Interesting Discussion with a Reagan Appointee

I had an interseting encounter tonight I’d thought I’d share. I met one of my neighbors tonight. Very nice elderly gentleman and his wife. Turns out he’s a lawyer, and he was a political appointee during the Reagan administration. And he told me he’s voting for Kerry. Why? Because he didn’t consider George Bush to be a true conservative. This guy is fiscally conservative and socially moderate, and he’s not going to support Bush. He also hates Bush’s foreign policy.

It’s funny, he really liked Reagan, though he felt uncomfortable at Reagan’s spending. Then he mentioned Clinton, and his surprise that Clinton balanced the budget. That’s his argument for divided government. If Kerry gets in, he can be checked by a Republican GOP. Bush has been a disgrace, in his opinion.

He and his wife actually split time between San Fran and Reno. He still practices and so he spends half the week in one, then the other half in the other to meet with clients. But what was also interesting is that he said he went to Michael Moore’s event at the University of Nevada last night, and almost 10,000 people were in there screaming like it was a prayer revival. He also noted that there were only about 250 college Republicans outside. And he had this very interesting theory about college students. They all carry cell phones these days and don’t bother with land lines. Hence, they can’t be reached by pollsters. If what he saw at Nevada (Nevada!!!) is any indication, this could be big for Kerry.

According to both Mr. McCullough (who reads extensively on this crap) and my girlfriend (a grad student in communication and… public policy, I think. Not sure about the second one.), this skew is already known to most pollsters, and they don’t think it’s statistically significant yet. Keyword: yet. So it prolly won’t affect this election, but polling methods will have to radically change pretty soon if “the polls” want to remain relevant.