Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Referendum outcome predicted here

There are still more than three hours before the polls close, but The Rascal, political seer extraordinaire, is ready to predict the outcome of the referendum on a sales-tax increase to pay for street repairs here in Rockford.

I've examined all the tea leaves, measured the prevailing political winds, taken into account the ideal weather, consulted certain people who have no idea what they're talking about, allowed for the various hidden factors, weighed the potential effect of astrological influences, counted customers at the Road Ranger gas station across the street from Chez Rascal and crunched all the numbers on our mainframe computers here at TRR world headquarters.

And now, before a single vote has been counted, I'm ready to give you the referendum result: The tax question will gain approval from 54.7 percent of voters. That's not exactly a landslide (which, according to tradition, requires at least 55 percent), but it's pretty damn close.

If the official tally is within one percentage point of my prediction, I will proudly lay claim to accuracy in this exercise. Any wider variance I will blame on a computer glitch.

UPDATE (6:07 p.m.): On the basis of this story, The Rascal can say with full confidence that most Rockford residents don't give a rat's ass whether the referendum passes or not. What a bunch of morons!

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