By A.P. Dillon

Last week, I highlighted an article that appeared in the NY Times that called into question the fundamental right to homeschool. The NY Times article focused a bit on Pennsylvania but, this week, a story garnered headlines coming out of Virginia.  This story out of Virginia is in the same flavor as the NY Times piece: We know best for your child and there might be problems if parents decide what is best.

This controversy stems from a school board decision in 2013 which essentially removed the rights of parents who wish to homeschool their children based on religious objections. This board’s decision was to impose a restriction on homeschooling that children of a certain age had to agree to be homeschooled and declare their religious affiliation.

The board ultimately voted to repeal the 2013 rule.

Missouri Education Watchdog (MEW) reported the heart of the story:

There was a spirited meeting at the Gooch County (VA) School Board last night as hundreds of people attended to show their concern about a district policy that homeschooled students (at age 14) must declare their religious affiliation.

Read the whole thing.

MEW goes on to quote attendees of the meeting. The second quoted excerpt hits the core of the argument, which is that the school board was forcing people to prove and defend their religious beliefs.  Here’s part of that second quoted passage, emphasis added:

“B. A school board shall excuse from attendance at school:

1. Any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, “bona fide religious training or belief” does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code; and”

In 2013 the board decided, based on lawsuits in Fairfax and another VA county that the wording “Any PUPIL along with his parents…….”by reason of bona fide religious training or belief” meant that the board was required to determine if the BELIEF OF THE PUPIL WAS “BONA FIDE”.

Here are some useful sources on Virginia homeschooling laws: VA Homeschoolers, HSLDA Virginia 2014-15 brief, Virginia Dept. of Education Home Instruction handbook.

Switching gears to North Carolina, we see another line of attack:

I’ll restate the closing I made in the article from yesterday on this tweet:

If Dr. Atkinson is attempting to make the argument that part of the ‘school choice’ made by parents and students needs to fit into a one-size-fits all public school testing regimen, she’s missed the point of ‘choice’ entirely.

Remember how during the last election the left saying there were people trying to bring back the days of Jim Crow? Apparently they were right:

After a lively debate, at 6:30 in the video, Jackson—the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor—attempts to shake hands with Northam, who will not shake it and doesn’t even look Jackson in the eye.

At first, a viewer might give Northam the benefit of the doubt that somehow he doesn’t see the extended hand. But Jackson dispels that doubt by taking his outstretched hand to tap Northam on the arm and then re-extends his hand almost into Northam’s lap. Northam still refuses to take it.

I’ll leave the: They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney… line for Glenn and just end with this:

If Virginia Lt. Gov candidate Ralph Northam was a Republican and Virginia Lt. Gov candidate E.W. Jackson was a Democrat there would be no other story on any of the Cable news networks at the top of the hour, reporters would be dogging the top of the GOP ticket to denounce Mr. Northam and civil rights leaders around the nation would be demanding he drop out of the race.

But because Mr. Northam is a Democrat and the Reverend E. W. Jackson is a Republican this will remain a non-story until there is no change of it effecting Terry McAuliffe chances to win.

Unbiased media my …

Why don’t you want your vote to count?

Tom Lavin Jan 18th 2013

What do you think the Swedes’ll say sir?” he asked, greatly daring. The responsibility was none of his, and he knew by experience that Hornblower was likely to resent being reminded that Bush was thinking about it.

“They can say what they like” said Hornblower, “but nothing they can say can but Blanchefleur together again”

C. S. Forester Commodore Hornblower 1945 p 129

Back in January my liberal friend in NH Tom Lavin was hoping NH would vote on the plan that Massachusettes pushed though it overwhelming democrat legislature surrendering their electoral votes to whoever won the popular vote nationwide.

It led to a long spirited twitter exchange between us two examples:

Because of Course this has nothing to do with trying to neutralize the population outside of urban areas where Democrats have a stranglehold. When he asked about my “vote not counting” I answered


But in the end the constitution EXPLICITLY gives state legislatures the right to allocate electoral votes so while I objected…

Well the Plan that I commented on back in December that the GOP was considering in PA is now advancing in several states

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them. Other states considering similar changes include Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which share a common dynamic with Virginia: They went for Obama in the past two elections but are controlled by Republicans at the state level.

It’s axiomatic that the closer you get to the electorate the better representation the people have, also note the words in the piece Vast majority of states. Some states already have such a system so naturally the left would have no objection, right?

