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Sportsmen hunt, fish and vote

Polling of hunters and anglers in three swing states suggests
some 80 percent will vote in this year's presidential election

Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation ? Oct. 19, 2004

WASHINGTON ? The campaigns of both President Bush and Senator Kerry have placed a high priority on winning the sportsmen's vote during this campaign, but hunters and anglers may play an even greater role in the election than either camp had predicted, based on the findings of a survey released by the bipartisan Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF).

The survey of licensed hunters and anglers in Florida, New Mexico, and Ohio suggests that the percentage of sportsmen who will cast votes in these key swing states will be well above the national average. Based on survey findings in Ohio, 75% of sportsmen are considered "likely voters," the number jumps to 80% in New Mexico, and Florida tops the group with 82%.

"This survey re-emphasizes that hunters and anglers are an active and important constituency and that the attention that President Bush and Senator Kerry have been giving to sportsmen is well-aimed," commented Melinda Gable, Executive Director of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.

President Bush, an avid bass fisherman and bird hunter, has held at least two major meetings with representatives of sportsmen's groups in recent months and the Kerry Campaign has publicized that the Senator is a long-time hunter, angler and target shooter. "Sportsmen For Bush" and "Sportsmen For Kerry" committees have also been formed by the respective campaigns. And with more than 8 in 10 sportsmen polled stating they will definitely vote in this year's Presidential election, it is clear to see why sportsmen are a key constituency.

Of equal importance, the survey suggests that a sizable number of the sportsmen polled have yet to make a firm decision on a candidate (Ohio 30%, New Mexico 20%, Florida 22%), leaving in the balance several hundred thousand votes in these three states ? a finding of great significance considering this extremely close election and the fact that only a few hundred votes in the 2000 election determined the winner of several key states.

It should be noted that with this consistently high rate of political activism by sportsmen in these three states, other battleground states with high sportsmen populations such as Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin will likely also see the effects of the sportsmen's vote.

About nine in ten sportsmen polled said that they voted in the 2000 elections. If true, then sportsmen made up a large portion of the total vote in these states (Ohio 27%, Florida 33% and New Mexico 38%) during the last presidential election.

Doug Painter, Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation president, stresses the importance of participation, "There are nearly 40 million sportsmen of voting age in the United States. If all of us had voted in the 2000 presidential election, we would have equaled 36 percent of the entire vote. This year, more than ever, we must maximize the sportsmen's voice at the polls."

"With less than three weeks before the election, hunters and anglers have done their scouting and set their alarm clocks for November 2. Many just haven't decided which candidate's camp they'll visit," Gable said.

Candidates views on hunting and fishing are important

Just as candidates are paying more attention to sportsmen as a voting constituency, hunters and anglers are paying more attention to the issues that matter most to them as sportsmen, with 8 in 10 sportsmen surveyed stating that a candidate's position on sportsmen's issues is important in determining who they will vote for.

Support of sportsmen's issues is highly related to backing a presidential candidate

By more than a two to one margin, sportsmen feel George W. Bush has been more supportive of sportsmen's issues than Senator John Kerry would be if elected President. As a result, in all three swing states President Bush is currently the candidate of choice for most sportsmen (50% to 36% for Kerry among Ohio's likely sportsmen voters, 67% to 24% in Florida and 71% to 22% in New Mexico).

Sportsmen come from all political walks of life

While sportsmen are generally considered a conservative block, a large number are Democrat or Independent and willing to cross party lines in favor of a candidate who is pro-hunting and fishing. Less than one-third of the sportsman-respondents considered a candidate's political party to be essential in determining for whom they will vote.

Gun rights, mercury contamination of fish are top concerns for sportsmen

Although homeland security, the economy and health care are top concerns for all Americans this election season, a majority of sportsmen polled said that it is essential for a candidate to share their views on hunting and fishing issues. As for sportsmen's issues, gun rights topped the list in New Mexico, with preventing mercury contamination of fish being the top concern in Ohio and Florida.

It is clear that sportsmen care about conservation and protecting their hunting and fishing traditions and recent history has shown that they will use their votes to help ensure the future of these traditions. Which candidate sportsmen identify as most supportive of their hunting and fishing heritage over the next few weeks may very well be the occupant of the White House for the next four years.

Roper Public Affairs Methodology ? Results are based on a telephone survey of sportsmen (i.e., persons with hunting and/or fishing licenses) in New Mexico, Florida, and Ohio. Each respondent was randomly selected on an "nth" name basis from up-to-date and comprehensive lists of registered hunters and anglers in their respective states. A total of 1,200 interviews were conducted ? 400 in each state.

Interviews in Ohio and New Mexico were collected from September 14-30, 2004. Interviews in Florida were delayed due to the weather and were conducted from 9/20-9/26 and 10/4-10/10. All interviews were conducted at an NOP World owned and operated telephone interviewing facility, using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software.

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559 Posts
President Bush is and has always been an avid hunter and fisherman. Senator Kerry has just recently jumped on the "Outdoorsman" bandwagon. It is best to check the history of both men on this issue and any other issue for that matter, so that you can cast a well informed and educated vote.

64 Posts
Land Locked - Your statement just isn't true (no surprise there).

Sportsmen Bill of Rights
"As a life-long hunter and fisherman, I am proud to be among the millions of American sportsmen and sportswomen who are dedicated to conserving fish and wildlife and passing along the American hunting and fishing heritage to the next generation." -- John Kerry

A Kerry-Edwards administration will create a Sportsmen?s Bill of Rights with America?s sportsmen and sportswomen to ensure that the basic rights of all Americans to legally and safely hunt and fish are protected.

