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Trail Mix 

by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & Art Imitates Life & r & & r & In honor of our Fall Arts Preview, how about a look at the presidency in the arts this fall? Sure, there's all the embroidering -- of resumes and life stories -- going on in both campaigns. But we're waiting to see if the next Oliver Stone film has an impact on voters. Stone's film, W., traces the life and times of George W. Bush, and with a wide release date of Oct. 17, it will be out in time for voters to ponder its mash-up of fact and fiction before Election Day. Josh Brolin (last seen in No Country For Old Men) stars as George Jr., and the trailer features Brolin/Bush crashing his car and fighting with his dear old dad, all with "What a Wonderful World" playing. Not hard to figure out where Stone is going with this -- but then again, Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't make a difference in 2004, so art and politics may not mix after all.





In the Home Stretch


Every election season, the journalists and pundits covering the presidential race say the same thing -- this time, let's cover the issues and not the horse race. And every election season they go ahead and cover the horse race and not the issues. The major culprit behind the knee-jerking is all the polling. Just since the two conventions, we've seen endless speculation on who's up and who's down -- it changes daily, and even within the same day different polls reach different conclusions.





The fact is, as backed up by the good people at the National Council on Public Polls (yes, there is such a council), polls get more and more accurate as Election Day gets closer, but earlier in the cycle they can be way, way off. Another thing: While it is fun to know who's ahead in the national numbers, we don't elect our presidents by popular vote. You need to study polls state by state to see who is ahead where -- and how many electoral votes are up for grabs in that particular state. This election will be decided in a handful of toss-up states. So if you must bet on the ponies, dig a little deeper and check up on how your guy is doing in places like Missouri, Virginia and Ohio.
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