Thomas Sowell

It may seem hardly worthwhile going to the polls to vote this election year, since ACORN and the media have already decided that Barack Obama is to be the next President of the United States.

Still, it may take more than voter fraud and media spin to put Senator Obama in the White House. Most public opinion polls show Obama ahead, but not usually by decisive margins, and sometimes by a difference within the margin of error.

There has been a history of various polls over the years projecting bigger votes for the Democrats' presidential candidate in October than that candidate actually gets in November.

Some of these polls seem like they are not trying to report facts but to create an impression. One poll has been reported as using a sample consisting of 280 Republicans and 420 Democrats. No wonder Obama leads in a poll like that.

Pollsters have to protect their reputations but they can do that by playing it straight on their last poll before election day, after having created an impression earlier that a landslide for the Democratic candidate was all but a done deal.

The general media bias is more blatant than usual this year.

There was more media outcry about Sarah Palin's response to "gotcha" questions than to Joe Biden's talking about President Franklin D. Roosevelt going on television in 1929 after the stock market crash-- at a time when FDR was not yet president and there was no television to go on.

An editor at Time magazine has admitted that there has been bias but expressed a desire in the future to be more fair to both sides. Just the fact that he expresses the issue this way shows that he still doesn't understand the real problem.

The point is not to be "fair" to "both sides." The point is to be straight with the readers, who are buying the magazine to learn something about the facts of the real world, not to learn about its reporters' ideology and spin.

There is another factor at work in this year's election that makes polls and predictions more unreliable than usual. That factor is race.

Barack Obama's string of victories in early Democratic primaries against far better known white candidates shows that large segments of the American population have moved beyond race.

It is Barack Obama and his supporters who have hyped race, after his large lead in the polls began to shrink or evaporate, as more of the facts about his checkered career came out.

Almost any criticism of Obama has been equated with racism, even if there is no connection that can be seen under a microscope.

Barack Obama himself started this trend when he warned that his opponents were going to try to scare the public with various charges, including a statement, "And did I say he was black?"

McCain said no such thing. Palin said no such thing. But those who support Obama-- and this includes much of the media-- are acting as if they just know that this is the underlying message.

Congressman John Lewis has likened Senator McCain to George Wallace. Congressman John Murtha has condemned a whole section of the state of Pennsylvania as "racists" because they seem reluctant to jump on the Obama bandwagon.

Senator Harry Reid has claimed that linking Obama to deposed and disgraced Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is racist, since they are both black-- as if the financial and political connection between the two does not exist.

Much is being made of the fact that, in past elections, some white voters who told pollsters that they are going to vote for a black candidate did not in fact do so, so that a black candidate with a lead in the polls ended up losing on election day.

This is supposed to show how much covert racism there is. It might instead show that people don't want to be considered racists by pollsters because they are leaning toward someone other than the black candidate.

In other words, the media themselves helped create the charged atmosphere in which some people give misleading answers to pollsters to avoid being stigmatized.

All in all, going into the voting booth this year is not an exercise in futility for those who don't want to be bum's rushed into voting for Obama by the media's picture of a done deal. If nothing else, genuine voters can offset some of the thousands of fictitious voters registered by ACORN.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate