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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Blogging: All Eyes On Turnout; Reasons It Could Give Dip, Plus: More Campaign Clippings, And: Can We Say Goodbye To "Burque?" 

All Democratic eyes are on turnout. It's not looking good, at least not yet. Pollster Brian Sanderoff sums up their problem this way:

In 2010 we had two heavily contested congressional races (Heinrich vs. Barela and Teague vs. Pearce) plus we had a hot, vacant governor’s race. We have none of them happening this time and we have the overall trend of dropping turnout due to voter cynicism. Add to that a 13% congressional approval rating and a president with low approval ratings at midterm in his 2nd term.

A back door way Dems could get a turnout bump is if Dem US Senator Tom Udall was seriously threatened by Republican Allen Weh and had to fight for increased Dem turnout, but Sanderoff's recent poll for the ABQ Journal shows Weh trailing Udall 53-35 so Dems will have to look for another way to close the enthusiasm gap. (Unless Weh starts throwing a ton of personal wealth at this thing).

Not that GOP enthusiasm is off the charts. That voter cynicism Sanderoff refers to is widespread. 2010 was a year of Tea Party rage that bumped conservative turnout. It could be hard for the R's to replicate that this time around. . .

It's one of the reasons you still see Gov. Martinez in her fund-raising letters talking about repealing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants and slamming Big Bad Bill Richardson. She's working to spike excitement and turnout among those red meat Republicans. . .

Meanwhile reader Bryan Wilcox wants the Journal to release the "crosstabs" for their polls which include all the valuable data of voting by age and gender and the like. He says:

It is time that the Journal to make these data available to the public. If they continue their current practice, how much trust can we have in their findings? Reporting margins of errors, sample sizes, etc. is a necessary practice, but they tell us very little if we are unable to check the numbers for ourselves. As the 2014 election cycle heats up, it’s time to put pressure on the Journal for accountability, accuracy, and transparency. Is this really too much to ask?

Wilcox, a native New Mexican, is a grad student in poly sci at the University of Washington and representative of the next generation that grew up with the Internet and are not used to secrets. The Journal has been releasing more of this info in recent cycles. Is it time to go all the way?

TOM'S TUNE

Back on Udall for a second, his latest TV ad keeps him on the very soft side as he pitches a sentimental story of how he brought running water to a Navajo family. And why not? There's simply no need to go negative on Weh.

One line in the new Udall ad caught our attention:

Protecting our bases and national labs might get Tom more attention, but getting a water for a family means just as much.

Both this blog and the New Mexican questioned how the senator's "protecting" played out, given the widespread layoffs in recent years at Los Alamos National Labs, but that's Tom's story and he's sticking to it. . .

And good luck to everyone in keeping up with the TV ads as we head toward September and the airwaves start to get flooded. We'll probably go into highlight mode, picking the ones out that we think are making an impact. . .

WHERE'S THE HEAT?

A reader who follows the national scene and La Politica from Washington comes with this:

Hi Joe, It’s curious that Gov. Martinez appears largely to have received a free press pass for any culpability in Albuquerque’s police problems while Gov. Nixon in Missouri doesn't:

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) finds himself at the center of a storm of unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. He has the near-impossible task of balancing the interests of local protesters outraged over the shooting of an unarmed teenager against the effort to maintain order. Late Monday, as protesters were gathered once again on the streets of Ferguson before a midnight curfew kicked in, he tweeted hopefully: “Let’s show the world that we can protest peacefully and passionately. Two minutes later violence erupted. The new attention comes just weeks after Nixon, 58, stoked rumors that he wants to be considered for the 2016 national ticket with a visit to Iowa and a trip to Colorado to huddle with major Democratic donors. . .

The difference in coverage by be attributable to the fact that Ferguson is a small city while ABQ is a large one with a high-profile mayor who can take the heat. Then again, Martinez is somewhat of a national figure, so why shouldn't she be taking some heat like Nixon for the APD crisis being investigated by the Dept. of Justice?

THE BOTTOM LINES

Don't get to mad at us Burque fans, but despite assurances that "Burque" as shorthand for "Albuquerque" has been in widespread usage for decades, it really hasn't. This billboard making the round sums it up.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
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