Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

It’s Called Market Research

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Having been the owner of a marketing and communications firm, and for a brief stint having dabbled in political consulting, I find the “push-poll controversy” going on at Joe Monahan’s blog somewhat amusing.  More specifically this statement:

We also had some email questioning whether this was a “push poll” as we called it–one designed to move voters off of Martinez and over to Weh–or a poll to test negative messages against Martinez for use in future advertising. To us, it’s pretty much a distinction without a difference.

Joe’s been around politics for a long time.  He should know there’s a big difference. Political consulting is just another type of marketing consulting.  Anyone who pays attention to what goes on in the marketing world knows that if the budget exists brand messages are tested with the targeted demographic group. It’s just good business.  In fact, it is such a commonly accepted practices, that they even have commercials depicting focus groups evaluating product messages.

Politics is no different, and I’m really kind of shocked that Joe is pretending not to know that.  In fact, in politics the stakes are a lot higher.  You spend a whole lot of limited funds in a very small period of time to “make the sale.”  You’ve got 30 to 60 second soundbites to tell your story, or that of your opponent. Most people are more complicated than a 60 second soundbite, so it’s critical that the folks creating the message know what’s most important to the voters and allow the candidates to address those issues.

The only way you can do that is by asking (polling) a representative sample of voters what’s important  before you put the significant investment in production and media purchase. Now, the candidates that decide their policy based on what the voters want to hear are flawed at best. But, those that prioritize their message based on what’s important to the voters are just being smart.

One final obvious problem with this make-believe “push poll” conflict trying to be created.  Is that if you were actually going to do a push poll, you would do it immediately prior to a vote, not a couple of weeks ahead of voting.

Just my two cents.

Keeping it Simple

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I probably should be writing something about the candidate finance reports filed yesterday, but there really isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been covered by Heath Haussamen and others. General rule of thumb is that up to the point of diminishing returns, which hasn’t been hit yet, he or she with the most money in the bank wins. Comparing Democrat to Republican dollars at this point is premature, but among the primary races (both D and R) those bucks in the bank are going to make all the difference.

This might seem like an overly simplistic analysis, but it’s true nonetheless. Staying with the theme of keeping it simple, enjoy this review of simpler times:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Even Better Than the Real Thing
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

The Makings of a Perfect Storm

Friday, June 19th, 2009

During last year’s election cycle, the perfect storm was created, and Democrats from the Roundhouse to the White House prevailed. Come the day after the election, there were some lost seats that astounded everyone:

Nobody thought Karen Giannini was going to win.

Not local political junkies (like us at NMI) watching tight races on election night; not her new Democratic colleagues in the state House of Representatives; and certainly not her incumbent opponent, Rep. Justine Fox-Young, who was sitting in what everyone considered a safe Republican seat.

But somehow this Air Force veteran and divorced mother of three defied all odds and expectations by beating her well-financed incumbent opponent.

And she did it without spending a dime.

Of course, next year’s election is shaping up to be a little different. There are no indications on Main Street USA that the economy is improving. Quite the contrary, with even the Administration having to admit that the massive bailouts have been a failure. Instead of creating 3.5 million new jobs as promised, the bailouts, at best, have saved or created 600,000 jobs:

Just 10 days before taking office, Obama’s top economic advisers released a report predicting unemployment would remain at 8 percent or below through this year if an economic stimulus plan won congressional approval.

Yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment in May rose to 9.4 percent.

Biden said the White House is keenly aware of the gap between the rhetoric used to sell fast passage of the legislation and the reality that has 14.5 million people unemployed. The administration had predicted that the stimulus bill would create or save as many as 3.5 million jobs.

14.5 million people in America are now unemployed, and what lays ahead in the future? Well, for the answer we go straight to the top:

President Barack Obama offered stern words for Wall Street and a prediction of 10 percent U.S. unemployment even as he said the “engines” of an economic recovery have begun to turn.

Now, I know that some of you will consider leaving comments that unemployment is a lagging indicator, and that the economy is turning around. Personally, I don’t think so, but honestly, it’s nothing more than an academic discussion. What’s important is the political reality come Election Day 2010.

All of these people are not going to suddenly be employed by that point, and the people’s concerns quelled. Hungry, unemployed people really don’t care about lagging indicators. They care about providing for their families. In fact, if the public opinion trends continue, we have the makings of a Jimmy Carter situation:

Nearly seven in 10 survey respondents said they had concerns about federal interventions into the economy, including Mr. Obama’s decision to take an ownership stake in General Motors Corp., limits on executive compensation and the prospect of more government involvement in health care. The negative feeling toward the GM rescue was reflected elsewhere in the survey as well.

A solid majority — 58% — said that the president and Congress should focus on keeping the budget deficit down, even if takes longer for the economy to recover.

Yet, Congress is going to keep on spending because that is what Congress does – at least of late. We’ve got bigger and bigger and vastly more expensive programs coming down the pike. Now, you couple these federal problems with the never ever ending list of political scandals plaguing the Land of Enchantment, and you have the makings of a new perfect storm.

A storm where those that were swept in the last election cycle with little to no effort, could very easily find themselves just as quickly swept out. With this being the case, it’s probably no surprise that new candidates for the Roundhouse are starting to emerge at what may seem to many a very early date. Take for example Nate Gentry, a former aide to Senator Domenici, who has already launched his website to take on the accidental incumbent noted at the beginning of this post in House District 30.

