Tweet Madness heads to the Final Four
...and polls tell me Paul Vallas is likely to be our next mayor.
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Victory Research poll suggests Vallas will prevail in Chicago mayor’s race
Yes, Paul Vallas’ 2.1% lead over Brandon Johnson (46.3% to 44.2%) in the latest Victory Research poll is well within the 3.45% margin of error. with a potentially decisive 9.6% of likely voters polled saying they are still undecided in the April 4 election.
The poll was taken last Monday through Thursday. In a poll taken two weeks earlier with an identical margin of error, Vallas led 44.9% to 39.1%. The new result indicates undecideds have been breaking roughly 4 to 1 for Johnson.
But if I were a betting man, my money would still be on Vallas. His lead is in the older demographic — he’s up 50.5% to 42.6% among voters over age 60 — while Johnson’s strongest advantage is in the 18-30 age bracket — 50% to 39.4%. — representing what the Tribune recently called “the elusive and underrepresented youth vote.”
Tufts University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement offers this answer to the question, “Why do young people vote at lower rates than older adults?”
In large part it's because they face formidable structural barriers to electoral participation. Many youth experience uneven and unequal civic education that doesn't teach them to vote or why their vote matters. Candidates and political parties tend to either ignore them or take them for granted; youth receive less campaign outreach than older adults. The media often perpetuates some of the myths … (that don’t) support youth in seeing themselves as valuable participants in democracy.
Then there's the logistical barriers: lack of transportation, long lines, no time off from work, convoluted absentee ballot requirements that trip up out-of-state college students, efforts at voter suppression, and a lack of clear, accessible information about issues like re-enfranchisement for ex-felons. These impediments are one reason why, each election, millions of young people register to vote—which shows they are interested in doing so—but do not end up casting a ballot. Importantly, most if not all of these barriers affect youth of color and youth with less educational attainment at higher rates.
Based on this I expect Vallas’ supporters to turn out in slightly higher numbers than Johnson’s and give him something like 52% of the vote a week from today.
(I’m never afraid to be wrong when offering such guesses, though you are free to consider oracular and wise those who daintily decline to say in public what you know they’re saying in private about how they think things will turn out. Why are sports analysts so much braver than political pundits when it comes to printing or broadcasting their speculations?)
Update via WGN-TV
With eight days left before Chicago voters choose a new mayor, new WGN-TV/Emerson College/The Hill poll shows Paul Vallas holding a five-point lead over Brandon Johnson, 46% to 41%. …The exclusive poll also found that 13% of likely voters are still undecided. (But) when undecided voters are asked which candidate they lean toward, and the vote is accounted for, Vallas’ lead increases to six points, 53% to 47%.”
Caitlin Clark is still the most exciting player in all of college basketball
Two years ago this month, Slate dubbed Iowa point guard Caitlin Clark the most exciting player in college basketball, men’s or women’s. That’s still true. Check out Clark’s highlight reel from Sunday night’s win over Louisville that sent Iowa to the Final Four:
The passing, the shooting, the on-court theatrics! Clark will lead the Hawkeyes against top-rated South Carolina Friday night on ESPN, and I’ll be watching and rooting her on.
I can’t work up any enthusiasm whatsoever for the teams in the men’s Final Four. Hoping for some exciting games, though my indifference to the outcomes is overwhelming.
“Beloved” is such a high bar. It implies not simply admiration or respect, but affection. The Sun-Times is asking for reader nominations.
Michael Jordan? He lived in Highland Park and worked in the city about 50 nights a year before vamoosing. Oprah Winfrey? Barack Obama? Were they even here long enough to be true Chicagoans? Eppie Lederer (“Ann Landers”)? Harry Caray? Tom Skilling? Sister Jean? Maggie Daley? Harold Washington? Walter Payton? Roger Ebert? Walt Disney?
I’m nominating author, radio personality and all around good guy Studs Terkel. Subscribers can fight me in the comment thread.
