« New Zogby Interactive Out | Main | Update: Arkansas »

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Is Yucca Mountain Really a Big Deal?

Posted by DavidNYC

I've been beating the drum of Yucca Mountain for quite some time. I figured Kerry, who opposed the government's plan to bury all of our nuclear waste there, could make a lot of hay out of the issue. And in fact, he has brought it up, time and again, including yesterday.

But I just came across a poll from a few weeks ago, conducted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. They asked voters which issue was "most influential" in guiding their voting decisions. It turns out that Yucca Mountain was the top priority for just 3%. (The full list is here.)

Three percent is surely enough to swing Nevada, but if you are listing that issue as tops, then I assume you're already voting against Bush. The question is, is there still time to convince other Nevadas - ie, swing voters, or soft Bush supporters - that Yucca should be a priority?

I think it's possible. Yucca can be sold not just as an environmental issue but also as a security issue. Undoubtedly, Yucca Mountain would become one of the most heavily-guarded spots in the country. But trucks and rail cars full of nuclear waste, travelling across the entire lower 48, will surely make much easier - and much more tempting - terrorist targets. If you look at that list again, you'll see that security-related matters top the list. I think this dog will hunt.

UPDATE: I should add that the Review-Journal has already endorsed Bush, so just bear that in mind.

Posted at 09:54 PM in Nevada | Technorati


Badnarik polls 3% in NM, taking votes away from Bush. As soon as the media catches on, Badnarik could be the Perot of 2004 and ensure a victory for Kerry.

Posted by: VoteBadnarik at October 7, 2004 10:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Keep your eye on that Zogby Poll. It nailed the 2000 Election to within 1/10th of a point.

Most polls showed an early night with Bush winning handily. The error? Most polls had an inaccurate polling sample weighted with too few Dems (34%) and too many Reps (34%). The actual turnout was 39% Dems 35% Reps, 26% Ind. All indicators are that the turnout for this election will be similar with the possibility of slightly more Dems than in 2000.

It seems to be Mr. Zogby's opinion as well, if all my reading is not in error, that undecided voters will be more likely to break for Kerry in the end, if history repeats itself with Incumbant Presidents.

Should be a barnburner.

Posted by: FrankPA at October 9, 2004 11:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

KE04 has settled on three talking points in Nevada for swaying voters to Kerry:

1. Bush screwed us on Yucca Mountain.
2. Bush dropped the ball on the war on terror by invading Iraq.
3. Bush stands in the way of getting cheaper prescription drugs and lower health insurance premiums.

So, two out of three are national themes, number one is Nevada-specific. I think part of the reason polling is showing waning support for Yucca Mtn is because the state's GOP's downplaying of Bush's blatant lie that he would not make a judgement for dumping nuke waste inconsistent with "sound science" (and then did exactly that his first year in office.) Despite how pathetic it seems to us blue voters, the "oh my god, we can't switch horses in mid-stream" Bush voters have apparently talked themselves into not wanting to fight Yucca anymore. As for the tiny sliver of undecideds left? We'll see.

Yes, Yucca is a security issue (most Nevadans could recite the various Yucca opposition arguments in their sleep) but most of all it's a "we're fiercely independent here in Nevada and are sick and tired of the federal government screwing us." The undecideds that break for Kerry will do so because of Yucca and Bush's Iraq policy (we don't have shuttered manufacturing plants here in the Silver State.)

At this point, the trajectory for the final weeks of the campaign has been set, and now we're just hanging on for dear life until election day. I've no idea how crazy it is in Vegas (heading down two weekends from now) but the DNC staffers are definitely swarming up here in the biggest little city of Reno. Went to a Dem event today and couldn't keep track of all the new faces in the room- both volunteers and pros.

Oh, and think nothing of the LVRJ endorsement- they make no bones about their Republican allegiances (hell, one of their columnists wrote a book called "Bring in the Waco Killers" at the height of the Clinton bashing era.) The Las Vegas Sun (the Dem alternative paper) will most certainly endorse Kerry in the next week or so.

Posted by: wavyb at October 10, 2004 03:37 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment