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Monday, July 28, 2008

NM-Sen: Will DC Repubs Spend Any Money to Help Pearce?

According to the National Journal's Congress Daily commentary on this year's Senate races, a Dem win in the at-risk Senate seat in New Mexico could greatly help Obama:

In addition to extending the Democratic majority, the Senate battles could also have a profound effect on the presidential race, given that four of the top pickup opportunities for Democrats are in swing states where Republican presidential candidates have traditionally done well -- Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico and New Hampshire. President Bush won three of the four in 2004, losing only New Hampshire by a single percentage point to Democratic Sen. John Kerry from neighboring Massachusetts.

And it looks like the GOP may have already given up on the Senate race in NM:

This time around, strategists from both parties say privately that they expect the Virginia seat being left open by the retirement of GOP Sen. John Warner and the New Mexico seat that Republican Sen. Pete Domenici is leaving will end up in Democratic hands.

Campaign money is at a premium at the National Republican Senate Committee, so Pearce's campaign may have to go it alone unless his polling numbers suddenly start rising:

For now, the NRSC is marshalling its resources to dole out later in the cycle, when party leaders can more accurately judge which seats might be hopeless and which might be saved by an infusion of cash.

"If a race is going to win on its own, we're not going to play," Ensign said. "If it's going to lose and no chance to win, we're not going to play."

That statement is music to the ears of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer of New York, who sees the potential to put even more seats in play.

"If [Ensign] doesn't spend any money" in particular states, you think we'll have to?" Schumer asked. "It's a giant chessboard, and if he is to take some states off the map, it increases our flexibility in other states."

July 28, 2008 at 09:09 AM in 2008 NM Senate Race | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tuesday: Lt. Gov. Denish Starts Phase 2 of Roundhouse on the Road Tour

Denishhead1Lt. Governor Diane Denish will embark on her second Roundhouse on the Road Tour on Tuesday, July 29, from her Albuquerque office. Last week she concentrated on the Eastern part of the state, and this time she'll travel more than 400 miles, visiting seven towns in just three days in south central New Mexico. Denish will hold constituent meetings inside a Tourism Department bus and stop at selected local destinations to make sure she hears from New Mexicans in their own communities. See below the break for her schedule.

“The first tour was a great success. We heard from many people with ideas and concerns and I look forward to addressing each of them. I am eager to continue the Roundhouse on the Road Tours and look forward to hearing more of what the people have to say and what they are concerned about. Getting out on the road and talking with folks helps me better serve all the citizens of New Mexico,” said Lt. Governor Denish.

Check out some newspaper coverage of last week's initial Roundhouse on the Road trip in the Clovis News Journal and Albuquerque Journal. Excerpt:

... Denish said the east-side trip refreshed her awareness as an elected official. "I think a lot of times people in small communities feel isolated and like no one cares," Denish said. "I really identify with their work ethic and their ability to come together. But it's good to be reminded of it. "Every time I go home," the 59-year old Hobbs native said, "I grow up a little bit more."

"She's very refreshing," said Pauline Clark, a retiree who once served as Roosevelt County treasurer. "I think people are tired of those polished politicians that are full of hot air."

Gotta love that last comment.

For daily updates from Lt. Governor Denish about her Roundhouse on The Road Tour, visit her website at .

All are encouraged and very welcome to drop by the Roundhouse on the Road during scheduled office hours for a meeting with the Lt. Governor. 

The Lieutenant Governor's Constituent Services Office provides assistance to citizens with individual problems or requests that relate to State Government. The office facilitates and promotes cooperation between the people of New Mexico and the various state agencies by directing citizen's complaints to the proper state agency.

Below is Lt. Governor’s Denish travel schedule and constituent office hours for this second tour:

Tuesday, July 29

  • Carrizozo, Carrizozo City Hall , 400 9th Street, 10 AM-12noon
  • Tularosa, Tularosa Village Hall, 705 St. Francis Drive, 2 PM - 3 PM
  • Alamogordo, Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, 1301 N White Sands Blvd, 4 PM - 6 PM

Wednesday July 30

  • Cloudcroft, Cloudcroft Village Chamber, 1001 James Canyon Hwy., 9 AM - 11 AM
  • Ruidoso, ENMU, 709 Mechem Dr., 3 PM - 5 PM

