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Quito      First there was a Facebook posting to me that I thought was a joke, complete with a picture of James O’Keefe in his racist pimp-master fur suit.  But, then the emails started coming in, and it was increasingly clear, that, yes, Virginia, there may not be a Santa Claus, but according to the weird and whacky Republican Party base, there is still an ACORN and it’s alive and dangerous.

A poll by the reputable and respected North Carolina-based outfit, Public Policy Polling, threw in a ringer question on a poll of 700 or so, not a huge sample, but not trivial either, about whether or not respondents believed that ACORN had stolen the election for President Obama in the recent 2012 election.  Aliens from another planet might wonder, “why did they ask?,” but many will remember that in a similar set of polls after Obama won in 2008, more than 52% of Republicans surveyed believed that ACORN had just done that.  Polls conducted throughout the first Obama term that included the question on election theft by ACORN continued to persistently record a hardcore number that refused to believe anything else.

Well, it’s back!  The rightwing obsession with ACORN continues unabated.  This time 49% of the Republicans who responded thought that ACORN had stolen the election.  Many of the bloggers and ha-ha-ha folks in the political cognoscenti of course point out that the ACORN corporation went out of business in the United States two years and one month ago, by which they mean, ha-ha-ha, “how could this have been possible?”  Perhaps in this case the Republicans have this righter than the Democrats and understand that despite how preposterous it is to believe that ACORN stole the election, the ACORN spirit and enterprise is still very much alive and well, which it surely is, and I can guaran-damn-tee that!

In fairness to the Republicans, who god knows have their own problems in addition to their obsession with being Ghostbusters, Alexander  Abad-Santos points out in the Atlanticwire.com that there is almost as much mischief in this particular poll question as there is in the ACORN attack:

Alexander Abad-Santos  Dec 4, 2012

The funniest poll of the afternoon comes from the folks over at Public Policy Polling, who have results that are new and legitimate results (if a bit heavy on the forced fantasy questions) finding that 49 percent of Republicans and six percent of Democrats believe ACORN stole the 2012 election for Barack Obama — despite the pesky fact that ACORN folded in 2010. How … wait … huh?

We get it: This is supposed to be one of those what-if polls that indicates how voters will believe anything. “We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore,” writes the team at PPP.

But that isn’t 100-percent fair. We don’t dispute the results from what we now know to be one of the most accurate pollsters in the game, but throwing a silly fact out there like that isn’t exactly fair considering the questioning. What’s important to remember is that 100 percent of the 700 people who were asked the ACORN question were prompted the ACORN theory by PPP itself:

So, yeah, regardless of political rancor and in the spirit of American intellect, we’re shooting for a 100-0-0 here. But by putting that question out there and those three options, you’re skewing results. And we don’t know if Republicans are coming up with this conspiracy theory organically:

All that laid out, yes, 100-0-0 should be what we’re looking for across the board. And, yes, that 49% is disheartening, but let’s not forget this question: Who are the 6 percent of Democrats and 2 percent of people who voted for Obama who think ACORN stole the whole thing?

Ok, Ok, so it’s a little bit of a hoot using the still formidable ACORN brand and it’s deep base of support not only in lower income communities throughout the USA, but increasingly around the world, where ACORN International continues to toil in the vineyards of many cities, communities, and mega-slums, but all I’ll say is that the Republicans, and perhaps the Democrats, are right to worry.  Not about election stealing since that never happened, but about the fact that the heart and spirit of ACORN is still very much alive, and, you just don’t know, but it could be coming again to a town near you someday soon!