The magic number is 270.
In many cases, it doesn’t matter whether your next-door neighbor or your cousin support a presidential candidate. It doesn’t matter if husband and wife are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to political viewpoints. All that matters is that one presidential candidate gets to 270 electoral votes. That means that a majority of voters could support one candidate, but the other guy gets to hang out in the Oval Office for four years.
Of course, it’s only happened four times in the history of the United States — John Quincy Adams in 1824; Rutheford B. Hayes in 1876; Benjamin Harrison in 1888; and George W. Bush in 2000. As of Saturday afternoon, according to Rassmussen Reports, President Barack Obama and GOP contender Mitt Romney were in a dead heat with 48 percent of the popular vote.
But who’s counting that? If so, we’d have a lot more presidential and potential presidential visits in West Virginia. Sadly, we’ve had none, leaving our voters a little disenchanted and feeling like the red-headed stepchild with all of the attention going to our western neighbor Ohio.
Why? It’s a toss-up state. And West Virginia isn’t. Our five electoral vote are most certainly going to Mitt Romney. So that means the Obama campaign isn’t going to put people on the ground here and try to collect support. And the Romney camp isn’t going to bother fostering the support they already know they have.
It just depends on which poll you use to guess where those electoral votes are going to go. According to Rassmussen Reports, Obama has 237 toward the 170 needed, while Romney has 206. That leave 95 toss-up votes from eight states.
But if you click over to Huffington Post, they’re reporting that Obama already has 281 votes with really only four undecided states.
Who can say ... it’s all about as reliable as astrology. We’ll find out come Tuesday.
But in the meantime, we asked our readers to vote in our “election” — our weekly poll question which can be found online each week at www.timeswv.com. Last week we asked “Who is getting your vote as you head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6?”
And here are our returns:
• I’m still undecided 1.67 percent.
• Is there a “none of the above” option on the ballot? 7.67 percent.
• Barack Obama 38.33 percent.
• Mitt Romney 52.33 percent
Just for the record, the Huffington Post has voters in West Virginia leaning toward Romney 56 percent and Obama 39 percent. Not too far off from our own.
This week, let’s move far away from the election and back to our own backard ... literally. Do you think that an urban deer hunt would help with overpopulation?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond directly online.
The magic number is 270.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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- Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial