Obama +6.3
Florida, Obama +3.4
Nevada, Obama +7.5
Missouri, Obama +0.6
North Carolina, Obama +1.3
Virginia, Obama +7.4
Pennsylviania, Obama +10.7
New Hampshire, Obama =12.6
Indiana, Obama +1.4
New Mexico, Obama +8.4
Minnesota, Obama +11.3
Wisconsin, Obama +10.6
Iowa, Obama +11.4
Michigan, Obama +17.0

October 29, 2008 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon posted:

“The genetic (sic) was nothing new or earth-shaking. Everyone has always agreed their (sic) is a genetic influence on sexual preference. The only question is whether the influence is determinative.”

Jim’s post was titled “Gene for Transsexuality Found,” not “Gene for Homosexuality Found.” I realize these terms are easy to confuse because they are both big words that include “sexuality” in them, but stick with me a minute here. It is made even more complicated by the fact that “transsexuality” is a misnomer, and what it really is referring to has to do with matching one’s gender identity (in the mind) with one’s physical body – not really “sexuality” (i.e. who one sleeps with) as most people think of it. This is why the term “transgender” has become more common in modern usage – it tries to more accurately reflect the fact that gender is orthogonal from sexuality.

A large percentage (25% is often quoted in literature that I’ve seen) of transsexuals are actually asexual (i.e. they don’t have sex). (Doesn’t it seem idiomatically odd that one can be both a TRANSsexual and an Asexual at the same time? Again, another reason for using “transgender” for better clarity.) Other transsexuals are heterosexual, a number are homosexual, and some are bi-sexual. Of course how you define “heterosexual” or “homosexual” with regard to a transsexual is a bit problematic as well. It probably depends on how you view their surgery, and if they’ve had it or not. Or, perhaps is a the only true homosexual transsexual one that sleeps with other transsexuals that have gone the same direction? What if a pre-op transsexual sleeps with a post-op transsexual? What if one of them is MTF and the other FTM? I don’t think the English language has yet developed terms for all of these potential permutations. Of course, for some posters here (with the initial “A”) these subtleties are irrelevant – they would all be called (all together now class!) “sexual deviants.”

Being transsexual has nothing to do with one’s “sexual preference.” If that were the case, there would be no need to go through all the expensive surgeries to get the body in the right form – you’d just sleep with whoever you want to – much like many hetero- and homosexuals do already – whether they are married or not.

In summary, to keep it simple, one can think of it like this:

Gender is between the ears.
Genitals are between the legs.
Sex is between the sheets.

If you keep these things it mind, it’s bit easier to follow along with the terminology, and the topic.

Have a nice day,


October 29, 2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, NO poll released today or yesterday shows Obama's lead increasing and several show it declining. McCain is gaining momentum at the right time and finding a way to bypass the media, who have abandoned journalistic professionalism this election year. Regardless of turnout, their role in this election will be analyzed for years to come. Newspapers and network news were already declining. This may be their last gasp. Sad.

Here's the margin of Obama's lead in polls released yesterday and today:


average 4.5.

October 29, 2008 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally use the term transexual. Regina and CWA seem to have a love affair with the term cross-dresser.

In the same way, I don't care for the word 'homosexual'. Gay and Lesbian work fine for me. I kind of wish someone would come up with an alternative to 'bisexual.'

A trend in youth is to refer to the terms 'trisexual' and 'pansexual'.


October 29, 2008 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Released approximately 6.5 hours ago:

Obama ahead or tied in 8 battleground states including 4 states Bush carried in 2004

BY RON FOURNIER and TREVOR TOMPSON | Associated Press Writers

7:12 AM EDT, October 29, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Barack Obama now leads in four states won by President Bush in 2004 and is essentially tied with John McCain in two other Republican red states, according to new AP-GfK battleground polling.

The results help explain why the Democrat is pressing his money and manpower advantages in a slew of traditionally GOP states, hoping not just for a win but a transcendent victory that remakes the nation's political map. McCain is scrambling to defend states where he wouldn't even be campaigning if the race were closer.

Less than a week before Election Day, the AP-GfK polls show Obama winning among early voters, favored on almost every issue, benefiting from the country's sour mood and widely viewed as the winning candidate by voters in eight crucial states — Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

"If you believe in miracles," said GOP consultant Joe Gaylord of Arlington, Va., "you still believe in McCain."

Despite a mounting chorus of Republicans predicting their nominee's demise, McCain aides insist their internal surveys show victory is still within reach.

Indeed, polls are mere snapshots of highly fluid campaigns, and this race has been unusually volatile. McCain was written off prematurely last year, and Obama seemed poised for victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary just before Hillary Rodham Clinton thumped him.

Even this close to Election Day, racial tensions and the numbers of late-deciding voters identified by the AP-GfK polling leave room for doubt. But the surveys confirm what McCain aides acknowledge privately — their chances of winning are low.

The polling shows Obama holding solid leads in Ohio (7 percentage points), Nevada (12 points), Colorado (9) and Virginia (7), all red states won by Bush that collectively offer 47 electoral votes. Sweeping those four — or putting together the right combination of two or three — would almost certainly make Obama president.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House. Obama can earn 252 by merely reclaiming states won by John Kerry in 2004. There are only two Kerry states still in contention — Pennsylvania with 21 votes and New Hampshire with four — and AP-GfK polls show Obama leading both by double digits.