Thursday, July 31

  • Capitan, Village Hall, 104 Lincoln, 10 AM - 11 AM
  • Socorro, Socorro City Hall, 111 School of Mines, 2 PM - 4 PM

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July 27, 2008 at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunday: Sandoval County Dem Wine Tasting Reception

From Democratic Women of Sandoval County: A wine tasting reception for federal, state and local Sandoval County and surrounding area candidates will be held on Sunday, July 27, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM, at Anasazi Fields Winery, 26 Camino de los Pueblitos, Placitas. The guest speaker will be Martha Burk, author of "Your Money and Your Life: The High Stakes for Women Voters in '08 and Beyond." Taste the wines, munch on cheese and snacks, enjoy live music, greet your neighbors, make new friends, volunteer for your favorite candidates. Sponsored by Democratic Women of Sandoval County. $10 donation requested. Candidates and one guest admitted free.

Janice Saxton, President, Democratic Women of Sandoval County, 867-1139

July 26, 2008 at 02:58 PM in Democratic Party, Local Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

NM-Sen: Udall Still Crushing Pearce in Lastest Rasmussen Poll

The Rasmussen poll on the U.S. Senate race in New Mexico released on Friday shows Tom Udall retaining a commanding lead over Repub Steve Pearce:

Democratic Congressman Tom Udall is maintaining his huge lead over Republican Steve Pearce in New Mexico’s U.S. Senate race. The Democrat now leads 59% to 34%. When “leaners” are included, Udall is on top 61% to 35%.

This marks the fourth straight time Udall has topped his rival by double-digits. Last month the Democrat was ahead 58% to 30%. In May he led 53% to 37%.

Udall has increased his strong lead among unaffiliated voters, although he's lost a few points with Republicans:

This month, Udall has a 59% to 27% advantage among voters not affiliated with either major political party, up from a 19-percentage-point lead last month. He is also backed by 18% of Republican voters, which is down from the 26% support he enjoyed last month.

His lead is dropping with men but increasing with women:

Among men, Udall leads 54% to 42%. His lead among men has dropped 10 points since the last survey. However, his lead among women has jumped four percentage points to a 64% to 26% edge.

As expected, the highly respected Tom Udall still has very high approval and very low disapproval numbers, while sourpuss Pearce continues to struggle with unfavorable ratings outnumbering his favorable ratings:

Favorability ratings for both candidates have changed little over the past month. The Democrat is viewed favorably by 66% and unfavorably by 28%. Pearce’s numbers are 46% favorable, 48% unfavorable.

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July 26, 2008 at 12:51 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race, Polling | Permalink | Comments (0)

Lastest Rasmussen: Obama Up by 5 in NM, 6 Points Nationally

Obama has a five point lead over McSame in the latest New Mexico Rassmussen poll, 46% to 41%. Last month he was up by eight, and Two months ago by nine. Also:

"When “leaners” are included in the totals, it’s Obama 49%, McCain 43%. Leaners are those who don’t initially express a preference for one of the major candidates. But, when asked a follow-up question, they do."

... Both candidates are viewed favorably by 57% of the state’s voters. Obama gets negative reviews from 41%, McCain from 39%. Reflecting a pattern seen across the country, opinions are more strongly held about Obama. In New Mexico, 31% have a Very Favorable opinion of the Democratic hopeful while just 21% say the same about his Republican rival. Both are viewed Very Unfavorably by 24%.

In New Mexico, Obama attracts 70% of the vote from Democrats and has a five-point edge among unaffiliated voters. McCain earns the vote from 82% of Republicans. McCain leads by thirteen among voters over 65 but trails among younger voters.

Perhaps Obama will get a boost in New Mexico as the result of his week overseas, as he apparently is in the national Rasmussen daily tracking poll:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that the bounce is continuing for Barack Obama. The presumptive Democratic nominee attracts 46% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 49% and McCain 43%. Just four days ago, the candidates were tied at 46% (with leaners). Obama is viewed favorably by 57% of voters, McCain by 55%. Tracking Polls are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day. Rasmussen Markets data gives Obama a 63.3 % chance of winning the White House.

July 26, 2008 at 12:29 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Polling | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Must Read: Pearce Won't Commit to Attend GOP Convention

Click. I knew this was a bad year for all things GOP, but this is getting our of hand. At this rate, Ron Paul's shadow convention will have more attendees than the main event. Hey Stevan (yes, that's the correct spelling) - you can run but you can't hide .... People have ways of finding out that you're a True Red Right-Wing Republican (who just voted against the housing bill designed to help folks stay in their homes after getting bilked by predatory lenders).

