- The Washington Times - Monday, October 24, 2016

“Three in four Americans (76 percent) say they have ‘a great deal’ of respect for the police in their area, up 12 percentage points from last year,” reports Justin McCarthy, a Gallup analyst who notes that this finding is significantly higher now than in any measurement taken since the 1990s, and is just one point below the high of 77 percent recorded in 1967.

“The increase in shootings of police coincided with high-profile incidents of law enforcement officials shooting and killing unarmed black men. Despite the flaring of racial tensions after these incidents, respect for local police has increased among both whites and nonwhites,” Mr. McCarthy writes. “Four in five whites (80 percent) say they have a great deal of respect for police in their area, up 11 points from last year. Meanwhile, two in three nonwhites (67 percent) report having the same level of respect, an increase of 14 points from last year.”

Respect for law enforcement is the highest, across 14 demographic groups, among Republicans (86 percent) and conservatives (85 percent), the new poll found.

“But solid majorities of Democrats (68 percent) and liberals (71 percent) report the same level of respect,” Mr. McCarthy noted. The appreciation among liberal respondents, in fact, is up the most — rising by 21 percentage points in the last year.

THE PARTISAN CARS

Oh, those driving concerns. A new Autolist consumer survey reports this: “Hillary Clinton’s supporters most frequently choose the compact Honda Civic, whereas Donald Trump supporters opt for the beefier Ford F-150.”


SEE ALSO: Democratic operative in undercover video says Clinton wanted ‘Donald Duck’ to stalk Trump


The market research group also says that overall, Hillary voters tend to drive Japanese models whereas Trump voters “prefer cars that are made in America.”

And predictably, the Clinton voters are most concerned with buying a hybrid vehicle, followed by buying an electric vehicle and sensible gas mileage. For the Trump folks, “engine horsepower and torque” is the top priority, followed by cargo capacity and overall vehicle size.

See more of this car fare in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

HERE COME THE FUNDRAISERS

Cash is still on the mind of a certain Democrat. Last week, there were 14 private campaign fundraisers for Hillary Clinton in seven states and two foreign nations. This week, there are 15 fundraisers in nine states for Mrs. Clinton — three on Tuesday alone.

Running mate Sen. Tim Kaine himself, in fact, appears at a private tasting in Manhattan featuring dainties from 15 fancy chefs and hosted by celebrity chef Katie Lee. The “Hill’s Kitchen” features tickets priced as high as $25,000.

But wait, there’s more. The entire cast of the prime-time sitcom “Will & Grace” reunites Thursday for a Clinton fundraiser in Los Angeles; Debra Messing, Eric McCormick, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally will host the event.

AN ALTERNATIVE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

While Republicans and Democrats duke it out, the political process percolates in the alternative realm. Behold, it’s the “United We Stand Festival” — staged at the University of Colorado at Boulder on Tuesday, and somewhere between presidential debate, cultural event, and music extravaganza.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, along with Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Evan McMullin were all invited to the event, organized by Free & Equal, a nonprofit based in California advocating that “all ballot-qualified candidates” enjoy a fair public forum. None of the five big name candidates have accepted, though they might twice about it. Colorado is, after all, a battleground state.

“All of those nominees are welcome. And maybe they’ll show up at the last minute, you never know. This is a significant event,” organizer Christina Tobin tells Inside the Beltway, adding that 2,000 free tickets have already been distributed.

Three alternative White House hopefuls, however, will be on stage for the two-hour “people’s presidential debate”: Constitution Party nominee Darrell Castle; Rocky De La Fuente, representing the Reform Party and the American Delta Party; and Gloria LaRiva, representing the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Actor Ed Asner is the moderator, with Jesse Ventura and former U.S. Attorney Ramsey Clark weighing in live by video. Kweku Mandela — grandson of Nelson Mandela — is on the program, along with nine musical acts. The debate itself will be streamed live at FreeandEqual.org at 7 p.m. MDT.

“I’ve been watching the rigged political system ever since my own father got knocked off a gubernatorial ballot in 1998 running as a third party candidate. So now I ask, why don’t we have alternative voting methods, and why do we have closed presidential debates?” asks Ms. Tobin, who adds, “Our ultimate goal is to actually inspire people to get involved in local elections. Real change starts from the bottom up. The media may think the presidential race is the most important. We disagree.”

THE GOVERNATOR: WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

Arnold Schwarzenegger wishes he could have run for president this year. No, really.

“If I’d been born in America, I would’ve run,” the Austrian-born actor told AdWeek — calling 2016 “a very good time” to jump in the race, though he confesses that he loves policy, not politics.

“What a different contest it would’ve been,” the industry publication noted in an editorial. “Though purely hypothetical, political observers say the man dubbed ‘the Governator’ during his two terms as California’s top politico, from 2003-2011, could’ve bested his friends Ohio Gov. John Kasich and eventual nominee Donald Trump in the primaries. Meaning Schwarzenegger would have been the one facing off against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, pushing his fiscally conservative, socially liberal version of the GOP, and also possibly reliving sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him in 2003 on the eve of the gubernatorial election.”

POLL DU JOUR

76 percent of Republican car owners support Donald Trump; 34 percent of independent car owners and 5 percent of Democratic car owners agree.

11 percent of GOP owners are still undecided; 22 percent of independent owners and 9 percent of Democratic owners agree.

7 percent of GOP owners support Gary Johnson; 15 percent of independent owners and 9 percent of Democratic owners agree.

6 percent of Republican owners support Hillary Clinton; 83 percent of Democratic owners and 29 percent of independent owners agree.

Source: An Autolist “Car Owners Decide” survey of 2,566 U.S. vehicle owners conducted July 25 to Aug. 18 and released Monday.

Chatter and noise to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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