- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2012

“Republicans have higher levels of well-being than do Democrats,” says a huge Gallup health survey of 405,000 U.S. adults that tallies a half-dozen “well-being” indexes that include physical and emotional health, positive behaviors and workplace perceptions. Even the pollster acknowledges that religion could have something to do with it.

“Republicans enjoy at least modestly higher scores than Democrats on five of the six sub-indexes. Democrats score slightly higher on the ‘life evaluation’ index. This difference could reflect the political impact of having a Democrat in the White House,” says the three-month survey, which was conducted from Jan. 2 to March 31, 2011, but just released Friday.

“Political identification in the United States today is highly intertwined with many aspects of American social and economic life … Republicans have the highest well-being, above and beyond what would be explained by differences in well-being by demographics,” the survey concludes.

“Why this is the case is not known for sure, although one possibility may relate to religion; Republicans are more religious in general than independents or Democrats, and Gallup has shown in previous analyses that religiosity has a significantly positive relationship to well-being.”

BUMPER PATROL

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Associated Press)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Associated Press) more >

“Forget hope and change. I’ll settle for competence.”

- Bumper sticker spotted in Dumfries, Va.

JOHNSON/GRAY 2012

Oblivious to the duels and scuffles among Republicans and Democrats, the Libertarian Party nominated former GOP hopeful Gary E. Johnson as their presidential champion. The former New Mexico governor won 70 percent of the vote among the 595 delegates assembled for the National Libertarian Convention in Las Vegas, which ended Sunday.

“I was on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ yesterday. The question was, ‘You’re on the torture rack, they’re going to kill you, who are you going to vote for? Mitt Romney or Barack Obama?’ I said, ‘Look, I’ve climbed Mount Everest. I know how to do what it takes. Take this to the bank: I would rather die,’ ” the victor told his audience.

The fiercely anti-war Mr. Johnson says the nation is on the cusp of rejecting a two-party “chokehold” because of economic woes. He vows to “grow” his adapted party from its current population of 250,000 registered voters, aspiring to bring in disaffected, disenfranchised or disgusted folks of any political or ideological persuasion.

Mr. Johnson’s running mate is former California Superior Court judge James P. Gray, whose main agenda involves downsizing the federal government and marijuana decriminalization. Mr. Gray is, in fact, the chief proponent of a California ballot initiative called “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine.” He also ran against Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2004 as a Libertarian.

“I am proud. I am invigorated. I am excited,” Mr. Gray declares.

REPUBLICAN MEMORY

“Four years ago President Obama set the goal posts with the question of ‘will this country be better off four years from now?’ ” observes ever vigilant Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, recalling a sterling moment when then-Sen. Obama asked that question at a rally in Canton, Ohio, in 2008. At his first “official” event for the 2012 campaign, Mr. Obama was back in Ohio on Saturday, with a variant of the same query.

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