Thursday, September 23, 2004

ROUNDHOUSE ROUND-UP: POLL VAULTING IN THE ENCHANTED LAND

As published in the Santa Fe New Mexican
September 23, 2004


In case anyone is feeling “poll withdrawal,” there’s a couple of new presidential polls for New Mexico adding a new twist to what still seems like a close race.

The New Mexican-KOB-TV poll published this week showed President Bush barely leading John Kerry in New Mexico. However, two recent polls by other organizations give Kerry the edge — one of them by double digits.

The American Research Group, which has conducted several polls here this year, shows Kerry ahead 49 to 44 percent. That poll was taken about the same time as ours, Sept. 14-16.

In both polls, the difference between the candidates is within the margin of error: plus or minus four percentage points. For our poll, Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington D.C. interviewed 625 likely voters. ARG interviewed 600.

Meanwhile, the most recent Zogby poll conducted last week, shows Kerry leading with 54 percent to Bush’s 41 percent, which is outside of their 4.1 percent margin of error. Nader is attracting two percent of the vote in the Zogby poll. Zogby polled 546 New Mexicans.

Unlike Mason-Dixon or ARG, Zogby’s poll is “interactive.” That means they don’t call people on the phone. They do it by e-mail, contacting those registered in the company’s database of voters. Some traditional pollsters belittle Zogby’s “interactive” methods.

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.
Earlier this year this column broke the news that a California-based group called Punx For Dean was coming to town to help out with the Howard Dean campaign. Despite that assistance, Dean managed to lose the New Mexico caucus to Kerry.

But now it seems Kerry is enjoying the support of the all-important punk-rock block. An organization called Punkvoter.com is coming to New Mexico to put on a concert and film screening in Albuquerque Friday.

The organization, which was started by “Fat Mike” of the band NOFX, is responsible for two volumes of Rock Against Bush CDs.

“To enrage and engage (the) punk community to take action and speak out,” Punkvoter.com in alliance with the Young Voter Alliance will present a screening of the documentary Unprecedented, a scathing look at the 2000 election. The screening is at 2 p.m. at the Student Union Building Theater at the University of New Mexico. Co-producer Richard Ray Perez will be on hand.

That night five bands — Anti-Flag, The Epoxies, Midtown, Strike Anywhere and Mike Park — will perform at The Sunshine Theatre, 120 Central Ave. S.E. Tickets are $15, $13 with student identification. The show starts at 8 p.m.

“This tour is about motivating Punk Voters to learn more, take action, and make their voices heard” said Anti-Flag’s lead singer Justin Sane in a written statement.

Hey, this isn’t a partisan column. If there’s any Republican punk groups coming to New Mexico, please let me know.

I’m POed and I Vote
It’s not clear whether actual punks have anything to do with this, but state Rep. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, who is running against Republican Greg Bemis in the upcoming District 47 election, got an e-mail from the local chapter of a New York-based group calling itself “The League of Pissed Off Voters.”

The group asked Wirth for his views on a wide range of issues including police brutality, the war in Iraq, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, water, drug laws, rape and domestic abuse, jobs and racism.

The e-mail says the group is “a non-partisan, not for profit collective that is currently putting together a voter guide aimed at young people (Under 35).” The Web site for the national organization says , “Our mission is to engage pissed off 17-35 year olds in the democratic process to build a progressive governing majority in our lifetime.”

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