July 25, 2008 at 03:27 PM in 2008 NM Senate Race | Permalink | Comments (16)

Alex Flores Guest Blog: Latinos Strongly Prefer Obama

AfloresThis is a guest blog by Alex Flores that was first posted at Alex on Politics. Alex is from Corrales, NM and will start work on a Master's at Princeton this Fall. A young Dem up and comer, he currently serves on the Platform and Resolutions Committee of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Good news for New Mexico and for Democrats across the country! A new Pew Hispanic Center Poll was released this morning with the good news about Latino voters we've been waiting to hear. If current trends hold or strengthen, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado will likely turn blue in November. Further, in Southern Florida, where Joe Garcia is running a tough race against Mario Diaz-Balart and in Texas, where Rick Noriega is in striking distance of the US Senate seat, we have a chance to take elections never before thought possible.

According to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos in June and July, registered Latino voters support Barack Obama for President over Republic John McCain by 66%-23%! The results confirm what could only be speculated on by some confident Obama supporters during the contentious primary race earlier this year: despite Obama's difficulties with Latinos against Senator Hillary Clinton, Latinos would support his candidacy strongly over Senator John McCain.

Although Clinton won by more than 2-1 in the Primaries, and despite the problem's inflation by the mainstream media, it is evident now more than ever that Latinos identify with the Democratic Party. Additionally, the new numbers show a large number of Latinos are disaffected with Senator Clinton after a bitter defeat and prolonged campaign.

Since 2004, when President Bush claimed the largest block of Latino voters by any Republican Presidential Nominee in history, Latinos have trended towards Democrats more and more. In 2006, Latinos turned out at a rate of 40% of registrants and trended +39 Democratic. If the Pew poll is at all accurate, the new margin is +43 with much larger rates of participation nationwide. This new poll also shows that they are more than willing to vote a black man into office.

Here are the rest of the numbers:

Three times as many respondents said being black would help Obama (32%) with Latino voters than said it would hurt him (11%); the majority (53%) said his race would make no difference to Latino voters.

Obama is rated favorably by 76% of Latino registered voters, making him much more popular among that voting group than McCain (44% favorable) and President Bush (27% favorable).

Hillary Clinton's ratings among Latino registered voters are 73% favorable and 24% unfavorable; Obama's are 76% favorable and 17% unfavorable.

Also, more than three-quarters of Latinos who reported that they voted for Clinton in the primaries now say they are inclined to vote for Obama in the fall election, while just 8% say they are inclined to vote for McCain. That means that Obama is doing better among Hispanics who supported Clinton than he is among non-Hispanic white Clinton supporters, 70% of whom now say they have transferred their allegiance to Obama while 18% say they plan to vote for McCain, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Latino registered voters rank education, the cost of living, jobs and health care as the most important issues in the fall campaign, with crime lagging a bit behind those four and the war in Iraq and immigration still farther behind. On each of these seven issues, Obama is strongly favored over McCain--by lopsided ratios ranging from about three-to-one on education, jobs, health care, the cost of living and immigration, to about two-to-one on Iraq and crime.

In addition to their strong support for Obama, Latino voters have moved sharply into the Democratic camp in the past two years, reversing a pro-GOP tide that had been evident among Latinos earlier in the decade. Some 65% of Latino registered voters now say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with just 26% who identify with or lean toward the GOP. This 39 percentage point Democratic Party identification edge is larger than it has been at any time this decade; as recently as 2006, the partisan gap was just 21 percentage points.

This is a guest blog by Alex Flores of Corrales. Alex graduated from The George Washington University in Washington DC in the spring of 2008 with a degree in Public Policy. In the fall, he's moving to New Jersey to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. This summer he's finishing two and a half years of work in the Political Department at People For the American Way (PFAW). Alex is active in local and national politics, and hes' one of the youngest ever appointed voting members of the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s Platform and Resolutions Committee.

If you'd like to submit a post for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me button in the upper left-hand corner of the page.

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July 25, 2008 at 03:01 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Guest Blogger, Minority Issues, Polling | Permalink | Comments (0)

Guest Blog: Ben Ray Lujan on Netroots Nation

This is a guest blog by Ben Ray Lujan, our progressive Congressional candidate in NM-03. We thoroughly enjoyed having an opportunity to hang out with Ben Ray at the conference and to meet other netroots Congressional candidates at his luncheon in Austin. Ben Ray definitely gets it about the netroots. It was evident he had a great time at Netroots Nation, just like we did.

