- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 8, 2015

Attention, political strategists: Video gamers are now a voting bloc, politically engaged, motivated and ready to show up at the polls in droves. So says a first-of-its-kind survey, which finds that over 80 percent of gamers say they plan to vote.

“One hundred million gamers will vote next year. Gamers are engaged, informed and hold strong opinions on critical issues,” insists Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade group which conducted the poll of 4,100 gamers.

Almost half of the gamer voters — 48 percent — are conservatives, and 38 percent are liberals; by party breakdown, 38 percent said they are Republicans or tea partyers, 38 percent are Democrats, while 24 percent are independents.

“They’re smart, concerned, and they vote,” declared Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“The gamers I know may be too busy playing to get to the polls,” points out a less-convinced observer.

The gamers also appear to have eclectic opinions: 61 percent said there should be a “more equitable distribution of wealth in the U.S.” while another 40 percent said the military should be used “as often as is needed to promote U.S. policies.” The most important issue for gamers is the economy, followed by terrorism, unemployment and education.

SEND BILL O’REILLY TO A GOP DEBATE

The next Republican debate looms on Tuesday night, and at last a pollster has asked GOP voters whom they really want on the podium as moderator. Given a choice of seven primarily conservative or right-leaning broadcasters, a new Vox Populi survey reveals all: Fox News prime-time host Bill O’Reilly was in first place with 25 percent of the vote, followed by Sean Hannity with 16 percent, talk radio veterans Rush Limbaugh (14 percent) and Mark Levin (11 percent), NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer (7 percent) and talk radio regulars Laura Ingraham (6 percent) and Hugh Hewitt (3 percent). Nineteen percent of the respondents were “unsure” who they want as moderator.

That doesn’t mean they are uninterested, however. The poll also found that 88 percent of the respondents plan to watch the Tuesday debate, hosted by Fox Business Network and The Wall Street Journal from a theater in Milwaukee. Another 93 percent definitely plan to vote in the primaries or caucuses next year, while 62 percent said the last GOP debate hosted by CNBC was “unfair.” The survey of 768 likely Republican primary votes was conducted Nov. 5.

PREDICTION: THE MEDIA CAN’T HURT CARSON

Ben Carson’s confrontation with a hostile media horde continues, as do record campaign contributions from those who continue to believe in the Republican hopeful.

“Hovering over the feeding frenzy is the absurd media spectacle of mainstream reporters claiming they’re merely ‘doing their job’ by diving into 50-year-old details of Ben Carson’s childhood. The same reporters who were not just incurious about the details of Barack Obama’s background in 2008 but actively hostile to those who asked reasonable questions about his relationship with admitted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and his years of religious instruction from Jeremiah ‘God Damn America’ Wright,” writes David French, an attorney and National Review writer.

“At the end of the day, what are we left with? An admirable though imperfect man who rose from abject poverty to the pinnacle of one of the most challenging professions in the nation — all while never forgetting his roots, maintaining grace and humility even as he earned riches and honors. In fact, his life story — and his character — would make him one of the most inspiring Americans ever to occupy the Oval Office. But he’s a direct threat not just to leftist narratives regarding race and class but also to the leftist stranglehold on the black vote. And for that reason alone he must be destroyed,” Mr. French continues.

“If recent history is any guide, the Left’s attempt to strike down Carson will only make him stronger. The media can launch its attacks, but it cannot change the fundamental facts: Ben Carson is a good and decent man, an American hero.”

ONE FOR THE CANADIAN WARRIORS

The war in Afghanistan has inspired another film. “Hyena Road” is an independent feature project following Canadian troops — specifically, an intelligence officer, a sniper and a local who’s pulled into the conflict to settle a personal score. The movie has attracted a lot of attention: Samuel Goldwyn Films has picked up the rights to the film, citing director Paul Grosse for capturing the uncertainties of war and “realistically depicting the bravery of troops.”

As for Mr. Grosse, he was “striving more for the heroic tone of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ than the moral ambiguity of ‘The Hurt Locker,’” according to an early review by The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will be released in 2016.

POLL DU JOUR

88 percent of Americans blame the high cost of health care on pharmaceutical companies; 89 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of independents agree.

88 percent blame “the health system as a whole;” 89 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of independents agree.

87 percent blame insurance companies; 89 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of independents agree.

79 percent blame hospitals; 81 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of independents agree.

64 percent blame doctors; 63 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independents agree.

58 percent blame Obamacare; 90 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents agree.

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,072 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 14-16 and released Friday.

Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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