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HISTORIC MUDSLINGING

“Van Buren is so stiff in his gait and prim in his dress that he is what the British call a dandy. When he enters the Senate chamber in the morning, he struts and swaggers like a crow in the gutter. He is laced up in corsets, such as women in town wear, and if possible, tighter than the best of them. It would be difficult to say from his personal appearance, whether he was a man or a woman, but for his large red and gray whiskers.”

(Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett on then-Vice President Martin Van Buren, from a campaign publication Crockett wrote in 1834.)

POLL DU JOUR

• 57 percent of unlikely or nonvoters cannot name the vice president of the U.S.

• 52 percent of this group say the nation is on the wrong track, 34 percent say it’s on the right track, 14 percent are undecided.

• 43 percent of this group would vote for President Obama, if they chose to vote; 23 percent would pick a third party candidate, 15 percent are undecided and 14 percent would vote for Mitt Romney.

• 34 percent of unlikely or nonvoters say they are moderates, 28 percent are conservatives, 27 percent are liberals, 8 percent “don’t know.”

• 31 percent of unlikely or nonvoters are not registered, 30 percent are Democrats, 17 percent are independent and 14 percent are Republicans.

Source: A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of 800 U.S. adults who say it is unlikely or a “50/50 chance” they will vote; conducted July 30 to Aug. 8 and released Wednesday.

• Happy talk, informed pronouncements, jabber to jharper@washingtontimes.com.