Political Polls: This is Getting to be Ridiculous

Well this is just depressing: A third-party candidate for president was omitted from a presidential poll in North Carolina.

When I look at the two mainstream presidential candidates, I find that I have a hard time siding with either of them, so I am all for a third party coming in to shake up our political system and maybe work on behalf of the taxpayers instead of the political machine.

But that’s not the truly depressing part: Instead of asking a key voting state about all the candidates on the ballot (Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is indeed on the ballot in North Carolina), the poll from Public Policy Polling took the space and time to ask the question: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Honey Boo Boo?

Okay, for those of you who don’t have cable (that would be me), or don’t have time to tune into TLC (The Learning Channel, amusingly), Honey Boo Boo is apparently the nickname of a child pageant participant from Georgia (first seen on the channel’s "Toddlers & Tiaras" program), who has her very own show on TLC: "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."

As I have never seen the show myself and don’t want you to have to search for it, here is what I can find on the Internet: “Star” of the show, Alana Thompson, is a seven-year-old beauty pageant contestant. Her mother regularly feeds her a mixture of Red Bull and Mountain Dew, fondly called “Go Go Juice” just before her pageants. And, even though the family resides in America, a good portion of the show is subtitled, due to the slang and thick accents of its cast.

So, let me break it down for you one more time. Instead of asking 1,084 potential North Carolina voters between October 12 and 14 about their opinion of the only third-party presidential candidate on the ballot, Public Policy Polling instead asked about their opinion of a seven-year-old reality television star from a different state.

WHAT?

I am not a political expert, so while I’m sure there is some over-arching reason for asking such a silly question, it just gives me even less heart about our political system. I’m flabbergasted that this is what it has come down to these days.

At least 50% of those responders were “not sure” (47% “unfavorable and 3% “favorable”). Oh, and the poll had Republican Mitt Romney with a small lead in the state over President Barack Obama, in case you cared.

Though, had the third party candidate been included, who knows what the results might have been?

California License Plates for $ale

California lawmakers are considering a move that would allow the state to generate revenue by allowing advertising on their license plates. No doubt, some will say this is an ideal merging of the public and private sectors, while others may get the creeps about such a partnership. While the funding source may be unique, the concept really isn’t. Advertising on vehicles is nothing new. Think of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, or those Red Bull cars we see in downtown Indy … or that van promoting the re-election of Hill Valley Mayor Goldie Wilson.

Popsci reports:

Like an early, static version of Twitter, license plates have long allowed drivers to stamp a statement right onto their bumpers, as long as that statement is of extremely limited length. But lawmakers in California are deliberating a bill that would allow electronic license plates that would display advertisements and other messages when cars are not in motion, turning every car on the road into a moving billboard.

When cars are moving, the electronic registration would display the usual numbered and lettered identifier. But when parked or stopped for more than four seconds in traffic or at a red light, the plate would display anything from advertising messages to emergency information or Amber Alerts.

For the highly insolvent state of California, such ad-bearing devices could generate a good deal of revenue. For drivers, they could generate a whole new source of distraction on our already media-saturated roadways. But in heavily gridlocked places like California, it could provide a fast means to disseminate important information quickly and even provide emergency instructions to drivers who regularly deal with natural disasters like mudslides, wildfires, and earthquakes. And don’t worry, Los Angelenos: You’ll still be able to advertise your ride as “SMOKN” in between the paid messages.