- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2018

The midterm elections weren’t quite as traumatic and dangerous as all the dire news coverage claimed. They were, in fact, enjoyable for voters, according to a major poll of more than 10,000 Americans.

“Voters approached the 2018 midterm elections with some trepidation about the voting process and many had concerns that U.S. election systems may be hacked. After the election, however, most say it was ‘very easy’ to vote and confidence in election security has increased,” notes a Pew Research Center survey.

Indeed, three-quarters of those who cast a ballot in November described the voting process as very easy, and 64 percent said they remain confident that the elections were secure against hacking by unknown forces. That was not the case before the election, when 55 percent of alarmed voters said they had no confidence in election security.

The news coverage was heavy and dramatic in the lead-up to the elections. “Before midterm elections, Is U.S. fighting meddling enough?” asked Time magazine, while Politico proclaimed “National security leaders warn of foreign meddling ahead of midterms,” and The Hill warned “Congress falls flat on election security as midterms near.”

The reviews of voter experiences in the aftermath, however, are very positive: 68 percent said their local poll workers and officials did a “very good job” during the elections, while 55 percent praised statewide efforts. And there were some regrets in the aftermath. The majority of those who said they did not vote — 61 percent — now say they wish they had.

The survey of 10,640 adults was conducted Nov. 7-16 and released Monday. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

‘DRUDGE,’ THE SCRIPT

Somewhere in Hollywood, a movie on veteran newsman Matt Drudge could be in development.

“The 2018 Black List, the annual list of favorite unproduced screenplays based on an industry survey, was unveiled Monday afternoon. The list includes a film script about influential online curator Matt Drudge,” said The Hollywood Reporter, an industry source.

The Black List, which is based on the opinions of 300 film executives and has been around since 2005, is a good gauge of what’s to come. Some 325 of the list’s scripts have been produced, bringing in $26 billion at the box office. Meanwhile, “Drudge,” the film script, was authored by Los Angeles-based writer and actor Cody Brotter, with ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment listed as production partners.

The short plot description of the project explains that Mr. Drudge “broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal and nearly took down a presidency, all from a desktop computer in his one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood.”

Mr. Drudge, who debuted his online Drudge Report in 1996, typically draws 30 million user visits to his site each day, with more than 11 billion visits last year.

KAMALA POISED TO RUN

Sen. Kamala D. Harris may be on the verge of a decision on the 2020 presidential race. The California Democrat could be ready.

“If, as allies and those close to her anticipate, she settles on running over the holidays, they also expect her to move forward with an announcement swiftly, perhaps as soon as mid to late January,” writes U.S. News & World Report political analyst David Cantanese.

“She’s not one to make rash decisions. But historically, once she makes a decision, she acts quickly. I think she’s close [to a decision]. I don’t think it would be exploratory. If she’s in, she’s going to be in,” a source told Mr. Cantanese.

“Conveniently, Harris also has a new book coming out just after the new year. ‘The Truths We Hold: An American Journey’ has a title that rings like a presidential prelude. It publishes on Jan. 8 and includes a tour with four scheduled stops,” the analyst noted.

OBAMACARE SCARE FARE

It was inevitable.

“On Monday, the network morning shows were replete with doomsday predictions as anchors and correspondents hyperventilated over a Texas federal judge ruling ObamaCare to be unconstitutional. Rather than report on the substance of the judge’s ruling or the numerous problems with the controversial health care law, reporters instead behaved like Democratic Party operatives as they trashed Republicans and touted former President Obama joining the political fray,” writes Kyle Drennen, an analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

He cited numerous examples of scare fare on ABC, NBC and CBS, including a report from ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“Striking down the law has created staggering uncertainty for the millions who rely on it, sparking condemnation and calls to action from Democrats, led by former President Obama,” declared Mr. Stephanopoulos.

“ABC correspondent Terry Moran saw the legal and political debate as an opportunity to bash the Trump administration and Republicans,” Mr. Drennen said.

He also found a CBS report that suggested the public was “freaking out” over developments.

“Based on the tenor of the coverage across all three networks, the media are clearly trying to get people to start ‘freaking out’ about even the possibility of ObamaCare being struck down,” Mr. Drennen said.

LADIES’ DAY, NRA STYLE

The National Rifle Association is now offering a five-day, women-only “Wilderness Escape” firearms training event next summer.

“From June 3-7, 14 ladies will spend three days in central Oregon’s beautiful town of Redmond learning to handle and shoot a scoped rifle and an optical sighted pistol. All women over the age of 18 are welcome to attend. The $1,200 registration fee includes all firearms, ammunition, targets, classes, activities, ground transportation, lodging and most meals,” notes the organization.

The event will take place at Leupold Academy, with instruction by Kristy Titus. The NRA will offer three similar events, including one at the Seven Springs Resort at Champion, Pennsylvania. Find the details at wwe.nra.org.

POLL DU JOUR

49 percent of Americans who did not vote in the 2018 midterm elections say it was because they “don’t like politics.”

46 percent said it was because they didn’t think their vote “would make a difference.”

41 percent said it was “too inconvenient” to vote.

35 percent said they didn’t vote because they didn’t care about the outcome of the election in their area.

22 percent said they “forgot to vote.”

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 10,640 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 7-16 and released Monday.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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