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Jerry Davich: Our presidential vote may not matter, but ...

 | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

| Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 5, 2012 6:17AM



The red-hot, neck-and-neck presidential race is all that region residents and registered voters are talking about with Election Day just two days away.

You hear it in grocery store lines, at barber shops, on social media, and in most letters to the editor in newspapers. “Obama is a lying socialist,” “Romney is an elitist fat cat,” you know the polarized stereotyping.

Sure, it’s a great thing that we’re once again engaged, if not enraged, with the political process because Americans typically cast their ballots for the most popular incumbents of our democratic system: Apathy, laziness and the status quo.

But, I contend, the heated campaign between President Barack Obama and his GOP challenger Mitt Romney is the one political race that should matter least to Northwest Indiana voters. Here’s why.

In 1960, nearly half of all states were so-called battleground states, collectively comprised of more than 300 electoral votes, according to the political watchdog organization FairVote (www.fairvote.org).

Flash forward to 2004 and just 13 battleground states were crucial to that presidential race with less than half the amount of those electoral votes.

This election year, only a handful of battleground states really matter in the national picture. As you know by now, Indiana is not on the list.

Hoosiers are expected to vote in favor of Romney, following our “red state” reputation since 1940 of backing Republican presidential candidates. (Only twice since then has this not happened — in 1964 and 2008.)

Obama and Romney seem to be running for president of the Battleground States of America, including Ohio, predicted to be the key swing state in this year’s election.

That’s why Buckeyes have been catered to by both candidates and Hoosiers have been treated like the country’s red-haired stepchild. In other words, like Northwest Indiana.

In other words, it’s doubtful our votes matter for the most important Election Day race in our country. Sad but true.

Making matters worse, the defective and antiquated Electoral College essentially negates our voting muscle, statistically speaking. Again, sad but true.

In most every other election in our land, collecting the most “popular votes” equates to winning the race. It’s simple. It’s fair. And it seems a no-brainer. Not so, however, with the weightiest election in this nation. (Remember Al Gore losing the 2000 election to George W. Bush even though Gore won the popular vote?)

Without confusing you (or me) with the dusty laws and complex mechanics behind the Electoral College, it’s fair to say that it, too, will render our popular votes useless in Tuesday’s presidential election. 

So, you wonder, why should region voters even go to the polls on Election Day, beyond patriotic duty and personal satisfaction? To decide the fate of all the less familiar but much more important public office races that affect our daily lives.

Indiana governor. U.S. Senator. U.S. Congressman. State representative. County commissioner. County council. School board member. The list goes on.

Talk all you want about presidential politics — it’s the thing to do these days — but it’s local politics that should grab us by the collar, yank us off our sofa and drag us into a polling place to cast our ballot.

Tuesday is put-up or shut-up day, not only for the candidates but also for us.

The ‘Redskins Rule’

Are you aware of the “Redskins Rule”? It’s a remarkably accurate statistical rule that says if the NFL’s Washington Redskins win their last home game played before the presidential election, the incumbent, President Obama, will be victorious on Tuesday.

If the ’Skins lose that game, which is played today against the Carolina Panthers (who lost last week to the Bears), Obama will lose and Romney will win. Don’t laugh. The rule has proved right for 17 of 18 election years, with 2004 as the lone exception.

Psssstt ... Obama supporters

Here is a helpful, easy-to-understand website — especially for Obama supporters — that may help explain the complex Romney-Ryan tax plan if they get into office.

Check out www.romneytaxplan.com and simply click on “Get the Details.” It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Psssstt ... Romney supporters

If you need any more reason to vote against Obama, check out “2016: Obama’s America,” the hit documentary based on the best-selling book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” by right-wing author Dinesh D’Souza. I’m not saying everything in it is factual, or fair, or even sane, but it will surely confirm any radical suspicions of our president.

Still undecided?

If you’re still on the fence regarding any election — something I simply can’t understand at this point in the game — you can find more information about all the candidates at www.vote411.org. There, you can punch in your address and ZIP code to find a list of elections at all levels.

‘I believe ... ’

After meeting dozens of local candidates the past year, I wonder what’s more valuable in any candidate — brains or integrity? Connections or commitment? Looks or likability? I tend to vote for the latter in each race.

We are the employer seeking worthy employees. And political candidates are just that, job candidates paid through our bankroll. Simply put, all candidates are trying to sell themselves to us to get hired or rehired.

During this ongoing job interview with candidates and incumbents alike, one key trait always stands out to me. Most of them often say “I believe” in support of various issues, stances or platforms.

What a coincidence. This is exactly what many of us voters are looking for in them, a simple reason to believe.

Find more of Jerry’s writings on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and jerrydavich.wordpress.com.



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