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Carl Pope

Carl's new weblog:
Taking the Initiative.

Field Notes Archive

Which is worst?
Vote for the Bush administration's
biggest folly!

Carl Pope's Field Notes

Numbers, Numbers, Who's Got the Numbers?
12, 2004

Seems to be the theme this week. And the numbers don't look very good for the Administration's reliance on strategic ignorance as the focus of environmental policy. In Nevada, the two top concerns on voters' minds are both areas where the Administration's approach has left the state (and America) at risk -- our over-reliance on imported oil, leading to high gas prices, and Bush's decision once he was elected in 2000 to ignore the scientific warning signs and rush forward with plans to dump America's nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain. Yucca Mountain is now a major concern to Nevada voters -- almost three quarters are very or somewhat worried, and majorities of normally Republican constituencies join in that worry. Indeed, Nevada is the one state where an environmental issue is actually driving the election.

But, Nevadans aren't alone. Recent polls from a variety of sources show that Americans trust John Kerry over Bush on the environment by 23%, that more than half want the presidential candidates to spend more time discussing the environment and, in a new trend, that 87% of Americans rate protecting the country's water and food supply from terrorist attack as a very serious problem.

A late-May poll by Zogby America reported that, "faced with gasoline prices soaring to more than $2.00 per gallon, most likely voters say the Bush Administration's close ties to the oil industry are hurting consumers. By nearly a 5 to1 margin -- 57 percent to 12 percent -- voters said that the Administration's close ties to the oil industry were hurting, rather than helping, consumers."

And the New York Times, in its June 11 profile of undecided voters, pointed out that they are particularly concerned about the environment.

Trying to fool all the people all the time about its policies on the environment is not looking like a very good gamble for the Administration.