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Volume 52, Number 12   November 1, 2004         

    Announcements    Events    News    Newsmakers


Polling problems
"Polls overstate the confidence of their findings," John Rogers, associate director of the Public Research Institute, said in an article that appeared in the Oct. 28 edition of the Stockton Record. "The numbers bounce around, and it's not because people are changing party affiliation. It's the accuracy of the method. It's not as good as we'd like to believe."

Race to the presidency
Robert Smith, professor of political science, discussed the final week of the presidential campaign on the Oct. 27 edition of the Tavis Smiley Show on National Public Radio. "The country made up its mind earlier this year that President Bush does not deserve re-election … but I think it's still not a done deal yet, so you get this ambivalence throughout the electorate, concentrated in what we've come to call the swing states," he said. Smith added that the war in Iraq and U.S. economy are the two biggest issues for African American voters. "Most African Americans think the war was a mistake, and a mistake in the sense that we ought not have attacked a country that has not attacked us," he said. "And, second, the war has drained resources -- billions of dollars -- that might have been used more productively here at home."

Chideya is old school
Journalist and public personality Farai Chideya was profiled in the Oct. 24 San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. Chideya recently formed a partnership with SFSU to expand her online journal "She reminds me of people who were role models for me when I was a young journalist," said Erna Smith, professor of journalism, "... when there were a lot more places for talented African American writers with points of view to have a voice. She's kind of a throwback."

Internet's indirect impact
Although some pundits are claiming that bloggers and Internet activists have changed the face of political elections, David Tabb, professor of political science, takes a more cautious position in an Oct. 13 Contra Costa Times article. "The Internet provides an unprecedented means of mobilizing and accessing huge numbers of people almost instantly, and it remains to be seen what the effect of it will be in this election," he said. "To the extent that it determines who controls the current narrative, it's logical to think that it may have a substantial, if indirect, impact."

College concerns
In an Oct. 11 interview with the San Francisco Examiner, President Robert A. Corrigan expressed concerns that the coming generation of college students won't receive the quality of education they deserve because of budget cuts. "What I'm concerned about is, are we prepared to serve them?" he asked. "Are we as taxpayers willing to provide this generation with access to the same kind of low-cost, high-quality education we provided to previous generations?"

Running away from the runoff
San Francisco's experiment with ranked choice voting could change the way public officials are elected across the country, claims the San Jose Mercury News in its Oct. 10 edition. "A lot is at stake here,'' said Rich DeLeon, professor of political science. DeLeon thinks that San Francisco is a good place for the experiment. "If it doesn't work in San Francisco, where else could it work?'' he asked.

For more SFSU people and programs in the news, see the SFSU in the News page on SF State News.

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Last modified November 1, 2004, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications