Thursday, November 06, 2008
NM-Sen: Udall Whomps Pearce by 23 Points (Video, Photos)
The unofficial results as of this morning show Tom Udall with 495,654 votes or 61.2% and Steve Pearce with 314,836 votes or 38.8%. It's called a rout!
The victory of current NM-03 Congressman Tom Udall over current NM-02 Congressman Steve Pearce was certainly no surprise. Udall's poll numbers were double-digit spectacular over the course of the race. After all, Tom Udall is one of the most well-known, well-trusted and well-liked politicos in New Mexico -- and his father, Stewart, is a Democratic icon with sterling environmental and ethical credentials. Stewart Udall served as Secretary of the Interior in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
Then there were the advantages provided by Tom, his wife Jill Cooper-Udall and their daughter and Campaign Manager Amanda Cooper working their tails off in the course of the campaign, along with all the rest of the staffers and volunteers. There was active netroots outreach, so many campaign events they were hard to keep up with and one-to-one voter contacts galore. Still, Udall's 23-point margin of victory is something awesome to behold.
Pandemonium erupts as Udall camp steps on stage
Udall thanks family, all who helped, Sen. Domenici
Pearce, known as a somewhat prunish, far-right ideologue, just never caught on with the general voting public, despite his popularity with the GOP's right wing in certain areas of the state. He often came off as mean-spirited, arrogant and accusatory, while Tom managed to retain his dignity and humor, and keep his focus on the issues in the face of Pearce's attack-dog tactics. Udall could be tough hitting back on debating points, but he never lost his cool or got down in the mud with Pearce.
This race followed a path similar to our other Congressional victories, with the GOP candidate depending on an unending fusilade of negativity to deflect attention from the issues. Clearly, Americans are sick of Bush's failures, those who agree with him and those who helped him bring America to the brink of disaster. Pearce was often perceived as just another far-right echo of the Bush-Cheney madness that voters rejected in favor of change.
Pearce also ran a rather lazy and mostly ineffective campaign. He had trouble attracting adequate funding and refused to dip into much of his personal fortune for the cause. His tactics seemed clumsy and badly executed. And he had angered a fair share of New Mexico Republicans by challenging and beating Rep. Heather Wilson, Sen. Pete Domenici's choice for the slot, in a bare-knuckles primary. Let's face it, Pearce had a lot going against him, including his dismal voting record and his poor relations with many within his own party.
Still, I can't believe even Heather Wilson could have defeated Tom Udall in this Senate race. When Udall entered the contest, the enthusiasm for his candidacy was deep and wide, even across party lines. It's hard to top the strengths of a candidate like Udall, who's known for his ability to connect with ordinary people from all walks of life, and the genuine respect and affection he has for his fellow citizens.
With an impeccable record on the environment, veterans' affairs and constitutional issues among other things, Udall was in the lead from day one. His reasoned and principled stand against the Iraq invasion brought him even more support and credibility. And don't minimize the popularity of those green parrot TV ads!
Congratulations and thanks for working your hearts out to Tom, Jill, Amanda, all the staffers, the dedicated volunteers and the generous donors who made this victory possible. Tom will no doubt make an excellent U.S. Senator and advocate for the people of New Mexico. We're the lucky ones, aren't we?