[eDebate] Lunch with John Zogby - Q & A

omar guevara oguevara
Tue Sep 30 15:36:43 CDT 2008

Today I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with John Zogby and a few of my colleagues from the University.  Yeah, I know...little 'ole Weber got themselves a rock star!  To say that I was blown away by this opportunity is understatement - John is a very down-to-earth human being, who despite all of his knowledge and status, was incredibly accessible and humble.
I was not flowing...but here were some questions I asked him, and his (paraphrased) answers:
1.  "What about the 'Bubba' effect hurting Obama in November?"
Professor Zogby stated that, at most, racist attitudes towards the first African American running for the White House on a major party ticket will affect no more than 10-12% of whites voting.  And most of that affect have already been factored in because, surprisingly (at least to me), respondents are willing to disclose comments such as "I will not vote for a Black man" to his pollsters (I thought that was shocking because I assumed people who held such shameful attitudes would be concerned about disclosing them).
2.  "Will the Cactus Corridor (New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and to a lesser degree Montana) play a decisive role in this presidential campaign? And if not, could it play a decisive role in the future?"
Yes and Yes.  In fact, Professor Zogby stated that if Senator McCain was not from Arizona - Arizona would function this year as the NEW Florida.  The rising population of these states, combined with the increasing influence of the 'creative classes' disproportionally represented among the employed elite, virtually guarantees that these states are in play for the foreseeable future.  Also, Hispanics vote Democratic by 2-1.  (NB:  The Hispanic question is a bit tricky - economics draw them to the democrats, but social issues...such as abortion and religion...sometimes give them pause).
3.  "What is the most likely scenario for the development of a viable third party in American presidential campaigns - to the Left of the Democrats (Nader, Greens, Socialists), or to the Right of the Republicans (Libertarians, Constitution Party)?"
Neither.  The most likely scenario is the middle-of-the-road centrist party, such as Perot's Reform Party - but with someone at the helm who is more likeable...such as Mayor Bloomberg (in particular)...maybe a Jesse Ventura. (NB:  I thought this answer was interesting because as both major parties move to the 'center' and increasing say the same thing - "I'm for the bailout! NO, I am for the bailout!" - that their respective flanks would be exposed...but Professor Zogby seemed pretty confident about his answer).
4.  "What does Ralph want...and will it matter in November?"

Ralph Nader will be able to pull some respectable single digit results in states like Michigan, but those same states are probably pretty securely for Obama.  As for what he wants, Professor Zogby said that Ralph is incredible human being motivated by the purest of concerns.  However, he worried about the damage being done to Ralph Nader's reputation from these repeated quixotic campaigns for the White House.
But then again, Ralph is not the only one among us who believe in charging windmills :)
My best to all,

Omar G Guevara II
Director of Forensics
Department of Communication
College of Arts & Humanities
Weber State University
Ogden, Utah

801.626.6220 (Office)
801.668.6910 (Cell)
Oguevara at hotmail.com
Oguevara at weber.edu

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