Our Sportsman?s Bill of Rights contains six rights:
The Right to Own Firearms
John Kerry and John Edwards will always support the Second Amendment right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms, such as rifles and shotguns, including semi-automatic firearms used by hunters and sportsmen across this country. Gun rights are fundamental for the sport of hunting, and they will vigorously support those rights as president.
Like President Bush, and sportsmen and law enforcement officers across this nation, John Kerry and John Edwards also support the extension of the current assault weapons ban.

The Right of Access to Areas to Hunt and Fish
One of the greatest challenges facing hunters, and to a certain extent anglers, is the dwindling access to nearby places to hunt and fish. More and more, America?s sportsmen and sportswomen are facing the loss of land to urban sprawl, leasing of private lands for pay hunting, or simply an unwillingness of private landowners to the risk liability associated with the public hunting or fishing on their lands.

A Kerry-Edwards administration will work to open millions of new acres of land to public hunting and fishing by providing better funding for state walk-in access programs. A number of states currently pay private landowners, on a voluntary basis, to open their lands to the public. This has resulted in millions of acres being made available in the West and Midwest to hunting and fishing. These programs need more resources. That is why they have supported legislation called the ?Open Fields? bill. This bipartisan legislation will provide $50 million each year to state agencies to strengthen existing walk-in access programs and to encourage states that do not currently have walk-in programs to establish them.

The Right to High Quality Fish and Wildlife Habitat
As every hunter and angler knows, healthy and abundant habitat is the key to maintaining fish and wildlife. A Kerry-Edwards administration will focus the efforts of the federal government on conserving and restoring habitat throughout this country. Some of this work will entail expanding the use of voluntary, incentive-based land and water conservation programs that target private landowners and farmers. In other cases, it will involve enhancing upland habitat or better protecting water quality on federal lands.

In the case of wetlands, where so many birds and fish live, the situation is critical. Loss of wetlands threatens the future of waterfowl hunting as well as of fishing, bird-watching, and even water quality. John Kerry and John Edwards will ensure that the Fish and Wildlife Service immediately develops and implements a comprehensive plan to restore thousands of acres of wetlands lost over the last few decades and that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Corps of Engineers strengthen protection for wetlands. A Kerry-Edwards administration will rewrite the existing field guidance for EPA and the Corps to ensure the maximum protection of wetlands.. They will also increase funding for wetlands protection and restoration under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

The Right of the Protection of Wildlife from Irresponsible Oil and Gas Drilling
While there is no doubt that America needs to find and develop more natural gas and oil reserves, the current effort to exploit these resources on federal lands in the West is putting fish and wildlife unnecessarily in harm?s way. Under a Kerry-Edwards administration, the federal land management agencies will take seriously the multiple use mandates and ensure that fish and wildlife resources are not sacrificed to irresponsible drilling. Lands that are better used for hunting, fishing, camping, and other uses not compatible with intensive drilling will be set aside.

At the same time, more resources will be devoted to beefing-up federal land management field offices, so better land management plans can be developed with input from all interested parties ? including hunters and anglers, ranchers, and local businesses that rely on a healthy range ? so that necessary monitoring can take place, and so that decisions on legitimate proposals to develop these oil and gas resources can be made in a timely manner. And where federal lands are leased and permitted for energy development, sufficient protective conditions will be applied to ensure that fish and wildlife are not adversely affected.

The Right of Wise Management of the National Forests
Many fish and wildlife species depend on the wise management of the national forests. In previous years, the management of our federal lands too often has been driven by politics rather than by common sense. Some management needs to take place each year. John Kerry and John Edwards will undertake legitimate thinning projects to reduce the risk of fire around communities and to create a mosaic of habitat in the forest. In managing the forests, they will also seek to protect the remaining wild places and critical spawning habitat. To provide hunters, anglers, and hikers with the solitary experience many of us seek from time to time, and to prevent further fragmentation of our forests, we should prevent the construction of new roads into our remaining roadless areas.

The Right to Fair Share of Federal Funding for Fish and Wildlife Programs
Sound stewardship of the nation?s fish and wildlife, and the habitat on which it depends, relies on a consistent commitment of resources to federal and state natural resource agencies. The Conservation Security Program?if properly implemented and fully funded?also provides enormous potential in that it makes financial and technical assistance available to farmers to promote the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life on private working lands. Federal tax policy also can contribute to conservation by encouraging the donation of easements on private lands, which ensure that they will remain free of destructive development in perpetuity. Kerry-Edwards strongly support guaranteed and increased funding for federal and state fish and wildlife programs and for public land conservation. In addition they will enhance tax incentives on donations of private lands for conservation.

Farm programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program have contributed enormously to the cause of conservation, to improved water quality, and to farm and ranch income. These voluntary programs represent an important partnership between landowner and hunter. John Kerry and John Edwards will work with the conservation and agriculture communities to expand these programs. They will also work to use the Farm Bill to maximize benefits to fish and wildlife consistent with providing strong economic support to rural America through existing farm programs.

Throughout the United States, diseases, such as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), are affecting our nation?s wildlife populations. Kerry-Edwards will empower the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of the Interior to further study and better coordinate the scientific research into the prevention and eradication of CWD and similar wildlife diseases. They will also provide increased federal funding to further research CWD and to identify and implement effective management strategies.

559 Posts
NCsurffisher that really sounded great!
But like I stated before "HISTORY" is a great indicator. Senator Kerry has not done much to help anyone let alone the Sportsmen of this country as a senator, now all of a sudden he is going to save the world. I won't be fooled by worthless rhetoric that is only lip service to fake his way into the Whitehouse!
Don't be fooled, put down that kool-aide cup.

P.S Are you getting paid by the DNC or just a volunteer?

119 Posts
kerry is fraud......plain and simple...he has a plan for this and a plan for that......."What's the plan?" What kind of military discharge goes he have from the service? He will not release this. WHY?
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