Today's post from Joe is about an "exclusive poll" that shows Big Bill Richardson's approval rating is only at 56%, according to Democrat pollsters Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. The "story" then goes on to posit the possibility that Big Bill will win the Governor's race, but will not get 60% of the vote. Now, as a political junkie (and one vaguely unsettled about Big Bill) Joe goes straight to my politiporn (trademark pending) addiction, and has me extrapolating all sorts of meaning from the numbers.
What does not getting 60% in NM mean for Big Bill's Presidential chances? How can someone seemingly so popular nationally only have middling support at home? Is it at this point in my mental frenzy of wild speculation that I notice my hands are involuntarily massaging a set of imaginary ball bearings, ala Humphrey Bogart in "The Caine Mutiny". It's the psychological equivalent of creasing five dollar bills to go into the lap dancer's thong. I'm hooked.
Then the pleasure sensation passes and a slightly more rational interpretation emerges. It's more dull and leaves me typing this post instead of rolling imaginary ball bearings in my hand, but let's not forget the following:
- The poll concerns "approval ratings" for Big Bill, but doesn't put his name in the poll versus any candidate.
- One reason the poll probably doesn't include mention of any other candidates is because, given the Republican field at present, respondents would have almost universally replied "Who the Hell is J.R. Damron? Is he the guy with JLo in that new 'Dallas' movie?"
- I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Big Bill's numbers would go up in any poll in which he was pitted against another known Republican human being (i.e. if we can consider Republican politicians to be human beings). For instance, just throwing somebody's name out there...whaddya think the Joe Carraro v. Big Bill numbers would have been?
- I know, you're thinking almost all NM respondents would have said "Carraro? The guy with that dive bar off of Central by UNM? Is he running for something?"
- Right now pollsters are polling Big Bill v. An Infinite Void because that's basically how great the discrepancy in name recognition is between Big Bill and any potential Republican candidate.
- Needless to mention all potential Democrat candidates to run against Big Bill in a primary were immediately dealt with by Paulie Walnuts from the Sopranos. Paulie was on a trip to the Southwest to improve his tan, and had some free time on his hands to do a special favor or two.
- Given the situation, my advice to pollsters is to phrase questions pitting Big Bill versus somebody or at least something. Maybe they could start with: "In the upcoming 2006 New Mexico Gubernatorial Race, would you be more likely to vote for Bill Richardson or a Clove of Garlic?" Additional questions could be asked using rutabagas, celery and other vegetables. Republican pollsters looking for bad Big Bill numbers are encouraged to use "corn tortilla" or "green chile sauce from Barelas Coffee House" instead.
P.S.: If there's one thing I really appreciate JoeMonahan for, it's the total lack of graphic layout skill in which he arranges his political sponsorship ads at the top of his site. As someone with the visual aesthetic acuity of an engorged hyena running along with a antelope carcass, Joe makes me feel better that I am not alone in this area. Thanks Joe!