- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 17, 2011

‘UNDEFEATED’ UNDEFEATED

“The Undefeated,” an independent film chronicling the political career of Sarah Palin, got a test run in 10 midsize theaters over the weekend, accompanied by shrill news coverage claiming the public was absent from the screenings, the critics vicious, the reception chilly. The truth: The movie had a respectable showing, and a wider distribution is planned later this month.

“The film had a stronger opening than expected with the large markets trending towards weekend per-screen averages above $10,000, driven by multiple sold-out runs,” says distributor ARC Entertainment, which rushed the biographical movie to the few theaters in record time, marketed almost “entirely through social media and grass-roots efforts,” with “virtually” no traditional advertising or media spending.

“We are extremely pleased with the audience reaction, which has been over-the-top enthusiastic and very passionate, including standing ovations at most screenings,” says CEO Trevor Drinkwater. “We expect word of mouth to keep ticket sales strong, and we will definitely expand the film to a wider national audience.”

UNCONVINCED REPUBLICANS

Memo to Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Rudolph W. Giuliani , Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other potential Republican presidential hopefuls who linger near the campaign trail, tantalizing but elusive about their intentions. Hey. Not to worry. Six out of 10 Republican voters — 58 percent — don’t have a preference yet for the 2012 presidential nomination. They simply have “no opinion” and “can’t name a favorite,” says a Gallup poll released Friday.

That is the highest percentage of “no opinion” responses the pollster has found at comparable points in prior GOP nomination contests in 32 years.

“Rank-and-file Republicans do not appear to be highly tuned in to the party’s nomination campaign at this point, as most are not able to state a preference for their party’s 2012 presidential candidate,” says Gallup analyst Jeffrey M. Jones, who adds, “It is clear from available data that the race is wide open.”

WHITE HOUSE MYTHOLOGY

The White House claims Americans want the debt ceiling raised and that 80 percent of the public is comfortable with tax hikes to make ends meet. Opinion polls from major researchers, however, consistently have revealed otherwise. Why does this happen? Easy. The mainstream media is supporting President Obama’s talking points.

Assorted polls — we’re talking Associated Press, Rasmussen Reports and more — have “registered significant worry about federal debt and opposition to an increase in the debt ceiling. But ABC, CBS and NBC coverage of the debt-limit battle being waged on Capitol Hill has not reflected that fact,” says Julia A. Seymour, an analyst for the Business Media Institute, who actually studied the coverage.

“Out of 45 reports on the broadcast networks’ evening news programs between June 16 and July 12, only one mentioned a poll that showed public opposition to raising the debt ceiling. That’s a mere 2 percent of reports,” she says. “The network’s willingness to ignore public opinion on the issue is shocking, given the poll numbers.”

See the report here: www.mrc.org/bmi

BUMPER PATROL

Obama abrogandum est!”

From Inside the Beltway reader J. Griffin Crump of Fairfax, who translates his custom motto for everyone who took Spanish or French rather than Latin during their academic careers.

“‘Abrogandum est’ equals ‘must be removed from office.’ Or in President Obama’s case, ‘dethroned.’” Mr. Crump explains.

REPUBLICAN TWEET POWER

The White House got considerable mileage from President Obama’s much-ballyhooed “Twitter town hall.” Coming Wednesday, it’s the 90-minute “Presidential Twitter debate,” staged from Concord, N.H., and organized by TheTeaparty.net, an online grass-roots group with 300,000 members.

The event has firepower: Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary E. Johnson and Rick Santorum have signed on to Tweet their disagreements in 140 characters or less between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. EDT. Political analyst S.E. Cupp has signed on to moderate it all.

“As my beleaguered followers can tell you, I’m a committed Twitter devotee. It’s great to see that the candidates are recognizing its power, and the democratization of social media. I’m looking forward to playing a role in what will be a historic and groundbreaking moment in electoral politics,” she says. See the details, ask questions at www.140townhall.com.

EYE IN THE SKY

“A Russian space telescope conceived during the Cold War is set to launch on Monday. When it reaches an orbit that will extend almost as far as the moon, the RadioAstron mission will sync up with radio antennas on the ground, effectively forming the biggest telescope yet built, with a ‘dish’ spanning almost 30 times the Earth’s diameter.”

(From Rachel Courtland, the New Scientist)

POLL DU JOUR

• 72 percent of U.S. voters are dissatisfied “with the way things are going in the nation today.”

• 91 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of Democrats, 86 percent of conservatives and 60 percent of liberals agree.

• 71 percent of voters overall “like President Obama as a person” regardless of how they feel about his policies.

• 49 percent of Republicans, 91 percent of Democrats, 50 percent of conservatives and 88 percent of liberals agree.

• 48 percent of voters overall “don’t like most of President Obama’s policies,” regardless of how they feel about him personally.

• 88 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of conservatives and 16 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University Poll of 2,311 registered U.S. voters conducted July 5-11.

Tweets, peeps, assorted caterwaul to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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