Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Big Bill Blooper Reel; You Gotta See It, Plus: Exclusive Poll On Los Alamos Layoffs, And: Pearce Comes With Another Phone Blitz 

Let's start with some comic relief today and this blooper reel of Big Bill that has been making the rounds at You Tube. They put the needle in, but he comes out of it better than you might expect.
As for the campaign, it's all on Iowa now. If he finishes fourth the Guv is gone. His latest Real Clear Politics polling average is 9.8%, in fourth place and trailing John Edwards who is in third with 22.2%. That's a long climb and still a long shot for the Guv, but there is time. Iowa votes January 3.


One thing the Guv hasn't had much to fret about lately is speculation over his coming back to NM and running for the US Senate seat. That talk quieted when Rep. Tom Udall got in the race. It will quiet some more today when Udall makes his candidacy official with a noontime announcement at the ABQ National Hispanic Cultural Center. The location sends a message to Udall foe Marty Chavez that the northern NM congressman will vigorously contest him for the key Hispanic constituency. More on Udall's entry tomorrow. Meanwhile, here is his announcement news release, his note to supporters and his campaign schedule featuring a nine city tour.

The Udall entry today is good timing for Bill, as a prankster this week sent around petitions seeking signatures for a Big Bill Senate run. His campaign manager, Dave Contarino, says the Guv had nothing to do with it. As we have blogged repeatedly, Senate speculation over Richardson does not die until 5 p.m. February 12, the filing day for the federal races.


The political hot potato thus far of Senate campaign '08 has been the layoffs of up to 750 employees at Los Alamos National Laboratories. We've heard the politicos toss this one around, especially Dems Chavez and Udall. But how do Democrats they are working to win over in the northern congressional district feel about the layoffs? We have some clues thanks to an automatic phone poll that contacted 183 Democrats Monday and asked them. The survey was conducted by ABQ-based Positive Contacts Consulting and here's their poll report.

"Congress has decided to eliminate several programs at the labs. This decision will result in the loss of 500 to 700 jobs. How do you view this decision on a scale of 1 to 5? 1 being no support for this decision, 5 being strong support for this decision, and 3 being undecided."

183 people responded to the poll, the results:

1 - 77 42.1%
2 - 11 6%
3 - 52 28%
4 - 5 2.7%
5 - 38 20.1%

The margin of error is fairly high due the small sample size, but I think it reconfirms what common sense is telling us right now: Job cuts are never popular, but these may have been inevitable and overdue, so a lot of people are still ambivalent, if not outright supportive. With so many undecided though, there is still room to make plays, and so much time to
do so.

Thanks, fellas. And definitely keep us posted. By the way, the New Mexican scorched Mayor Marty for his hits on Udall's role in the lab layoffs. It's getting rough early, isn't it?


If you're a registered NM Republican, there is a good chance you received a phone call from Steve Pearce Wednesday night. Insiders say the southern GOP Congressman, seeking the GOP nod for the open US Senate seat, conducted his second telephone town hall meeting since jumping into the race in October. Pearce opened the lines and talked with callers on a wide range of issues, including Los Alamos and Sandia Labs, immigration and taxes. In his first Townhall, he tackled the SCHIP health program for children and his controversial vote against it. He called 130,000 R's for the first one. We're told about 60,000 R's were rung up last night and invited to stay on the line for the two hour town hall.

Pearce may have been trying to steal a bit of thunder from ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson, his Senate primary foe, who is in the middle of a statewide listening tour and getting press notices in rural New Mexico.


ABQ GOP State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones has set a fund-raiser for December 4 at Paisano's restaurant for her re-election bid to the state House, not for the GOP nod for the ABQ congressional seat. Arnold-Jones has toyed with the idea of running against Darren White for the US House, but the fund-raiser signals she is very unlikely to do it. Any money raised for a state race could not be transferred to a federal campaign. Also, ABQ State Sen. Joe Carraro will formally announce his bid for the ABQ seat today, giving R's opposed to White a candidate to rally around.


New Mexico's two US Senators have much seniority in the US Senate, but not the most, as we initially blogged Wednesday. Josh Kurtz, news chief at the Capitol Hill must-read newspaper, Roll Call, e-mails that at least a couple of other states outrank ours in the Senate seniority department. "I offer West Virginia (Byrd '58 and Jay Rockefeller '84) and Massachusetts (Teddy Kennedy '62 and John Kerry '84) as examples...Great stuff as always and what a great cycle for New Mexico!"

Thanks for keeping us honest, Josh. And, yes, the next year is going to be the political ride of a lifetime. Somebody call Bruce King, I need a new saddle.

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