TPM: NAACP: VA’s Electoral Vote Scheme Would Leave Minorities ‘More Disenfranchised Than Ever’

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Grand Theft Election How Republicans Plan to Rig the Electoral College and Steal the White House

THE HUFFINGTON POST: What The 2012 Election Would Look Like Under The Republicans’ Vote-Rigging Plan

Guess not.

Legal Insurrection makes the logical point:

Award by congressional district is in use in two states, has been proposed many times before elsewhere, and still requires presidential candidates to win elections in congressional districts. It may favor Republicans, or it may not, depending on the state and the presidential candidate. Awarding electoral votes by district may have a positive impact of forcing candidates to campaign outside the large cities and bring a more geographically diverse electorate into the voting booth for them. To equate it to cheating is constitutionally ignorant.

This system would certainly put individual districts in play in states which would mean a presidential campaign would have to focus on the needs of individual districts, and of course to the needs of the local people there. All politics local right? It would also make elections in a state legislature more critical meaning parties would have to be more concerned with the voters as individuals not as blocks.

Now oddly enough the single most interesting response from the left comes from Kevin Drum (emphasis mine)

Democrats don’t have the votes to fight back with anything similar, but they do have another weapon in their back pocket: the National Popular Vote interstate compact, an agreement among states to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote nationwide. If states with more than half of all electoral votes sign up for this, it goes into effect.

So far, only nine states with a total of 132 electoral votes have signed up. But if Republicans continue their patently shameful effort to game the electoral college system, it might spur more states to sign up. That’s what a sense of outrage can do. Republicans might want to think about that as they move forward. If they keep going, the end result might be a system even less favorable to them than the current electoral college.

So if the GOP goes forward with this plan then Democrats will go forward with theirs, that would be a pretty effective argument if it wasn’t for the fact that Democrats have ALREADY gone forward with this plan and will go forward no matter what the GOP does.

If I had one piece of advice for the GOP it would be what I said back in December when this first came up.

One of the things that tends to drive me nuts about the GOP is their unwillingness to take off the gloves, too afraid of what the media and the democrats will say ignoring the fact that the left, the media and the Democrats (who are pretty much the same thing) are going to object no matter what the GOP does.

That being the case the best choice is to ignore them and do what you want to do, or better yet what your supporters elected you to do.

They left can say what they want, if we have the votes then we should just do it. I’ll give the last word to Tom:

I haven’t dived deeply into polls much lately because frankly there has been no point, Mitt Romney has this race and baring the “Live Boy Dead girl” scenario it’s not changing. (actually considering Romany’s rep it wouldn’t take a dead girl, a live girl would shatter his clean image completely)

But with one week to go the last gasp effort to rally the MSNBC troops took place today on Morning Joe as they touted the Quinnipiac/CBS?NYT polls Saying Obama is up 5 in Ohio with a week to go.

What really got me was their claim that the Quinnipiac poll was the “most accurate” and again playing the “poll denier” card. I’ve personally found their numbers the least believable and while they were talking about the fights in other states as an alternative to Ohio for Romney I looked up the internals of this Ohio/VA/Florida poll and found this:

After talking about how reliable Quinnipiac is, for 15 minutes and while I was tweeting out the D+8 samples in all of these states D+7 in Florida, they suddenly pivoted as Mark Halperin brought up the D+8 sample and people asked how can this be the case if Mitt is up by huge margins among independents in this poll?

At this time they made the case that the split in the sample defines the electorate while I argue that the accurate of the poll is based on how the splits match the electorate.

Now Polls have limitation based on the response rate and the various methods of getting people to answer but the actual registration and demographics of a state are a reality, they may change over time but they are what they are no matter what but of a sample is used.

In the 7 AM Hour more of the same and in the 8 AM hour they repeated this nonsense. This isn’t a poll, this is a last gasp before Media Credibility day arrives and it becomes impossible to deny what already exists.

That the Morning Joe team is spending a show trying to sell the accuracy of a D+8 poll in Ohio & VA & +7 in Fla to their far left base speaks volumes, here is what it says to me:

“Ride right through them, they’re demoralized as hell”!

When you are reduced to Chuck Todd arguing body language in private conversations that’s pretty bad, by contrast you have Romney people canvasing during the damn storm.

Folks, there is going to be a turnout effort in Ohio like you’ve never seen. George Cullen has been canvassing door-to-door for the past five weeks. He usually hits about 50 doors a day, but only got 25 under the storm conditions yesterday. He’s a West Point graduate who served six years in the Army, and he says, “The conservatives are very energized.”

Yeah this is a D+8 state SURE! It will be fun to watch these guys next Wednesday.

