- The Washington Times - Monday, October 10, 2016

Most Americans are not keen on an overactive federal government. The trait remains particularly pronounced among Republicans, who have never lost their instinctive rejection of big government overreach, according to a new Gallup poll.

“One of the fundamental questions that have divided the U.S. this election year — and, in fact, since its founding 240 years ago — concerns the appropriate role of the federal government. A new update of a long-standing Gallup trend shows that Americans continue to favor a smaller role for government, with 54 percent saying the government is attempting to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses,” reports Gallup director Frank Newport.

Some favor a smaller government more than others. The survey found that 82 percent of Republicans agree with this — compared to 24 percent of Democrats. The pollster has had similar findings in 40 polls conducted over the last 25 years, though most not as pronounced as this 58 percentage point difference.

GOPers continue to envision the leaner government as proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz, tea party folk and other frugal conservatives. They appear to have a friend in Donald Trump.

In his public position statements, Mr. Trump vows to “reform the entire regulatory code to ensure that we keep jobs and wealth in America” and “decrease the size of our already bloated government after a thorough agency review,” among other things.

“On Nov. 8 the arrogance of Washington, D.C., will come face to face with the righteous verdict of the American voter. The failed and corrupt political establishment will be replaced with a new government of, by and for the people,” predicted Mr. Trump before a recent audience at a campaign rally in Nevada.

PENCE’S VIEWING HABITS

“Sometimes I have to turn my TV on with a stick.”

— Vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence, commenting on continuing negative broadcast coverage of Republicans, to a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday

C-SPAN SHOWCASES THIRD PARTY

After yet another bodacious presidential debate, C-SPAN offers some substantial airtime to Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party hopeful Jill Stein. Each will get a prime-time hour on Tuesday night to have their say.

Both continue to register in national voter polls, albeit with low findings. Mr. Johnson, on average, garners 10 percent of voter support, though his numbers have risen as high as 24 percent in such states as New Mexico, South Dakota and Idaho. Ms. Stein averages about 2 percent of the support. Both continue to argue that they should be included in sanctioned presidential debates, though only one more event remains on the schedule.

But C-SPAN seeks unvarnished content, and this is it.

“The leading third-party presidential candidates” will be showcased on C-SPAN, C-SPAN Radio and C-SPAN.org,” the public affairs channel advises. Both candidates will take viewer and listener calls and respond to questions from social media. Mr. Johnson appears at 8 p.m. ET, Ms. Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka at 9 p.m.

GOSPEL AND POLITICS

Former presidential hopeful Ben Carson — who is currently shepherding the interests of faith-based voters through My Faith Votes, an interest group — cites a significant event on Tuesday. The “Gospel and Politics Forum” is set to examine the ever-evolving presidential election through a Christian perspective.

“This forum exists to show you how to engage in politics without losing your mind — or your soul,” organizers advise. “This election season has left many Christians lost and confused. Most Christians desire to relate their faith to politics, but simply don’t know how.”

The event takes place at The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, to be led by Pastor J.D. Greear and a host of theologians and authors. The church typically counts 8,500 people in its congregation.

The group is poised, Mr. Carson notes, “to apply the gospel to politics, and to do so with both grace and truth, courage and compassion. For those of you who are into politics, you’ll be challenged. For those of you who aren’t into politics, you’ll be encouraged. We won’t tell you who to vote for, but we will put the tools you need into your hands.”

The forum begins at 7 p.m. ET and will be livestreamed from MyFaithVotes.org.

SECOND DEBATE, MEDIA SHENANIGANS

The second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton attracted 68.8 million viewers on Sunday night, according to Nielsen Media Research. But lots of entertainment was to be had long before the big bout actually began. Media shenanigans were the order of the day before the two nominees even stepped on the stage, according to a Newsbusters analysis of lead-in broadcast coverage of Mr. Trump’s “hot mic” controversy and Mrs. Clinton’s leaked emails.

In the 48 hours before the debate, ABC, CBS and NBC featured 103 minutes of coverage centered on Mr. Trump’s comments on women, uttered 11 years ago and taped without his knowledge. Made public in a WikiLeaks dispatch, Mrs. Clinton’s emails were also controversial on a number of levels. The emails received 8 minutes of coverage.

“The excerpts showed Clinton boasting in her speeches to big Wall Street banks that she had to present one set of policy views to the public, while keeping her private views to herself. The networks treated this as an afterthought,” reported analyst Rich Noyes.

POLL DU JOUR

80 percent of Americans say outsourcing of jobs to other countries hurts American workers.

77 percent say sales of foreign-made products in the U.S. also hurt workers.

57 percent say increasing use of temporary workers is bad for the work environment.

54 percent say extra training and skill development is “essential” in the workplace.

50 percent say automation of jobs hurts American workers.

45 percent cite “growing number of immigrants working in the U.S.” as harmful to workers.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 5.006 U.S. adults conducted May 25 to June 29 and released Oct. 6.

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