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Monday, September 26, 2005

Has Bush Hit Bottom? NM R's Cross Their Fingers, And: Updates on R Guv Candidates, Plus: My Media Notes 

Has Bush hit bottom? NM R's are hoping that's the message from the latest state poll(9/16-9/18) showing the embattled Prez scoring only a 40% approval rating here, down from 41% in the Survey USA August poll. Bush's disapproval rating remains at 56% as fallout from the Iraq war, high gas prices and his hurricane handling combine to form a powerful punch. But supportive R's think the worst may be here, that Bush is unlikely to go to much below 40%.

Bush can thank his loyal Republican base for keeping his head above water--barely. A whopping 78% of the GOP here gives thumbs up to the Prez, while an equally lopsided margin of Democrats, 81%, and Independents, 68%, disapprove of his job performance. In the last survey, 81% of the R's supported Bush, so there has been a bit of slippage, but not much.

Politics can turn on a dime and no one can predict that Bush will still be in the cellar during next year's mid-term elections. R's know that climbing back to 50% may not be in the cards, but if they can stop the bleeding they hope seats like that of GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson will not be caught in a wave of discontent against the White House.

Still, it is frustrating to Dems that after spending millions to defeat Heather in previous cycles, the one year they actually have a realistic chance to get the race in play, they have no major candidate.

But Democrats are glad to have the R's busy spinning that the Prez isn't going lower. The fact is their ticket for 06' is formidable with Senator Bingaman and Big Bill leading the way.

CALLING ALl GUV'S

And what about Santa Fe radiologist and almost-definite GOP Guv candidate Dr. James Damron? The Alligators reported here that he was to throw his hat into the ring come September 20 or so, but it didn't happen. R's following the action say Damron is still a go, but could not tell me when he would make it official.

A GOP gadfly candidate, George Bailey, Jr. of Edgewood has surfaced as a candidate for Guv. Bailey, a Democrat until recently, would be the first African-American to occupy the Fourth Floor, but first he has to let the R's put him on the ballot. On the D side, ex-State Rep. Bengie Regensburg is preparing to challenge Big Bill in the June primary and ABQ's Eli Chavez, a former DEA agent, is running for Guv as an independent.

MEDIA NOTES

As news editor and managing editor, he's been the backbone of the well-read ABQ alternative weekly, the Alibi, for five years, but Tim McGivern tells me he is moving on and taking a job in the private sector. He has been associated with the paper since 1992. Soon he will start a new job in the private sector, but will still occasionally pen a column for his alma mater and even start his own blog on land use and development issues. "Like you Joe, I'm a junkie for La Politica." May it ever be so Tim.

And a final media note, a report in the NM Biz Weekly sent a shudder through the spines of fans of the ABQ Tribune. The Scripps-Howard chain,which operates the Trib in a joint operating agreement with the ABQ Journal, has canceled a similar agreement in Birmingham, Alabama by closing down that city's weaker paper. Could that happen here? Scripps indicates the Trib is safe, but declining circulation at all afternoon papers continues to take its toll.

BLOG CHANGES

I finally got rid of that long trail of monthly archives links and placed them in a cool, pull-down menu. The last two years, listed by month of blogging, is all there. Just click on the menu. And you can search through all the blogs by using the search entry form at the top of the page. Thanks to Wayne Klick (www.wayneklick.com) for keeping things in order.

A BOTTOM LINE LAUGH

Heard on the circuit: "My friend George is a radio announcer. When he walks under a bridge, you can't hear him talk."

Thanks for tuning in today. Drop me an e-mail sometime.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
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