Over the next several weeks, we will be flooded with campaign-funded polls.
Mostly, we will ignore them. And today we see the reason why.
Congressional candidate Debbie Halvorson released a poll today showing her up by 8 percentage points in her bid to turn the red 11th District in the south suburbs blue.
But wait ... her opponent, construction giant Martin Ozinga, put out a poll saying he is down by only 2 percentage points.
Of course, if these campaigns got poll results that weren't too flattering, we wouldn't be hearing about them.
That is one clear reason we always must view them skeptically. Not only are they used to influence the media, they are also used to convince donors to cough up cash and national organizations to pitch in foot soliders and ads.
1. Dallas Cowboys (3-0): The RB tandem of Marion Barber and rookie Felix Jones may be the best in the game. They combined for 218 rushing yards last week and they've help make the Cowboys the NFC's highest scoring team. Last week: 1.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1): Bad news for Bears. Not only can they light up the scoreboard, they proved last week that they could play dominating defense, getting 9 sacks with a relentless rush and allowing just 180 yards vs. the Steelers. Last week: 2.
3. Tennessee Titans (3-0): Jeff Fisher's team is allowing less than 10 points per game, and they look to be better off with veteran Kerry Collins replacing erratic and immature Vince Young at quarterback. Last week: 7.
The seventh season of "Dancing with the Stars" premiered on ABC tonight, and it was thoroughly entertaining. A few thoughts about the new cast:
At this point, I'm rooting for Misty May-Treanor (partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, a.k.a. Mr. Hot Pants), Susan Lucci (partnered with Tony Dovolani) and Lance Bass (partnered with Lacey Schwimmer). I am a big fan of Misty's, and of course Maks is super hot, so they have my vote! I've adored Susan Lucci for years and will keep voting for her, even though her first dance wasn't too impressive. As for Lance Bass, I had no idea I'd be rooting for him, but he did a great job tonight, and his dance partner is awesome! She is my new favorite part of the show.
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher wasn't in a gracious mood after Sunday's game when asked whether former teammate Brian Griese's knowledge of the Bears' defense helped him complete 38 passes for 407 yards in the Bucs' 27-24 overtime victory.
“Well, he knew it well enough to throw three picks to us,” Urlacher said. “It should have been four. But they won the game, so he did a good enough job for them to beat us.”
Lou has juggled the rotation slightly for the Mets series this week. Sean Marshall will pitich tomorrow night instead of Rich Harden, who goes Thursday instead. Carlos Zambrano will pitch Wednesday as scheduled. Lou says Harden is fine and that he foresees no limits on him Thursday.
The interesting question is whether Big Z pitches Game 1 of the NLDS next Wednesday. Lou wouldn't say. He said only that he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild will set the rotation this weekend in Milwaukee.
If anyone has paid attention to my college bleatings over the years, then you've noticed I love to use computer rankings to abet (no pun intended) my coverage.
In particular, I like to use Jeff Sagarin's rankings because they're the most mathematically sane. Since the 2008 season is just four weeks old, though, Sagarin's ratings are still "Bayesian." That is, since there hasn't been enough games to connect all of the Division I teams together in a statistically significant way, there's still some subjective "noise" in Sagarin's system.
As third-year Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald grows increasingly comfortable in his job -- and his team wins an increasing percentage of its games -- "Fitz" becomes more willing to go off-message and crack wise during his Monday news conferences.
And so it was today as we discussed injuries, Iowa and all sorts of things. This might not be the best example of Fitzgerald's increased jocularity -- a better one might be when he recalled how Northwestern would occasionally win "150-149" when he was linebackers coach -- but here's a deadpan exchange after Fitzgerald used just one word ("Good") to describe the sprained fingers on QB C.J. Bacher's throwing hand.
Obama is stopping in Chicago tonight for a set of fundraisers, one of which is being thrown by his hoops buddy, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
The quick stop to fill up on greenbacks comes after Obama held a rally in swing state Wisconsin to unveil a plan to reform the "greed and excesses" of Washington.
The Giannoulias event is also being hosted by "Greek Americans for Obama" at the Powerhouse Restaurant and Bar in downtown Chicago. It has a $28,500 entrance fee.
The second event at Chicago's Standard Club is reportedly cheaper at $1,500.
Don't be fooled by the high totals Obama is raking in. Illinois junior senator seems to really need the cash.
This just in ...
From a news release from the governor's office ...
Governor Blagojevich Calls Special Session to Help Children with Autism Access Healthcare Coverage
Special Session marks the Governor’s Third Attempt since Spring Session to Provide Healthcare Options for Children with Autism
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called a second special session of the General Assembly for today to discuss and act on a bill to expand health insurance coverage for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Thousands of children in Illinois have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and families often have to cover the cost of treatment for children with autism using personal funds because their insurance won't cover it.