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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Big Bill Touts High Approval Rating: Can Dendahl Bring Him Down To Earth? Plus: Patsy's New Poll: The Alligators Have Questions 

First, congratulations Big Bill on your sky-high approval rating in the latest Survey USA poll. Sixty-five per cent of those asked say you are doing a a pretty good job. (Margin of error +/- 4%.) I can see you now, looking over those numbers, puffing on one of your tasty cigars, maybe even lazily swirling a snifter of high-quality brandy while barking at Gilbert Gallegos and Dave Contarino to get off their duffs and clean your smoking jacket. And why not? You've worked hard. And you've delivered. There's only one problem. We still have an election campaign to conduct, and as understandable as it is that you'd like the next 75 or so days to pass quietly under the radar, imagining such a prospect sends shivers of terror down the spine of any respectable blogger.

Because of our deep concern for the New Mexican election system and with no consideration at all that a vigorous gubernatorial campaign would triple my and my readers' entertainment quotient, I have compiled a list of suggestions for your opponent, Republican John Dendahl. But you can continue to relax and finish that cigar, Guv. it looks as though you are going to win this one hands down anyway, but like the Romans in the Coliseum, New Mexicans demand a spectacle, and if that means we have to prop up John Dendahl, well, we hope you understand. If not, your next smoking jacket is on us.

COME ON JOHN!

John, lose the "he doesn't care about you; he's running for President" gambit. No one cares. In fact, it looks as if people like it. You are only reminding folks of Big Bill's stature. If you really want to score, talk about how he's getting to New Hampshire and back and what kind of plane he's using. Remember, how AG Patsy Madrid and the R's raised Cain about that new $5 million jet? The news stories about tobacco interests financing the ferrying of the anti-tobacco Governor? It's the "imperial" thing, John. Yup, that's the ticket.

Speaking of which, take a page from the Dave Cargo book and hit them where they live. Lonesome Dave scored early over the French chefs and the Mansion budget. The Guv is supposed to be a regular guy, isn't he?

We know were reaching, John. But this guy doesn't give us much to work with. The issues? They're dreary, John, very dreary. But you've got the speeding, and you've got the speeding and you've got...well, you get the idea.

Now that we've got your blood pumping, we're sending you on the road on your "Education is a Mess" tour. The soccer and security moms are still freaking out about the quality of the state's schools. You need to regionalize your media on this one. Do radio highlighting the lack of progress in individual school districts. Come on John, you can do it!

Well, that's a start, as feeble as it may be. It would never make the grade at the Coliseum, but for our purely unselfish purposes of providing a high-toned contrast of ideas and furthering the democratic process, it fits the Big Bill. Don't bother sending a check for this advice, John. Just donate it to your favorite charity. Hey, donating tainted campaign money to charity? How about that one for a TV spot?...

PATSY'S POLLING

By all accounts, Big Bill is positioned nicely for a re-elect victory, but his fellow Democrat, Attorney General and ABQ congressional hopeful Patricia Madrid, faces a more difficult struggle to beat GOP ABQ Congresswoman Heather Wilson. The Madrid campaign Tuesday came with its latest poll that they said showed the race to be a "dead heat" and that Madrid is dodging the ethics bullets being fired at her, but, according to my political pros, the survey had a glaring omission; the question, or questions, posed to the 400 likely voters in the Aug 17-20 poll were not released. Without the wording, they could not be sure of its objectivity.

According to Lake Research Partners, a respected D.C. firm, Heather is garnering 46% to Patsy's 44% with 10% undecided. (MOE 4.9%) While the experts agree this is a close race, the survey does not offer the definitive evidence--the actual question(s)--so determining how much damage, if any, the Heather ethics onslaught is causing remains unclear. They do point out that in this poll Patsy is in a similar position to Dem challenger Richard Romero two years ago, but Madrid has the potential for a much stronger close and the upset.

In past campaigns I have covered, one reason the polling question was not released was because the final numbers included not just voters with a firm opinion on who they would vote for, but also voters who were "leaning" toward one candidate or another. Whether that's the case here is unknown.

The first independent survey will come in a couple of weeks from veteran pollster Brian Sanderoff in the ABQ Journal who will also offer his in-depth analysis for this blog.

At this point in the game, in a contest with implications for future control of the United States government, any numbers on this race are going under the most powerful microscopes of the Senior Alligators. They are a tough bunch to please, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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