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Trail Mix — 10.11.12 

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Old-School Campaigning

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, it’s an annual rite of passage when our candidates trudge through the neighborhoods to knock on doors and introduce themselves to voters. Last year both David Condon and Ben Stuckart made great use of good old shoe leather as they came back from weak primary showings to win. This year, 3rd District State Senate candidate Andy Billig tells us he had visited more than 7,000 homes as of last week.

So if one stops by your house, take a minute to let them know what’s on your mind. They won’t be back until the next election season.

The Real Romney

If like most of America, you’re trying to get to know Mitt Romney better as Election Day approaches, check this out: On Oct. 1, The New Yorker published a comprehensive look at the man of many facets. In “Transaction Man,” Nicholas Lemann delves into Romney’s mission in France, his Bain business career, his time as governor of Massachusetts and his Mormon roots. It’s an even-handed, great read.

America’s great Western writer Wallace Stegner was a noted Mormon admirer; he authored two mostly sympathetic books about them. “They were the most systematic, organized, disciplined and successful pioneers in our history,” he wrote in the introduction of The Gathering of Zion.

That’s a story we aren’t hearing much about. For example, when Romney was asked about his religion by Oprah Winfrey in O magazine, he quickly answered that he gives 10 percent of his income to the church. That’s kind of missing the point.

The Mormon story is fascinating, as Lemann finds in his research.

“There is within us, as a people, a drive to get all the education you can, to conquer the wilderness…” Henry J. Eyring tells Lemann, articulating an inspiring sense of mission his relative Mitt Romney may also possess.

“We must become all we can be,” Eyring adds. “We must master our circumstances — we as a family.”

Survey Says!

The most recent KING-TV/SurveyUSA statewide polls for issues in Washington state show both R-74 (gay marriage) and I-502 (legalizing marijuana) leading, with 55 percent and 57 percent support respectively. The tax restrictions of I-885 is leading with 56 percent, while the charter school measure, I-1240, is at 49 percent, with a 4.3 percent margin of error.

While those numbers have tightened a bit over time, the poll, taken between Sept. 28-30, shows the presidential race getting less competitive here, with Barack Obama showing a 20-point lead.

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