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.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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- ‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia