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NBC/WSJ poll

How to write about a poll without giving away the results? Rob Merrill, steadfast editor of The Daily Nightly, sweetly suggested to me that it's both a burden and a gift. The burden lies only in not giving anything away -- and in not annoying any of you by not giving anything away. The gift lies in the fact that over the weekend, 1,003 Americans took 20 minutes out of their busy lives to talk to 150 interviewers in Akron, Ohio about how they feel about the direction of the country, President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Congress and Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito, the Republican and Democratic parties and legal problems faced by former Cheney chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby. They also talked about Iraq, energy prices and bird flu. And CIA "black sites," or detention facilities outside the United States. And the 2006 midterm elections. And Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain in 2008. As always, we appreciate their participation and thank our pollsters, Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). Tim Russert analyzes the results tonight with Brian on NBC Nightly News and we'll have plenty more Thursday in First Read on MSNBC.com and the Wall Street Journal.