I'm trying to do a little math here.
Let's see, exactly one year ago Merced County basically agreed with the rest of the United States.
Folks in the county voted for Barack Obama over John McCain by a margin that rounds off roughly to 53 to 47 percent.
That almost exactly matches the popular vote nationwide.
But what I'm trying to figure out is a bit fuzzier; namely, what percentage of our readers -- as opposed to the total population -- disagreed with that mandate and remain steadfastly loyal to America's strong conservative wing.
Without any focus groups or surveys, I'll just take a guess and suggest that about 60 percent of those who read the Sun-Star or scan its Web site are staunch conservatives.
And therefore, I'd say a lot of you are fans of Rush Limbaugh.
Raise your hands where we can see them.
Do you faithfully tune to KMJ each morning at 9?
Well, I have something to share with all you "Dittoheads" today. And no, I'm not going to launch an anti-Rush tirade.
In fact, this might surprise you but I have no particular feelings about Limbaugh's politics, one way or the other.
The surprise here is ...
Neither does Rush.
Oh, I know he's so far out on the right wing he's in danger of falling off the aircraft, and his critics have tagged him as the rabble-rousing head of a shrinking Republican Party.
But if you could have Rush over for dinner and he promised complete honesty, he'd eventually admit -- most likely on the porch with that big cigar -- that red-meat conservatism means just one thing to him.
You can yell now or blog me until your fingers fall off, but I'm telling the truth.
Rush is an entertainer and doesn't really care that much about politics.
See, I've known Rush for well over 30 years -- dating back to his days earning $13,000 per year as a group sales manager for the Kansas City Royals baseball team.
In fact, let me interrupt the serious point here for a funny story.
Rush's duties included hosting groups at Royals games, and on one particular evening, he was in charge of a pregame ceremony.
See, the team had designated this as "Olathe Night" in honor of a Kansas City suburb, and the mayor of Olathe was supposed to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
So there was Rush, holding a microphone and standing with the mayor on the pitching mound. Unfortunately ...
He realized he didn't have a baseball.
And Rush said, in that booming voice that echoed around the stadium: "Has somebody got a baseball?"
At which point, about a dozen Royals players began pelting Limbaugh and the startled mayor with baseballs from the dugout.
It's a great yarn and Rush still loves it, but my point here is that I've known the guy a long time -- and some Kansas City restaurant owners are close, close friends of his and mine.
So, yes, I've been at Stroud's chicken palace when Rush -- now the multimillionaire -- has filled the place with smoke and confessed that he loves his critics because they fill his pockets, that his journey to the far right was an accident that kept on making him richer and ...
That if some liberal-leaning radio network offered him twice the money to claim he went through a "St. Paul moment," he'd change politics for profit.
(And so would most elected officials, if we're honest.)
In the meantime, bless him.
Rush found a gig to make him wealthy. We should all be so lucky.
Steve Cameron is a freelance columnist for the Sun-Star.