Last weekend I attended Netroots Nation. It was my first time at Netroots Nation, and I really enjoyed meeting with people from New Mexico and across the country.

New Mexico was well-represented at Netroots Nation. I sat with Barb and Mary Ellen, the hard working progressives behind this blog, and Matt of New Mexico FBIHOP during Howard Dean's keynote. Elizabeth Winters put together a great panel on Saturday where Martin Heinrich, Pete McCloskey, Denise Fort and I discussed emerging issues in New Mexico and the West. I also ran into friends from Taos.

On Thursday, I attended the Latino Caucus. Joe Garcia, a candidate many of you have helped out down in Florida, also joined the discussion. Latino bloggers are a small, but active group and they are working hard to highlight national and local Latino issues. They are a talented group and their voices are going to get much stronger.

Friday’s lunch was my highlight. We organized a meeting at Ironworks BBQ, right around the corner from the convention center, with a few of the other Congressional candidates and some bloggers from across the country.

Jim Himes, Annette Taddeo, Russ Warner and Dan Seals joined us for the BBQ, and we had a great conversation with all the candidates and the bloggers who attended. It was so exciting to meet candidates from across the country who not only are strong progressives, but also have great opportunities to defeat entrenched Republicans. With these excellent candidates, I have no doubt that we will increase our majority in Congress.

Please keep on following my campaign up in Northern New Mexico. We're doing great, but I need your help to make sure we have the resources to soundly defeat my self-described 'extreme-right' opponent. Thanks again for all of your help!

Here's a quick thank you video:

This is a guest blog by Ben Ray Lujan, who's one of the New Mexico netroots' True Blue New Mexico candidates.

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July 25, 2008 at 11:11 AM in Guest Blogger, Netroots Nation, NM-03 Congressional Seat 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Quick Hits

There's so much going on, I thought I'd link to some stories I don't have any time to write about.

About time: The Brennan Center for Justice has filed suit in state court on behalf of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas Inc. (FAWCO), New Mexico Public Interest Research Group (NMPIRG), and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) challenging New Mexico's voter registration rules that were enacted in 2005:

"New Mexico has enacted one of the most chilling and restrictive voter registration laws in the country," stated Wendy Weiser, the Brennan Center's Director of Voting Rights and Elections and one of the attorneys in the case. "In a year in which unprecedented numbers of Americans are interested in participating in our democracy, New Mexico should be welcoming new voters, not putting up barriers to their participation," she added.

A public hearing is set for September 8th in Santa Fe on New Mexico's proposed medical marijuana rules.

The Santa Fe New Mexican will lay off 16.5 workers, including 10 in their newsroom due to fading advertising revenues.

Gov. Bill Richardson may miss the Dem Convention if the special session of the New Mexico Legislature is still in progress when Dems convene in Denver on August 25-28.

The latest poll by the Pew Hispanic Center shows Obama with a large lead among Hispanics, including those who supported Hillary Clinton.

The after raising $10.8 million in June, compared with only $24.6 million left in the coffers of its GOP counterpart, which raised $6 million last month. CQ Politics said this $20 million and growing cash advantage means likely Senate gains for Dems, and reported that the DSCC transferred $128,617 to the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

CQ Politics has changed its race ratings in 14 Congressional contests, . One of those is our own NM-02 race:

New Mexico’s 2nd (New Rating: Leans Republican. Previous Rating: Republican Favored). Steve Pearce made this southern New Mexico district all but untouchable since winning the seat in 2002, but his departure to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Pete V. Domenici opens up the race. Democratic pick-up efforts are aided by the fact that their nominee is a conservative Democrat who can appeal to a broad swath of the party. Harry Teague, an oilman and former member of the Lea County Board of Commissioners, defeated progressive Democrat Bill McCamley in the June 3 primary after bolstering his campaign with $765,000 through May.

The DCCC has added Teague to its “Red to Blue” list of highly competitive challenges to Republican seats that the campaign committee will give logistical support and, in many cases, money. Restaurant chain owner Ed Tinsley won the five-way GOP primary with 31 percent of the vote after putting $296,000 into his own campaign through May. Southern New Mexico’s longstanding preference for Republican representation gives Tinsley a slight edge in the race, but Teague guarantees a highly competitive contest.

