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Don't believe it 

Don't believe any of it. Don't believe it when the polls say Bush is ahead by 12 points any more than you believe the President when he says Iraq is on the right track. Don't believe that the issue is Dan Rather when almost everyone knows it's W's fixed and failed stint in the Texas Air National Guard. And most of all, don't believe it when TV and the papers continue the drumbeat that the tide is turning away from John Kerry.

I think Kerry's going to win. I think there's a groundswell of disenchantment with the current leadership that is missed by a press that hasn't improved a bit since acknowledging its aggressive complacency going into the Iraq invasion. And we are watching the meltdown of a polling apparatus that doesn't know how to handle cell phones and Internet voter registration.

Deep down, most people know Bush lied to sell the war, that we've dug an irreparable hole in Iraq, and that the economy is good only if you're the CEO of a publicly traded company. Voter registration efforts in swing states show a huge Democratic advantage, according to a New York Times analysis, and there sure are a lot of Kerry/Edwards signs on Wade Avenue in Raleigh.

But the networks, the newspapers and the pollsters continue to fall back on old models. The latest Gallup poll had a 12 percent Republican bias in their list of likely voters, and the dailies keep running he-said- she-saids without pointing out who's lying.

A Kerry victory is certainly not a foregone conclusion. Make sure everyone you know is registered and plans to vote. The registration deadline to vote Nov. 2 is zooming up soon--Oct. 8. You can register by going to www.sboe.state.nc.us and clicking on "voter registration forms" or visiting the public library or local Board of Election. And talk to people. Don't know what to say? There's a Web site for that, too: www.talktoyourneighbor.com.

Just remember one thing: Be confident. It's not as bad as they say it is.

***

The depth, breadth and quality of the local music scene never cease to impress me, and the Indy Music Awards program in Carrboro on Saturday is a great way to get a taste of it. Managing Editor Kirk Ross (a musician who also edits our music section) worked with consultant Catherine Kerr to plan the show, and he celebrates his first anniversary at the paper with a killer lineup of 23 bands playing five hours on four stages, all for $10. And there's a music camp and a panel discussing "The Future of Music in the Triangle."

We'll be looking for you at the awards.

More by Richard Hart

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