Update: Just called Robert Stacy McCain on the ground in Ohio and asked about the “Body Language” stuff from Chuck Todd: “It’s crazy” He spoke to Kevin Madden on Sunday one of the top guys in the Romney Campaign after rally. He seemed calm and laid back. He hasn’t seen any of this scary “Body Language” from the Romney folks.

They are still working hard, they have not slacked off nor would anyone expect them to but if our friends on the left want to tell themselves this, as the folks in the south say “Bless their Hearts”.

Update 2: Ed Morrissey elaborates:

In each of these three states, the CBS/NYT/Q-poll shows Republicans at a lower percentage level of turnout than in the 2008 election. If one makes that assumption, it’s not too difficult to be guess that Obama might be ahead. However, that’s exactly the opposite of what all other polls rating enthusiasm are telling us what the electorate will look like on Tuesday. In fact, it’s not even what this poll shows, with Republican enthusiasm +16 over Democrats in Florida, +14 in Ohio, and +7 in Virginia.

I guess that explains why we didn’t see Ed on the show today. I suspect that message wouldn’t have been all that welcome.

Update 3: Instalanche and Michael Graham who you might recall was the owner of the site “Anybody But Mitt” says what is coming:

I believe we’re on the verge of a solid Romney win for two reasons. One is the objective evidence. The other is the ugly desperation of the Obama campaign in its final days.

and he raises a very important point I never thought of:

The president, on the other hand, has peaked at 47 percent. The Battleground Poll model shows Obama losing 52 percent to 47 percent. Rasmussen daily tracking has Obama losing 49 percent to 47 percent. Pew has him tied: 47 percent to 47 percent. But more important, all the polls show Obama sliding or stuck. None show any upward movement.

Obama supporters are quick to tell you “the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.” Two things: a) that’s what candidates who are behind always say; b) this is election day.

Next Wednesday is going to be fun.

Update 4: Stacy who I so rudely woke up in the first update asks an obvious question:

You might think some reporter at the New York Times, which co-sponsored this poll, would think it worth his while to interview the people at Quinnipiac and ask where they’re getting these weird over-samples of Democrats. What is causing this? How is it that Republicans report greater voting enthusiasm by such large margins, and yet are underrepresented in the poll’s sample? It makes no sense.

I’d love to hear the answer.

BTW PPP poll now being touted, Iowa Sample is D+5 Wisconsin D+4

…with this statement concerning their just released polls:

In Ohio, where there has been a renewed focus by the Romney campaign after the former Massachusetts governor’s strong debate performance, Obama leads 51 percent to 45 percent. That’s a 2-point uptick for Romney.

But the Ohio poll also included an 11-point advantage for self-described Democrats — 40 percent to 29 percent for Republicans. Last week’s poll had a narrower 5-point advantage for Democrats. . (In 2008, the party identification split was 39 percent Democrat and 31 percent Republican, according to exit polls.)

Amazing how the samples matter once Romney’s numbers improved in Ohio, I wonder where they buy their Cheetos?

Meanwhile in VA the previous D+4 sample becomes an R+1 samples and guess what? Romney now has a +1 pt lead! Change the sample and you change the results. How about that!

“But DaTechGuy” you say, “That party identification is psychological, people call themselves more Republican because the GOP is doing better and Romney is doing better.”

Well if that’s the case then we should see change in Florida. While there seems to be universal agreement that the Debate Moved numbers for Romney Florida remains unchanged, how can that be when other Florida Polls have moved…

…what a coincidence, the D vs R sample hasn’t moved and PRESTO the Obama Romney gap doesn’t move, even when the entire universe concludes Obama is in free fall.

Funny how that works isn’t it?

Mind you Florida & VA are the same states the Suffolk decided not to poll anymore because Romney had it cold.

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that after the next debate (or perhaps after tonight’s VP debate) the party samples will move and the numbers will improve for the Obama campaign?

If people don’t realize they are being played it’s only because they don’t want to know it.

Update: take a look at the party splits vs the poll results from CBS

It’s worth noting that there is no measure of if people “lean” amazing how the results seem to match the samples within a point or two.

Yesterday I saw a poll out of New Hampshire, that was so unbelievable no incredible in its results that I thought it impossible that a TV station or a college would report it.

With one month remaining before the November 6 election, Barack Obama has opened up a statistically significant lead over Mitt Romney in the battleground state of New Hampshire. In the most recent Granite State Poll, 52% of likely New Hampshire voters plan to vote for Obama, 37% say they will support Romney,

There were so incredible that WMUR the TV station that commissioned the poll led their analysis thus:

The latest WMUR Granite State Poll is either wildly off or we will look back five weeks from now on Election Day and point to this date as the moment we knew Mitt Romney lost New Hampshire.