Ohio alone has 20 electoral votes. Nevada has 5, Colorado 9 and Virginia 13.

In addition, Obama is tied with McCain in North Carolina and Florida, according to the AP-GfK polling, two vote-rich states Bush carried in 2004. Obama is throwing his time and money into the Sunshine State, which has 27 votes, part of a strategy to create many routes to victory and push toward a landslide of 300 or more electoral votes. North Carolina has 15 votes.

Independent polling suggests that New Mexico and Iowa, two traditionally GOP states, are out of reach for McCain. Other red states may be creeping away from him and into contention, including Montana.

The bottom line: McCain must overtake Obama in the many red states where he is trailing or tied — a tall order. Or he needs to gain some breathing room by winning Pennsylvania, where he trails by 12 percentage points, according to the AP-GfK poll.

Many of his own supporters say the race is all but over.

"I get the sense it's shutting down," said Tom Rath, a GOP consultant in New Hampshire where McCain trails by 18 points.

He added, "Where there's a week, there's hope."

A couple of factors might cut McCain's way.

First, there are still a good number of voters are open to changing their minds — from as low as 4 percent in Nevada to 14 percent in New Hampshire.

Second, the impact of race is a hard-to-measure factor as Obama seeks to become the nation's first black president.

In three states — North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania — the number of white Democrats who said the word "violent" described most blacks hit double digits in the polling.

In those same states, Obama was having trouble winning over white Democrats — 20 percent of them in North Carolina said they were voting for McCain; 12 percent in Florida and 8 percent in Pennsylvania.

A senior GOP aide in Congress, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid angering his presidential nominee, said McCain's advisers are being asked by some Republican leaders to focus the candidate's travel on states with close Senate races — essentially abandoning his White House ambitions to help re-elect GOP senators.

But it's Obama who may have coattails. Democrats lead the Senate races in Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia, according to AP-GfK polls. In North Carolina, GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole is essentially tied with state Sen. Kay Hagan.

In all four of those Senate races, the Democratic candidate leads among early voters, a sign of a strong ground game driven by the top of the ticket. Obama easily outpaces McCain among early voters, holding about a 2-1 advantage in six of the states.

Obama is favored on almost every issue in every state, the polling says:

—Voters in all eight states gave him the highest marks on whom they trust to fix the economy and improve health care.

—Even on the question of "who would make the right decision about national security," typically a strong suit for McCain, Obama holds a slight lead in Nevada and is running even against his GOP rival in Colorado, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

—By large margins, voters in each of the eight states consider Obama the likely winner Tuesday.

—Voters in each state believe McCain has run a far more negative campaign.

The political landscape tilts against McCain. Just 8 percent of voters in New Hampshire think the country is headed in the right direction. Three-quarters of voters in Pennsylvania disapprove of Bush's job performance. Nine in 10 voters in North Carolina are worried about the economy.

"People will vote for change, and Barack Obama represents that change," said Gaylord, the GOP consultant in Virginia. Speaking of McCain, he said: "And try as he will — and he has — to be the candidate of change, he could not. He could not overcome the weight of George Bush's failed policies."

The AP-GfK Battleground State Poll was conducted from Oct. 22-26 in eight states. It involved interviews by landline telephone with likely voters in each state, ranging from 600 in Florida and New Hampshire to 628 in Nevada. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.9 percentage points in Colorado and Nevada, and 4 points in the other states.

October 29, 2008 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karl Rove reports

Election 2008: State of the Race

National polls have started to show the presidential race tightening, but 66 state polls released so far this week haven’t captured any significant movement toward John McCain. In fact, since Sunday, Nevada (5 EV) has flipped from toss-up to Obama, giving him 311 electoral votes to McCain’s 157, with 70 as a toss-up. McCain still needs to pick up all of the current toss-up states—which all went for Bush in both 2000 and 2004—and peel off several large states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia from Obama.

October 29, 2008 1:51 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

If you check the early voting, which at this time is probably 10% of the total, this is setting up to be a landslide. Obama is leading by roughly 20%, and is even ahead in Georgia. Mississippi is now considered a possibility, along with Arizona.

October 29, 2008 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
The last para is the most important- about papers who endorsed Bush in 2004 who now endorse Obama or will not endorse this year.

From Editor and Publisher

NEW YORK (Updated Wednesday) We're in the homestretch! And the Obama-Biden ticket maintains its strong lead in the race for daily newspaper endorsements, while splitting with McCain-Palin the most recent 18 papers to make our list. The Democratic team now leads by 231 to 102, a better than 2-1 margin and an even wider spread in the circulation of those papers -- see full tally below as of today. The circulation of the Obama-backing papers stands at over 21 million, compared with McCain's 7 million.

Obama's lopsided margin, including most of the major papers that have decided so far, is in stark contrast to John Kerry barely edging George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004 by 213 to 205

At least 46 papers have now switched to Obama from Bush in 2004, with just four flipping to McCain (see separate story on our site). In addition, several top papers that went for Bush in 2004 have now chosen not to endorse this year, the latest being the Indianapolis Star in key swing state Indiana

October 29, 2008 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean the media favors Obama?

who saw that coming?

October 29, 2008 10:54 PM  

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