Friday, June 20, 2008
Novak Pessimistic About GOP Chances in New Mexico
National political curmudgeon Robert Novak, a venomously right-wing Republican, presents a decidedly pessimistic picture for GOP candidates in federal races this year in New Mexico. He reports that Pearce has big odds to beat in the U.S. Senate race:
New Mexico: The retirement of Sen. Pete Domenici (R) because of degenerative brain disease looks likely to give another Senate seat to Democrats ... Udall has a huge cash advantage, stemming from his uncontested primary and an energized nationwide fundraising Democratic base. As of May 14, Udall had raised $3.2 million and had $2.9 million on hand. Pearce had raised $1.9 million, but he spent almost all of it on his competitive primary.
Udall is a well-known and well-liked politician who taps perfectly into the environmentalist zeitgeist of the state. His liberal base is large and energetic while Pearce's conservative base is much smaller. Bush hangs like a rain cloud over the GOP here, and McCain might not bring any coattails.
It's believable then when one New Mexico Republican tells us of a poll showing Udall up by 31 points.
Pearce will distance himself from the White House and work hard for Wilson's moderate backers, and Republicans will beat up Udall to knock him down a peg. Still, it's hard to see how Pearce wins without a major scandal that brings down Udall. Likely Democratic Takeover.
Novak is also downbeat about GOP chances to retain the U.S. House seats currently being held by Rep. Heather Wilson (NM-01) and Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-02):
Considering only the candidates, White has the edge [in NM-01], but the political landscape seriously favors Heinrich. Bush's name and the GOP brand are dirt in New Mexico. Tom Udall is likely to dominate the Senate race. In Albuquerque at least, Obama enthusiasm could drive up Democratic turnout, while luke-warmness about McCain could suppress GOP turnout. Domenici won't be able to help White, while Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) could be on hand to boost all of the Democratic candidates.
Because we expect a strong Democratic tide, White's strengths look likely to be wiped out by a Democratic surge.
[NM-02] is the "Republican district" in New Mexico, but it could be represented by a Democrat next year. In 2004, Bush took 58 percent of this district, which covers the Southern half of the state, but the GOP might have nominated the wrong candidate [in Ed Tinsley].
Making things even worse for Darren White and Ed Tinsley, Martin Heinrich and Harry Teague will get lots of help from the Democratic Congressional Campagin Committee. Both of them were recently added to the DCC'Cs powerful Red to Blue program.
As for NM-03, Novak gives Ben Ray Lujan the nod, saying that "Republicans nominated contractor Dan East (R), who doesn't have much of a chance. Likely Democratic Retention."
Just more reasons we think there'll be a True Blue New Mexico come November, IF everyone chips in a few bucks right now to help make it happen.