I Got Dem Cozmic Swing State Blues Again, Mama

Friends from California tell me that to judge from the campaign activities there, you’d hardly know there was a presidential election going on. You can’t say the same in Ohio, 2004’s appointed Really Important Swing State, where it seems the candidates are visiting just about every day, and where I’m getting tons of crap from both parties, in the mail and through the phone.

Yesterday the phone rings, I pick it up and it’s an automated message. A folksy male voice with a southern accent says “John Kerry says he wants to be judged on the issues…” and that’s as far as it gets before I hang up. I don’t think I really need to hear the rest of that to know what’s coming next.

Out to the mail, where a flyer with pictures of a middle-aged guy staring glumly at a pile of bills, and text that says “Under President Bush, Ohio has lost…” and then some number of jobs, plus a bunch of other dismal stats, accompanied by a picture of Bush in one of his more unpleasant expressions. Again, I don’t think I really need to read the rest of this to see where it’s going. It’s in the trash before I get into the house.

Then to the phones again, where some alleged pollster wants to ask me a few questions. Which polling company do you represent? I ask. I can’t tell you, says the alleged pollster. Well, then, I can’t answer your questions, I say, and hang up. A small part of me is mildly interested in hearing the questions a push poller might ask (“Are you planning to vote for John Kerry, even though he’s been caught on video tape biting the heads off of fluffy kittens?” “Did you know that voting for George Bush has been clinically associated with testicular cancer?”), but I’m also aware that the point of a push poll isn’t to poll me, it’s to push me. Well, I’m pushed, all right.

Unless one candidate or another gains a double digit lead in Ohio in the next three days and maintains it through the month, all this crap is simply not going to end until November 2. Because Ohio is the designated swing state. It makes me wish there was some sort of registry for people who already know how they’re going vote to sign in on, so they could be left alone until it’s time to vote (and you wouldn’t even actually have to know how you’re going to vote — you could just say it so you didn’t have to be bugged). And then, every time you did get bothered by one of the political campaigns or one of their duly-represented busybodies, you’d get $10. I’d be rich coming into November, I tell you.