- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 30, 2016

“Most Americans still believe in God,” writes Frank Newport director of the Gallup poll, which has been tracking this number since 1944, when 94 percent of the nation affirmed they believed in the Creator. The findings appear to fluctuate according to the language used in the survey questions themselves. Here are the numbers these days:

89 percent of Americans believe in God; 10 percent do not believe.

72 percent believe in angels; 16 percent do not, 12 percent are not sure.

71 percent believe in heaven; 14 percent do not, 14 percent are not sure.

64 percent believe in hell; 22 percent do not, 13 percent are not sure.

61 percent believe in the devil; 27 percent do not, 12 percent are not sure.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,025 U.S. adults conducted June 14-23.

BOLTON’S REALITY CHECK

“If I were going to pick a day for the next terrorist attack, unfortunately, it would be the Fourth of July. I’m very worried about it.”

— Former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton regarding the holiday weekend, in a conversation with Stephen K. Bannon, host of Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM.

JOHNSON’S DREAM

“A credible alternative to Clintrump”

— New campaign motto for Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and his vice presidential running mate, Bill Weld. “Give us one term. Good government is easy. What say, America. You in?” the gents ask in a jaunty new video.

ONE OF MANY EQUATIONS: TRUMP/ROMNEY 2016

Press and pundits, friends and foes are busy speculating about who Donald Trump will pick as his vice presidential running mate. Short lists and fantasy lists abound; currently Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seem the favorites, at least until the next possibility surfaces in the veepstakes. What about Sens. Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz? What about Scott Brown, Gov. Mike Pence or Carly Fiorina? And what about Mitt Romney?

It appears that the former White House hopeful is not quite done with big politics. It is intriguing to note that Mr. Romney’s old presidential campaign site is still active — bearing a logo, a point of contact, a noble portrait of the former candidate and a quote reading, “I still believe in the people of America.” It is also intriguing that Mr. Romney continues to weigh in on the 2016 race, most recently at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Mr. Romney had a few things to say about Mr. Trump nd his relentless campaign for the White House.

“He played a brilliant role with the media. The guy got on TV every day — every single day. He got more media coverage than all the other candidates combined. It was a very successful nomination process, and one that I would not like to see repeated,” an incredulous-but-presidential-looking Mr. Romney told moderator and CBS News anchor John Dickerson.

Mr. Romney has already been asked dozens of times whether he would jump into the 2016 race as a standard-bearer for anguished establishment Republicans. His repeat answer: no, no, a thousand times no. This time, just 17 days before the Republican National Convention, his cryptic language suggested a different possibility.

“My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time. Interestingly enough, I got an email from one of my sons saying, ‘You got to get in, Dad. You got to get in’,” Mr. Romney said, adding, “I just don’t think, in good conscience, that I’m the right person to run as long as there was a better alternative who had a better chance of winning.”

Would the Trump/Romney ticket be the better alternative? Could Mr. Romney stomach the idea of being second in command? Could Mr. Trump benefit from having a political veteran by his side? Could the pair deal with one another’s respective styles and differences? The answers are unknown. But a given in this race is this: the powerful media favors the competition. It will take every ounce of the Republican Party’s strategic ingenuity to win by motivating a wide prism of undecided, unconvinced and unmotivated GOP voters. Those who sat out 2012 must be inspired to get to the polls. The idea could inspire outrage and derision. But Trump/Romney could be one more possibility.

TRUMP, PALIN, FIORINA STAR AT CONSERVATIVE SUMMIT

It’s billed as the “largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington, D.C.” The organizers are not kidding. The three-day Western Conservative Summit is now underway in Denver, drawing 4,000 grass-roots conservatives plus 47 luminaries from both political and cultural realms. The theme of the event is “This land we love,” and the attendees are enthusiastic.

Likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is on hand to reassure one and all that he is indeed a conservative. Also on hand: Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, former presidential and vice-presidential hopefuls Carly Fiorina and Sarah Palin, national security maven Frank Gaffney, radio hosts Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager and Erick Erickson, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, tea party official Jenny Beth Martin and Washington Times opinion editor David Keene.

Organized by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University — a think tank focused on faith, family and freedom — the event has some significant support from The Heritage Foundation, the Tea Party Patriots and Americans for Prosperity. Check up on the big doings here.

WEEKEND CANDIDATE TRACKER

After campaigning in Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania this week, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump joins a conservative summit in Denver on Friday. His next public campaign event is not until Wednesday, though there is a private fundraiser for him in Colorado, staged at the home of football coach Michael Shanahan.

Hillary Clinton was also on the campaign trail all week; there were 11 private fundraisers for her in five states and also in London — Brexit vote or not. Mrs. Clinton appears at her first big event with President Obama in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

Sen. Bernard Sanders is semiretired as a presidential hopeful, but he continues to weigh in on Democratic matters. His fans, however, continue to rally. There are, literally, dozens of smaller local events around the nation for Mr. Sanders this weekend. So far, he is not attending any of them.

BILL O’REILLY’S HISTORY

Unbeknownst to many, Fox News prime-time host Bill O’Reilly is also the executive producer of “Legends & Lies: The Patriots,” a new historical series on the network. The episode airing Sunday: “General George Washington — Commanding Revolution.” It recounts the first president’s challenges to build a military force from untested colonial militia and limited supplies. The episode also explores the Continental Army’s first victory and unsettling evidence that Washington’s own personal guard secretly plotted to kill him. The program airs at 8 p.m. EST.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

At auction: The Greens Ledge Light Station, Norwalk Harbor, near Rowayton, Connecticut. An offshore, “sparkplug style” lighthouse built in 1902; an active navigational aid, 62-feet tall, four interior stories. Cast iron foundation with concrete retaining pier over submerged rocks. Brick interior, basement and cistern; multiple windows, six portholes, seven-foot-diameter lantern room with active fog warning horn. On National Register of Historic Places. Current and only bid: $10,000. Property available through RealEstateSales.gov. Consult “real estate” heading, under “lighthouse” category here

POLL DU JOUR

89 percent of Americans believe in God; 10 percent do not believe.

72 percent believe in angels; 16 percent do not, 12 percent are not sure.

71 percent believe in heaven; 14 percent do not, 14 percent are not sure.

64 percent believe in hell; 22 percent do not, 13 percent are not sure.

61 percent believe in the devil; 27 percent do not, 12 percent are not sure.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,025 U.S. adults conducted June 14-23.

• Cranky commentary, squawks to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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