Nate Silver has frequently noted the large discrepancies between national and state level polls for the presidential election. Depending on which crystal ball you look into, the future of the executive looks very different.
In the case of Tennessee, these polling schisms are appearing at the state level. According to various polls, Mitt Romney is either leading by a staggering 25% (Middle Tennessee State University) or only a razor-thin 3% (Tennessean/Vanderbilt). Polling is a statistical art—Romeny is leading in Tennessee but it remains to be seen by how much.
Tennessee has 11 electoral votes and 6 congressional votes.
That’s not all that's amiss in Tennessee. NBC News reported Monday that Tennessee is home to the single largest corporate contributor of the 2012 elections. Approximately $5.3 million were donated in the first week of October from Specialty Group Inc., an apparent dummy company, to conservative super PAC FreedomWorks for America.
According the Center for Public Integrity, FreedomWorks was founded in 2011 with strong Tea Party roots, and absorbed a think tank previously funded by the Koch brothers. The organization has channeled the donation into advertising for Republican candidates in the Illinois House and Florida Senate races.
NBC said that Specialty Group Inc. was created only a month before the record amount was donated in a series of seven checks. HuffingtonPost has identified the registered owner of Specialty Group as William S. Rose, who is not taking questions. The company itself remains a mystery. Although the incorporation appears lawful and the PAC in compliance with campaign finance laws, such blatant manipulation of the system will surely stir calls for campaign finance reform.
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