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Your vote makes a difference

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Steve Corbin, guest columnist

Iowans have five more months of political campaigning to endure before voting. Many wish the election were held today to avoid upcoming pesky campaign headquarter calls, obnoxious robocalls, 24/7 blasphemous name calling and political pandering.

Responsible voters accept political advice that comes from reliable, unbiased sources. Mature voters know that party-sponsored campaign surveys should not be accepted at face value. And, knowledgeable voters differentiate between well-substantiated facts and partisan half-truths.

Examining right-of-center and left-of-center news sources helps in reading the tea leaves with the truth laying somewhere in between. The early-on predictions regarding Iowa’s U.S. Congressional and Presidential race are interesting.

PredictWise, an aggregation of market analytics, multiple polling sources and historical data, is the brainchild of David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research. Regarding which U.S. Representatives and Senator will be representing us in Washington, D.C., PredictWise notes there is 77 percent certainty Sen. Chuck Grassley will win and Iowa’s U.S. House of Representatives’ Steve King (R), Dave Loebsack (D) and David Young (R) will continue to reside in the District of Columbia with 99 percent, 87 percent & 69 percent victory probability, respectively. But, with 56 percent assurance, Monica Vernon (D) will replace Rep. Rod Blum (R) representing Iowa’s 1st District.

PredictWise reveals there is a 63 percent chance the U.S. Senate will flip from Republican control to the Democrats and an 88 percent assurance the Republicans will continue to dominate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the presidential race, which of the candidates, both garnering 55-65 percent negative ratings, will survive? A reliable predictive answer may be revealed by examining the latest conservative leaning Wall Street Journal/NBC News and liberal leaning ABC/Washington Post surveys.

Both polls note Americans give Hillary Clinton kudos on eight factors: 1) do more to benefit working class people, 2) do more to help the middle class, 3) will properly handle foreign policy, 4) would become a good Commander in Chief, 5) knows how to handle an international crisis, 6) regarding terrorism would make the country safer and more secure, 7) would better handle immigration overall, and 8) has a better temperament to serve effectively as president.

Both of these diverse polling sources concur that Donald Trump is perceived by Americans to be a better candidate than Hillary in two regards — he would do more to aid the wealthy and will “change business around” in Washington, DC.

It is of interest to note Americans have the same four concerns about Hillary and Donald: trust, credibility, arrogance and honesty.

These conservative and liberal leaning surveys make Mrs. Clinton a 4:1 odds favorite, which is close to Microsoft Research PredictWise’s current 3:1 prediction that the 45th President of the United States will be a female.

Furthermore, PredictWise says the odds-on favorite to be Donald Trump’s vice president, in order of probability, include Jeff Sessions (AL), Newt Gingrich (GA), Joni Ernst (IA) and Chris Christie (NJ). In order of probability, Hillary Clinton’s vice president will either be Elizabeth Warren (MA), Tim Kaine (VA), Julian Castro (TX) or Tom Perez (MD).

In the final analysis, polls, market analytics, historical data and surveys are secondary as compared to your actual vote. Research is replete that responsible, mature and knowledgeable citizens vote for the best candidate versus the party line. Therefore, between now and Tuesday, November 8, search for reliable, unbiased and substantiated facts so you will be an informed and unbiased voter.

• Steve Corbin, of Cedar Falls, is professor emeritus of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa. Comments: Steven.B.Corbin@gmail.com

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