Let the games begin.

Bizarre Coincidence

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from the Albuquerque Council of International Visitors, and was asked if I I’d be willing to sit down and talk with some visiting Pakistani journalists about the role of social media in political coverage. Then today I read this (subscription):

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who resigned Monday under intense political pressure, could seek asylum in the United States and is considering making his home in New Mexico, according to a respected Pakistani journalist and scholar.

Shuja Nawaz , author of a new book on the Pakistani military, told the Journal on Wednesday that Musharraf’s safety is in jeopardy in Pakistan and he is contemplating his next move.

Nawaz said he learned of Musharraf’s interest in the Land of Enchantment “from a well connected person in Pakistan,” but Nawaz stressed that the information is “unconfirmed.”

I’m sure one thing has nothing to do with another, but you have to admit that it is a bizarre coincidence.

Eye on New Mexico

Friday, June 6th, 2008

You can catch me this Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. on KOB’s Eye on New Mexico program discussing Tuesday’s primary election with Nicole Brady and Dennis Domrzalski and what it means for November.

Catching up on Videos

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

In case you missed it, I was on Eye on New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. During Part 1, we talked about Mayor Chavez’s idea for planting lawns on roofs around town. Part 2 is a discussion of the various politcal races in the state.

And yes, I was in a cheesy horror flick back in 1995. No, I wasn’t a star of the movie, but you have to love alphabetical cast lists.

A Little Break and Reflection

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Ok, I hadn’t planned on taking a blogging break, but I’m glad I did. Like State Representative Joseph Cervantes, I spent some quality time with my family and reflected on what’s important. This upcoming year is undoubtedly going to be busy on the political scene, and there is no question that balancing politics and kids can be a difficult task.

But, at the same time, I strongly believe that giving our kids an introduction into politics at an early age is a good thing. Too many adults are apathetic when it comes to politics. They just don’t take an active role. Maybe they believe that their vote just doesn’t matter, or maybe they just believe that the system will be just fine without their involvement.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Take the upcoming elections for the open Congressional seats. Because of a change in the law, those voting in their party’s pre-primary convention will be the first and last word who gets on the ballot for the primary election (although that might change). In the 2nd Congressional race on the GOP side, that would be less than 200 people.

Still think your vote doesn’t count? When you make your New Year’s Resolutions this year, I hope you’ll consider including a commitment to take an active role in what is sure to be a historic political year.

Qualifications of a Congressional Representative

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

It sort of blows my mind that in 2007, the Speaker of the House of the New Mexico State Legislature has enough power to get candidate after candidate to step aside in an effort to clear a path for his son to run for Congress.

But Solano — who is serving his second term as sheriff and prohibited from seeking a third term — said he’s concerned that a small group of Democratic Party officials could effectively choose the next Northern New Mexico congressman before any votes are cast.

And that candidate, he said, likely would be State Public Regulation Commissioner Ben Ray Luján, mainly because of the influence of his father, state House Speaker Ben Luján.

Now, I guess I could understand if Ben Ray Luján was an impressive candidate in his own right with a long list of accomplishments, but that sure doesn’t seem to be the case:

By Karla Duarte
(Submitted: 12/05/2006 12:25 pm)

Please get your facts straight: Ben Ray was appointed to be the chief financial administrator for the state cultural affairs department without a college degree and after previously being employed as a casino dealer. Then the full weight of the governor and the legislature went to promoting him and discouraging other qualified candidates for the PRC. I’m sure he is a fine young man, but the point is that government should not work that way.

From casino dealer to Congressional front runner… only in New Mexico.

Eye on New Mexico

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Did you catch me on Eye on New Mexico on Sunday? Probably not, because I think it got bumped for sports programming to 5:00 a.m. in the morning. But never fear, you can watch it online in two parts by clicking on the links below:


Political Backpedaling

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz is in a very uncomfortable position:

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on illegals doesn’t apply to criminal investigations.

Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said in a Tuesday news conference that police are not to ask about a person’s immigration status and will not enforce federal immigration laws.

But that doesn’t mean police can’t arrest an illegal immigrant or inquire about a person’s immigration status in a criminal investigation, according to this morning’s Albuquerque Journal .

“Any officer investigating criminal activity is allowed to inquire about immigration status and take any action necessary,” said Schultz, who said there is a lot of confusion about APD policy regarding illegal immigrants.

Schultz said false information is circulating that criminals will not be asked their immigration status, the Journal reported.

Hmm, I wonder what the cause of that confusion is:

Some police officers told News 13 that the change could prevent some serious criminals who are illegal immigrants from being deported.

The policy, a copy of which was obtained by News 13, states, “Officers shall not inquire or seek proof of a person’s immigration status, even if an arrest is made for a non-immigration criminal investigation.”

Schultz said the policy is being misinterpreted.

“The intent that’s there was never to prohibit officers from conducting a criminal investigation, and, during the course of that criminal investigation, determining the immigrant status of the person that they’re dealing with,” he said. “So, we need to clarify that.”

Sorry Chief Schultz, but clarification is not the problem. The policy language is very clear. What you need and the City of Albuquerque need to do is let police officers enforce the law. Illegal immigrants are illegal.

Now to be fair, Chief Schultz is operating in a politcal environment in New Mexico that is full of mixed messages when it comes to immigration.