Notes and comments from readers —lightly edited —- along with my responses
Monica M. — I've been struggling to find a reason — any reason at all — that could make me actually want to support either of the mayoral candidates. As a die-hard policy wonk and former campaign junkie, I'm pretty stressed that, for the first time in my adult life, I'm contemplating not voting in an election. Absolutely nothing I've seen or read about either candidate has shown me he has either the brains or strength of character required to handle the incredibly difficult job of mayor.
I’ve heard variations on this sentiment from a lot of people, many of whom say, as you do , that they otherwise would never, ever pass up a chance to go to the polls. The race is close enough that you can’t just cast a symbolic protest vote against the all-but-certain winner, as I have done in the past.
I disagree regarding brains. Both Vallas and Johnson are plainly intelligent men. The campaigns they’ve run have not reflected well on their characters, true. Hard fiscal and political realities will restrain their most extreme impulses
Joshua P. — Regarding “human composting,” traditional Jewish burial practices are quite in keeping with environmental concerns addressed by organically reducing corpses. There's no embalming; a coffin is a plain wood box, which decomposes quite readily; and where it's allowed, some people are buried without a coffin at all--just wrapped in (linen) shrouds. So perhaps my people were ahead of their time.
Perhaps! I’m glad to report that the bill allowing for the practice in Illinois passed the state House 63-38 on Friday largely along partisan lines.
Republicans in opposition (33) : Jason Bunting, John Cabello, Dan Caulkins, Michael J. Coffey Jr., Christopher Davidsmeyer, Jed Davis, John Egofske, Amy Elik, Randy E. Frese, David Friess, Bradley Fritts, Amy Grant, Jackie Haas, Brad Halbrook, Norine K. Hammond, Paul Jacobs, Jeff Keicher, Michael Marron, Tony M. McCombie, Martin McLaughlin, Charles Meier, Chris Miller, Adam M. Niemerg, Steven Reick,Wayne A Rosenthal, Jennifer Sanalitro, Kevin Schmidt, Dave Severin, Ryan Spain,Dan Swanson, Dan Ugaste, Tom Weber, Patrick Windhorst .
Democrats in opposition (5): Fred Crespo, Will Davis, Anthony DeLuca, Mary Flowers, Michael J. Kelley.
Remind me again which party ululates the most about personal freedom?
Wendy C. — I'm all for a law banning the declawing of cats (“Bill to ban the declawing of cats advances in Springfield.”) It's the mutilation of a cat's natural defense, not just its paws. People who would take this step shouldn't choose a cat as a pet in the first place.
Lynne A. T — (responding to Wendy C.) Lots of people who would have adopted cats will follow your advice which will result in more stray and feral cats. But at least they will have their claws so they can continue to decimate the songbird population.
This item drew a lot of responses, most of them supportive. But I’d like to give a bit of space here to downstate Illinois Times syndicated columnist Scott Reeder’s thoughtful opposing view:
(My wife and I) love cats. And, no, we have never declawed any of our own animals because we view it as an unnecessary surgery.
But veterinarians also see difficult situations. They see the elderly client who brings in a cat she dearly loves, but it keeps clawing her thin skin and leaving wounds that won't heal. They see the child who is immunosuppressed, and his parents fear a playful scratch from a kitten could give way to an uncontrolled infection.
It's heartbreaking to think of these felines being taken from their loving homes. And sometimes there is no place for the cat to go. Shelters are often overcrowded and not taking new animals. And even if they do, the cat may spend many months in a cage waiting for a placement.
Worse yet, unwanted animals are often dumped in rural areas to fend for themselves. We feed plenty of abandoned cats on our front porch every night. Faced with these undesirable alternatives, some owners choose to euthanize their pet.
Sometimes declawing is the only alternative to keeping an animal from meeting one of these fates. I wish that weren't the case. But that's the state of the world we live in.
