Baits and Bullet crowd and Democrats
IdaBlue points to a recent experience with some less than liberal friends, and how Democrats have actually been doing a good job reaching them:
To them, a key issue is access to outdoors. They decried efforts to privatize land and make it off limits to sportsmen and women. Given the Governor's long-standing credentials as a Sage Brush Rebel (for those of who who aren't familiar with it, the point was to sell off federal land to private owners), this issue is an opportunity for Dems. There has been noise lately about abolishing the practice of the state trading land below the high water mark for greenbelt land.
Brian Schweitzer won the governor's mansion in Montana by going to the floor for fishing access rights. It seems like an intensely local issue, but in places like Idaho and Montana where property owners may not want fishermen walking through their back lots, and where Republicans might want to sell the public timberlands that also serve hunters, its a big issue.
The nut for me is to make the broader connection of environmental stewardship, that if we don't protect these fish and wildlife populations, that we won't have the animals to hunt or fish for. Its a bit deeper than simple access, and its where we sometimes loose the more conservative folks.
Your Personal Note:
I am a right-leaning centrist, and a Democrat. I am a Latter-Day-Saint (Mormon). I am a veteran. I'm exactly the kind of Democrat who has sometimes supported Republicans in the past, and the sort of Democrat that the party must appeal to in order to win the presidency.
I think painting any person (or group) with one broad brush, like the environment, is to make a huge mistake. Most people care about far more than one issue (whatever that issue may be).
Posted by: Blue Dog Oregon (Jim) | Jun 4, 2007 8:49:19 AM
Check out the poll at http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2007/06/tracking_the_ho.html
A new nat'l poll of sportsmen finds that most hunters and anglers are conservative GOPers, but that the constituency swung from heavily GOP in '04 to about even between the two parties in '06. The poll, conducted by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, surveyed 603 sportsmen nationwide and 1,014 sportsmen in the Rocky Mountain West.
It found that sportsmen voted for Pres. Bush over John Kerry by over a 2-to-1 margin in '04. Hunters favored Bush, 65-15%, and anglers supported him, 54-27%. In '06, however, the poll found that two parties tied the sportsmen vote -- GOPers claimed 36% and Dems took 35%.
The biggest shift was in WY, where sportsmen supported Bush by a 70-17% margin in '04, but in '06 gave the GOP candidate 43% and the Dem one 35% -- a whopping 45-point shift....
... the No. 1 reason sportsmen who are registered GOPers voted for Dem in '06 was because of the “conservation platform of a specific candidate.” Conversely, Dem sportsmen who supported GOP candidates cited guns rights and the Second Amendment as the No. 1 reason. Overall, sportsmen told pollsters that they were looking for pro-gun, pro-conservation candidates.
Jim, of course, is right that we shouldn't over generalize, but the numbers are impressive.
Posted by: Leo Brown | Jun 8, 2007 5:19:34 PM
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)