They are hedging on their own poll. My first thought was bad party splits, I was rather shocked to see an equal party metric in this poll. As this so greatly contradicts what I’ve seen on the ground I continued to look at the numbers and found these figures on the 2008 election within the sample:

215 McCain Palin Voters
309 Obama Biden Voters
14 Other
38 Did not vote 2008

That totals up to 576 people in the sample. How does that split? Here is the math

215/576 = 37.3% McCain Palin
309/576 = 53.6% Obama Biden
14/576 = 2.4% Other
38/576 = 6.5% Did not vote

Difference 53.6- 37.3= 16.3

So you have a sample with a bias of 16.3 points in terms of 2008 voters that is now +15, that would indicate a slight loss of support, but strangely enough they didn’t include a question on their votes in 2010. Just to remind you here is what happened in the state house that year:

Maybe it’s just me but I think this poll might be a tad more informative if it included how the respondents voted in 2010

It’s worth noting that a previous poll from the same group in Aug had a much different sample

McCain Palin 220/529 = 41.5
Obama Biden 259/529= 48.9%
Other 21/529 = 3.9%
Did not vote 29/529= 5.4%

Do you see the magic trick, you play with a sample and suddenly you have a trend. As I predicted after the booing God debacle:

Do not be surprised if there is a negative bounce from this convention or a poll released with a Dem +6-12 in order to hide just how bad things are.

And that’s what we’ve seen, polls so skewed that we have a convention bounce supposedly from a Clinton Speech that nobody watched because it was opposite a football game.

But even such BS can’t go on for long, particularly when people are finally catching on with the poll manipulation.

So what is the Liberal media et/al to do?

Well if it’s harder to see Romney behind everywhere put out a national poll that is close (+3 Obama with a +8 Obama 2008 sample & +6 D sample) to show our bona fides then as it’s harder to sell Romney behind everywhere in Florida suddenly usa a D+2 sample instead of the +9, in Virgina go D+5 instead of D + ungodly while in Ohio the state we’ve been saying Romney HAS to win we show Romney down 11 with a sample that is 50% dem and 39% +11.D and violá we have exactly what we need to be credible:

A more “balanced” poll showing a slight Romney trend without losing the “Mitt in Trouble” narrative.

The best part of it for the MSM? The media can by playing the sample game can generate the trend they want and will do so as long as they believe they can affect the results. The moment they decide it can’t be pulled off will be the dawn of Media Credibility day when the mission changes as it did the day before the 2010 elections:

So instead their new mission is to be perceived as actually reporting news rather than spinning it. Thus comes media credibility day, the day the press decides to act like actual reporters instead of liberal advocates, it will last long enough for them to claim that they called the election correctly…

And the moment the election is over

…then it will be back to the MSM that we all know and…well that we all know.

That will be the tell.

Update: Ann Althouse got there before me:

German Propaganda Officer: It’s the same dull stuff we’ve been doing. I wish we had something different, some kind of surprise

Leslie Smythe Bedows: What if we told the the truth about the Eastern Front?

German Propaganda Officer: I said surprise not shock.

Hogan’s Heroes “Who Stole my Copy of Mein Kampf?” 1969

There are two new polls the MSM is crowing about tonight.  Well when I say “new” I’m certainly not talking about the methodology.  Looks like the same old thing to me.  Lets start with the NBC WSJ poll:

In the presidential horse race, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden get the support of 50 percent of likely voters, while Romney and running mate Paul Ryan get 45 percent.

As you might guess the demographics of this poll just happens to be +5 Dem even though as I’ve already mentioned Democrats have trailed in registration the entire year with an avg deficit of 2.5 pts.

Such a national sample transforms a 50-45 Obama lead into a 52-43 Romney lead but when you look at the poll results it actually worse than it looks

Let’s look at how the people who answered voted in 2008

Ok 10% say they didn’t vote so to figure out the percentage these numbers represent we divide the figures by 90 removing the voters who didn’t vote and viola

Barack Obama 45/90 = 50%
John McCain 37/90 = 41%
Someone Else 4/90 = 4%
Not Sure 4/90 = 4%

Vs Actual Results
Barack Obama 52.9
McCain 45.7
Other 1.4

OK assuming these people are NOT lying not only do they oversample independents by 6.6 points (I suggest there are a lot of Obama voters hiding there but I have no proof) but based on 2008 figures Obama is undersampled by 2.9 points while McCain is undersampled by 4.7.