The Obama campaign is buying $5M of network and cabe TV ads during NBC's coverage of the Olympics, the first significant network-TV buy of any presidential candidate in at least 16 years.

The massive federal housing bill is on a fast track to enactment. The usual Repub suspects voted against it in the U.S. House, including Steve Pearce, who apparently wants suffering homeowners and communities to fend for themselves. Even Bush has changed his tune, agreeing not to veto the measure, but Pearce won't budge. You know how he is when it comes to offering a helping hand to anyone but our most wealthy citizens.

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July 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM in Current Affairs, Media | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sierra Club Calls Out McCain on 'Energy Misses'

The Sierra Club is challenging John McCain on his energy policies and his campaign's behavior in recent days. They noted in a release that John McCain canceled a planned trip to Louisiana today—a trip during which he was slated to visit offshore drilling platforms and tout his misguided offshore drilling plan. The cancellation came amid a spill of some 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into the Mississippi River, Following a collision of a tanker and a barge, the massive spill caused a slick approximately 12 miles long and closed a 29 mile stretch of the Mississippi River. In a statement, Cathy Duvall, Political Director of the Sierra Club, had this to say:

"It comes as no surprise that the McCain campaign blamed the cancellation of their trip to Louisiana on the weather. Apparently hundreds of thousands of gallons of spilled oil, dead fish, and oil-covered birds aren't ideal conditions for peddling a misguided plan for more offshore drilling. Unfortunately, the risk for such spills—and far worse—would only increase if John McCain and George Bush get their way and allow Big Oil to begin the 'exploitation' of our coasts.

"It's a shame that John McCain is going to miss the opportunity to see first-hand just how damaging an oil spill can be. 

"After going straight to Houston to tell Big Oil he was their new best friend, it looks like John McCain has decided to embark on a tour of our country's greatest energy misses. He's already been to Santa Barbara, he then told the people of Nevada how he wants to stick them with more than 70,000 tons of dangerous nuclear waste, and Lousiana was the site of the biggest offshore oil spill in our nation's history. Maybe next he'll visit Prince William Sound or Three Mile Island?"

The Sierra Club described some of McCain's recent campaign destinations this way:

McCain's Greatest Energy Misses Summer 2008 Tour

1. Houston, Texas—June 17
McCain announced his flip-flop on offshore drilling and received a standing ovation from the Big Oil fat cats that have given over $5 million to his campaign and the Republican National Committee. A 1979 offshore well blowout in the Bay of Campeche spilled more than 126,000,000 gallons of oil—coating beaches in Texas and Mexico with crude. 

2. Santa Barbara, California—June 24
McCain pushed his misguided offshore drilling plan at the site of a 1969 oil spill from an offshore well that coated the beaches of Santa Barbara with at least 3,234,000 gallons of oil.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada—June 25
John McCain went to Nevada to push his plans to build 100 new nuclear power plants and stick the residents of the state with more than 77,000 tons of highly dangerous nuclear waste at the unsafe and unproven Yucca Mountain site.

4. Louisiana—July 24 CANCELED 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in more than 9,000,000 gallons of oil being spilled off-shore and at related facilities onshore. Louisiana is also the site of the nation's largest ever offshore oil spill, the 1967 Humble Oil spill that spewed at least 6,726,000 gallons of oil from an undersea pipeline. 

5. Prince William Sound, Alaska--???
The 1989 ExxonValdez disaster spilled 10,800,000 gallons of oil into the Pristine Waters of Prince William Sound. Mere months after the tragic spill, John McCain voted against requiring double-hull tankers. McCain also wants to appoint more Supreme Court justices like Alito and Roberts, who recently decided to cut ExxonMobil's punitive damages to just $500 million—the same amount the company paid former CEO Lee Raymond during his final year with the company.

6. Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania—???
Site of the nation's worst nuclear accident, 1979 partial meltdown of one of the station's two reactors.  John McCain wants to build 100 new nuclear reactors, a plan that by utilities' own estimates could cost AT LEAST $1 TRILLION. 

Click here to read more from the Sierra Club about the top three myths McCain and other Republicans like Steve Pearce and Darren White are spreading about offshore drilling.

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July 24, 2008 at 04:34 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Energy, Environment | Permalink | Comments (4)