Exit Poll Flashback

I’ve been following the Israeli election very closely, hoping that the electorate would wake up, smell the coffee, and vote Likud out. It didn’t happen obviously; in part because a personally unpopular Prime Minister waved the bloody shirt of racism. He barely bothered to dog whistle, making a direct appeal to people’s worst instincts. It worked depressingly well. It usually does, alas.

In the run up to the election, pundits assured us that the Israeli exit polls were accurate; certainly more so than the ones in the US & A. Josh Marshall had to walk that belief back earlier today. I get where it was coming from: Israelis vote for a party list of candidates, not for a specific MK. Perhaps that’s why past exit polls were passably accurate. 2015 didn’t quite turn out that way, so it conjured up images of our 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections.

Who among us can forget the way the networks played handball with the Florida results in 2000? Ping pong or boomerangs might be a better analogy but the exit polls got it wrong and the election wound up being decided by the Supremes.

In 2004, the exit polls leaked like a sieve and showed John Kerry as the victor. I avidly consumed them and was absolutely convinced that Big John had won. Holy letdown, Batman. I have never, ever placed any faith in exit polls since then. If the Israeli exit polls had been right, the two major blocs would be deadlocked and there would have been an outside chance of a non-Bibi led government. Instead, the world has to put up with that goniff’s mishigas.

Back to 2004, while sifting through my archives I stumbled on this 2007 post called The Night I Kinda Sorta Met The Canal Street Madam:

How’s that for a teaser? And no I did not frequent her bordello. Get your minds out of the gutter folks. And that means you blondie.

T’was the night before the 2004 Presidential Election. Dr. A and I joined a group of friends,  Romans and countrymen at the corner of Napoleon and Magazine to wave Kerry-Edwards signs and encourage people to vote out the dolt. We all know how that turned out.

At one point I was on the neutral ground across the street from Miss Mae’s bar. There was a tall brunette who a tabloid writer would call statuesque. I suspect that Ashley or Ray would call her something else. Anyway I chatted with her for a few minutes about how horrible Bush was and I predicted that Kerry would win. We all know how that turned out too.
 
A few minutes later someone (I can’t recall who but it might have been Bob, Cookie Tom,  Julie or Jen) said to me: “Did you realize who you were talking to?”

“Nope. But she looked kinda familiar.”

“It was the Canal Street Madam.”

Since, I have the 2004 campaign on my mind, I’ll give Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty the last word:

 

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