Does anyone seriously think the GOP voting sample has dropped 4.7 points from 2008 levels.  Is anyone ANYONE willing to make that case?

In Virgina the Washington Post manages to get even worse

With just seven weeks of campaigning left before the November election, President Obama holds a clear lead over Mitt Romney in Virginia, buoyed by growing optimism about the state of the country and fueled by a big gender gap working in his favor, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Obama leads his Republican rival 52 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. Among all registered voters, the president leads 50 percent to 43 percent, a margin identical to that recorded in a survey in early May. That indicates that Romney has made up little ground during four months of intense advertising and campaign visits.

Wow an 8 point lead, Romney doesn’t have a chance…until you look at the partisian split:

A +8 Dem split in a +3 GOP state would seemingly turn a 8 pt dem lead into a 3 pt GOP advantage but believe it or not again it’s worse than it looks.

The party split in VA is 39-36 in favor of the GOP so that means that while this poll undersamples dems by 4 points (11%) They under sample republicans by 15 points a full 38% percent

There are a lot of words you can use to describe this kind of poll but if you have an honest bone in your body “News” isn’t one of them.

If this story from Lisa Graas is true it’s a disgrace:

When it was clear that Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman failed to get on the ballot in Virginia, Hot Air reported it as a “fiasco”. I wrote that it is not a fiasco. Rick Santorum got back with me last night regarding my article and said that I am right. His campaign collected over 8,300 signatures without paying for a single one, unlike other candidates. The going rate for petition signatures in Virginia, I hear, is $8-$10 each. Rick Santorum has clearly shown strength in organization in Virginia, not weakness. We now know that neither Perry nor Gingrich were able to get enough signatures to secure a spot on Virginia’s primary ballot, leaving only Romney and Paul to vie for delegates in that state. Does this mean Romney and Paul are more organized? No, it just means they have more money and are willing to pay for signatures. The market’s at work in Virginia!

If this is true and Virginians are willing to sell ballot access to the highest bidder then that’s on them, but never forget we ALWAYS get the government we deserve. I’m pleased to say Rick Santorum got my support simply for being who he is and he deserves your support for that same reason.

Exit question if Romney stumbles after South Carolina what will Virginians do if they don’t have the eventual nominee on the ballot?

…but are significant.

Item: Herman Cain not only still leads in the polls but Newt Gingrich has tied Romney

Cain is still on top, and more than sixty percent of primary voters are saying the sexual harassment stories aren’t impacting their decision.

It looks like the accusations are not having an effect on the polls, but are they having an effect elsewhere? That’s our next item:

Item: Stacy McCain interviews Mark Block and gives an interesting piece of information concerning fundraising.

RSM: Yeah. Well, now, $9.4 million [fundraising since Oct. 1] is the number I just heard?
BLOCK: It was over $9 million.

RSM: In 40 days?


RSM: Which is $225,000 a day.

BLOCK: It doesn’t take a simple regression analysis to figure that one out, does it?

With a lean staff and a cash campaign this is an equation for staying till the end.

Stacy also has the line of the day for those who don’t like Block:

Malkin’s complaint, basically, is that Mark Block is a lying scumbag. Having spent a good deal of time covering Republican campaigns, however, I’m willing to attest that “lying scumbag” and “GOP political operative” are pretty much synonymous

Item: You always infect the ones you love…

Ladd Ehlinger reports that the occupy moment is now officially hazardous to your health:

Now an unlikely enemy has arrived to lay waste to these plans, the super-tuberculosis bug. Lie down with dogs, get fleas; lie down with Occupiers, and get both fleas and a disease that can’t be cured and may well kill you.

The decision to treat the occupy movement like illegal aliens and choose not to enforce laws is now going to have serious public health consequences for our liberal cities and the liberal mayors etc who allowed it.

Item: Virginia is for conservatives

Apparently reports of the Democratic surge in 2011 is vastly overestimated:

Reeves’s victory over the 28-year Senate veteran delivers the last bastion of Democratic power in Richmond into the hands of the GOP, which already controlled the House, the governor’s mansion and the attorney general’s office.

But…but the OCCUPY movement! I thought it was popular, and I thought Obama changed the game, well as a matter of fact he did.

The Obama campaign has held some 1,600 events in the state in the last half-year alone. Only last month Mr. Obama hopped a three-day bus trip through Virginia and North Carolina. Obama officials keep flocking to the state, and Tuesday’s election was to offer the first indication of how these efforts are succeeding.

There is a reason the Unions kept Obama out of Ohio during the Question 2 business.

So while we enjoy each others company don’t forget to keep up with this stuff.