A declaw surgery done well can be safe and the pain well-managed. The long-term consequences can be minimal.Many veterinarians … who do not perform declawing still oppose the legislation because they know at times it is the best of several bad outcomes.
Elective declawing is fading away on its own. But occasionally, in tough cases, it's the best outcome for the cat.
Trying to legislate medical procedures by legislative fiat doesn't make sense, it should remain in the capable hands of veterinarians.
Don B. — One of the finalists in the visual Tweet Madness poll — the one on abortion clinics and gun shops (see below)— is simply a cartoon posted exactly as it was meant to be published. Is that really a tweet?
I don't reproduce cartoons as visual tweets anymore, but this one was a winner back when I was doing that, so in the spirit of the brackets —- all the weekly winners competing with one another — I included it. I also have started avoiding blatantly political tweets because I found voters were rewarding them based simply on their message rather than their cleverness.
Tweet madness rushes toward a thrilling conclusion.
I often run across tweets that rely on visual humor and so can’t be included in the Tweet of the Week contest (the template I use for that poll does not allow me to include images). Over the last few weeks I’ve pitted weekly winners from the past year against each other in a set of “brackets.” Now we have the bracket winners facing off in two sets of five.
SEMI-FINAL MATCHUP NUMBER ONE
SEMI-FINAL MATCHUP NUMBER TWO
The visual-tweet madness resumes in Thursday’s main edition of the Picayune Sentinel. So will the bracket contest to find the conventional Tweet of the Year. Here are the Elite Eight matchups as chosen by 1,015 voters:
Social media has shown us why there are directions on shampoo. — @Social_Mime
My Mexican waiter put my food down in front of another white lady who looked nothing like me. I get it now. Oh, hang on, that's not my waiter. — @craydrienne
I'm great at multi-tasking. I can listen to you say your name and forget it at the exact same time. — @shopkins776
Someone said I was the last person they’d call if they were ever in trouble and honestly, I’ve never been so relieved. — @Parentpains
Fox News did to our parents what they thought video games would do to us. — @ryan_scott
My wife screamed "You haven't listened to a single word I've said, have you?!” I was taken aback....what a weird way to start a conversation.
It's funny how we say "a bug hit my windshield" when we are the ones going 70mph. I'll bet the bug's family describes it differently. — @MelvinofYork
A priest, a rabbit and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender asks the rabbit, “What’ll you have?” The rabbit says “I dunno, I’m only here because of auto-correct.”
The link to vote is here.
Meanwhile, just for fun, here are the losing tweets from the round of 16, the first three of which are particular favorites of mine:
Give a man a fish and he will think, “What a creepy gift.” Teach a man to fish and he will think, “My God, I have never known such boredom.” — @BoneChocolates
So the robber shouted, “Everyone lay down!" Then, I said, "lie down.” Oddly enough, I was the only one shot.— @Scottzilla667
Someday, God willing, I will attend my children’s weddings, refuse to eat what they serve and demand butter noodles and nuggets. — @mollymcnearney
I still can’t believe someone stole my neighbor’s wind chimes tomorrow morning. — @ILovePie84
I told my daughter she had to donate two toys to the community toy drive and she picked two of her sister’s toys to give away so I’m pretty sure she’s gonna be a CEO someday. — @thedad
So anyway it turns out failure is an option. — @AllanForsyth
Shout out to the person at a social event who’s the first to say they’re going home and breaks the seal for the rest of the guests to be like, “Guess we’ll head out too.” — @copymama
My son once asked me to explain the essence of the song “Cats in the Cradle” to him and I told him, "Not now." — @chalzamora
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RE: most beloved Chicagoan - my first thought was also Studs. But it’s probably some athlete, maybe even one I’ve never heard of.
I am voting in the tweet poll mainly to vote against the Dumb Dog tweet. Like the kid seeing the nude Emperor, I protest. The other dog is looking at the Yogurt people!