Brown: Put up or shut up in presidential race

SHARE Brown: Put up or shut up in presidential race

(AP File Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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I voted Monday.

Glad to have that out of the way.

In the past, I’ve disdained voting this early, preferring to wait for any last-minute election information before casting my ballot. But not much chance of anything changing my mind this year.

Now, if I get hit by a Trump campaign bus while crossing the street between now and Nov. 8, I’ll at least die knowing I’ve had my say in the election result.

Donald Trump doesn’t have any campaign buses in Chicago, of course, or any visible presence whatsoever that I’ve seen. Trump is not even contesting Illinois, which is just one of the many problems with his suggestion Chicago Democrats are going to help steal the election.


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But I’m not here today to tell you how to vote. I only want to make sure you DO vote because I don’t want to hear any whining afterward from either side about the results.

For me the scariest thing that’s happened during the last few weeks of the campaign wasn’t Trump’s debate performance — or even his reluctance to say he’ll accept the results.

It’s the growing narrative that Trump doesn’t have a chance and that Hillary Clinton has the election all sewn up — before most people have even had an opportunity to vote.

Everywhere I look I find a story that proclaims Trump has no plausible path to 270 electoral votes and victory, or at best a narrow path that is fast disappearing.

These predictions are all based on polling data crunched by stat geeks who I concede are much smarter than I am.

But I’ve covered politics long enough by now to truly believe the timeworn political cliché that the only poll that counts is on Election Day.

The surest way for Clinton supporters to give Trump a path to victory is to assume that she already has it clinched and to get complacent.

And the surest way for Trump backers to see their candidate buried is to assume there’s no sense in voting because it’s all rigged.

Folks, I implore you. Please do not make your decision on whether or not to vote based on the results of public opinion polls.

Every election, and I mean EVERY election, the pollsters get caught by surprise in some race.

Predicting human behavior is still not an exact science, no matter how many advances have been made.

Voter turnout is one of the variables that often gets the pollsters in trouble. Two third-party presidential candidates also could skew the results.

Even if you believe the presidential campaign is over, there are plenty of other key races in Illinois worth getting you to the polls — for U.S. Senator, state comptroller, Cook County state’s attorney and state legislative seats that could effect the standoff between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan.

And if you’re a Clinton supporter and are completely convinced she is going to win easily, why not contribute to helping her make it a landslide that will discourage the next Trump-like candidate?

For you Trumpsters, here’s your chance to show you’ll see your candidate through to the end so that you’ll be taken seriously again in four years.

I want you to know I did find a few down ballot races Monday where I could vote for a Republican and do my bit to preserve our two-party system.

Still, it only takes one of you to cancel me out.

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