You don’t know this, because you don’t read D, the city magazine of Dallas, but they’ve been running a mayoral poll on their online Frontburner page. You click to vote for your favorite candidate. This week they admitted the poll probably is being gamed.
Shawn Shinneman wrote: “It’s possible — OK, probable — that someone is gaming our numbers.” But then he added, “For now, we’re going to keep presenting the numbers and know you’ll take them with a grain of salt.”
I like that. So it’s just for grins. You’re not supposed to take it seriously as a real poll. So, OK, if they’re just having fun with it, let’s you and me have some fun, too. I have a proposition for you. If the candidates are gaming the D Magazine poll, let’s you and me game right back at them.
So how did D guess they were being scammed? What clues enabled them to sleuth it out? Shinneman suggested in his piece that it may have something to do with the soaring popularity of the only declared, card-carrying communist candidate on the ticket, who jumped up suddenly to second place in the fourth week of polling.
Let me say this. I don’t care how it happened that Alyson Kennedy, the commie, started pulling ahead of the other horses in this nine-horse race in the D poll all of a sudden. I think it’s wonderful. Why? Because of my personality disorder. All I care about is headlines.
Just think of the wonderful headlines this would make if she could keep it up and pull into first place. It would go so viral. DALLAS GOES RED (NOT THAT KIND). DALLAS TILTS COMMUNIST. IF DALLAS TURNS COMMIE, CAN INDIANAPOLIS BE FAR BEHIND?
I had lunch with the communist one day at Barbec’s restaurant on Garland Road, and I found her to be absolutely charming. I admit that there’s a little bit of personal bias here. There were several other communists at the table. I stole sidelong glances. With one exception, they were all of my vintage (ex-post-60s, old), and they all reminded me of everybody I knew in Ann Arbor in the ’60s when I was a student at the University of Michigan. Only … old now. Like me.
I thought, “Oh, my God, no one told them. The revolution was called off. We decided to go for 401K retirement accounts instead.” Kennedy, the candidate, reminds me of Private Teruo Nakamura, the last Japanese World War II holdout soldier who surrendered on Morotai Island in Indonesia in December 1974. Whatever else, she deserves a refrigerator sticker.
But, no, no, I’m not saying she should be made mayor of Dallas, even though it would be kind of like headline Christmas for me all year long. The first thing I would encourage her to do is a military takeover of the Dallas Country Club. Can you imagine the headlines? Oh, and then the show trials! The show trials! All of those rich buzzards in the stocks.
I’m sorry, where were we? Oh, yes, about not wanting her to really become mayor. No, I don’t think it would be a great idea, really, because actually the first thing she would do is close down the Dallas Observer. And then she might make me work outdoors in the summer heat on some re-education farm.
No, I just want the headlines. It’s the disorder talking. Then, I promise, we will switch it up the very next week. I don’t want to show my whole hand in advance, but I’ll give you a hint what the second-week headlines about the poll might be: DALLAS DUMPS COMMIE, GOES FOR RICH CARPETBAGGER. DALLAS, FROM SOCIALISM TO SOCIALITE.
We mix it up, get what I mean? We go from pillar to post, just to keep it viral. We all agree to click together every week. We game the D Magazine poll bigger than the candidates are doing it. Listen to me. It’s so easy. Here’s all we have to do.
We go to the page where they have the poll. Just Google “D Magazine Mayoral Poll.” Try to find your way to the current one. Then for this week, the current week, we all click on Alyson Kennedy. If enough of us do this, we can put her over the top easy. I’m telling you, if the card-carrying communist can take the No. 1 slot in any way, shape or form in a Dallas mayoral poll, that’s a huge headline.
We’ll get The New York Times here, I guarantee it. They’ll make a real long question-mark headline about Trump out of it. DOES DALLAS’ TILT TOWARD COMMUNISM SPELL TROUBLE AHEAD FOR TRUMP IN 2020? Sean Hannity on Fox will talk about nothing else for a week. His head will explode. The Huffington Post will scream, “DALLAS GOES RED, COUNTRY GOES TO HELL.”
Now, listen please, I promise, none of this is lasting. It’s strictly a giggle. People only remember headlines like that for about 40 seconds. And like I say, we will switch it up totally the next week, when we will all click for Lynn McBee, the charity ball person who moved from a mansion in the Park Cities to an apartment in Dallas so she could run for mayor.
Then, if they were being responsible, The New York Times would have to come back to town and do a follow-up: DOES STRANGE VOLATILITY IN DALLAS SPELL TROUBLE AHEAD FOR TRUMP IN 2020? Hannity’s head would explode. Huffington Post would scream, DALLAS GOES FOR SOCIALITE, COUNTRY GOES TO HELL.
We keep it up as long as we can, switch it around every week, until we get bored. That could be week three. But let’s all do pitch in and see if we can at least put the communist over the top for next week.
I did reach out to Shinneman with a couple of questions about the poll. I was mainly interested in overall numbers of people voting. I have a suspicion that candidate Jason Villalba probably was able to increase his popularity 18-fold in one week because he had 18 family members vote for him the third week, as opposed to the first two weeks when he was voting for himself. But that’s sheer speculation. I did not hear back from D on this, nor did I expect to, since numbers like these are always embarrassingly proprietary for those of us in the news business. NOTE: MY VERY BAD ON THIS. VOTE TOTALS, FAIRLY RESPECTABLE, ARE RIGHT THERE IN THE POLL RESULTS.
You know what would be so great? If we could do a write-in. Put your thinking cap on about that. We wouldn’t limit the field to animate objects. In the past we’ve actually gotten along just fine without them.