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Thursday, January 03, 2008

All Eyes On Iowa; The Road Runners Report, Plus: Details On Cheney-Pearce Event 

Big Bill fans are sporting brave faces, but beneath the smiles there is major league nervousness over today's Iowa caucuses. The final RCP polling average compiled on Election Eve showed Richardson plunging to 5.0% where he maintains fourth place, but only by a half point over Delaware Senator Joe Biden whose poll average checked in at 4.5%. New Mexico has long known that the Guv's campaign was a long-shot, but has taken pride in Richardson's run as it represents the first major presidential candidacy the state has produced in its 96 year history. With Obama, Clinton and Edwards locked in a tight duel for first place in the crucial caucuses, it's no surprise that lower tier candidates like Richardson are bleeding. People want to be with a winner. But this being crazy presidential politics, even a pretty poor performance by Bill tonight might be spun to the positive side as expectations for him have been crashing. Even Richardson's New Mexico foes will probably join in hoping that Big Bill doesn't finish near the cellar. We've been at the bottom of enough lists to last at least another 96 years.

I'll update the blog tonight with Iowa results and events and have exclusive analysis for you right here on Friday. Today I've posted video of Bill's final Iowa pitch.

ROAD RUNNERS PUMPED

Don't tell those pumped up Road Runners Bill is drooping in the polls. These political junkies could care less as they scour Iowa searching for every last vote. NM Environment Secretary Ron Curry checks in with this.

Joe, Hello from Earlham, Winterset (John Wayne's birthplace and home of the "Bridges of Madison County") and Adel, Iowa. Wind chill is 12 below 0 this morning! I'm "Embedded" out here west of Des Moines with a goal of 800 door knocks and the same amount of phone calls. Two things for sure--No one will out work the Gov. and it is VERY cold.

And Sandy Buffett of Conservation Voters NM says Road Runner morale is high.

...The “Road Runners” started our day firming up our supporters and leaners with reminder calls; in the afternoon we “went deep” for the precincts where campaign staff determined viability (15% of the vote per precinct) could be a concern—it was great, each captain shouted out the exact numbers of supporters we needed to identify to exceed viability...When we hit the targets we would ring a bell and cheer. It was very Pavlovian, but motivating. It's amazing how many truly informed yet still undecided voters are here in Iowa...These caucus-goers want to know every detail on issues. I think I have laryngitis from talking nonstop.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Any Election Day having anything to do with New Mexico gets our heart pounding. I can hardly wait for the polls in Iowa to close.

GAL POWER

Here's a group of lady Road Runners meeting up in Des Moines. Pictured from the left is Paula Maes, ABQ school board member; Connie Beimer of UNM Community Affairs; Liz Gutierrez and Lori Martinez. The photo was snapped by politico Jim Baca who is also among the 300 or so New Mexicans breathing that frigid Iowa air. I see they are wearing scarves, but did they bring the green chile stew to keep warm? Not that the weather around here has been like Palm Springs.

EARL'S IN

One guy who my GOP experts say has a better than fair chance of reaching the 20% mark at the GOP pre-primary and making the pre-primary ballot is realtor Earl Greer of T or C. Earl, 51, told me last month he would announce his congressional plans January 2. His word was good as he announced Wednesday he will indeed be a candidate.

Greer made an unsuccessful bid for state Republican chairman earlier this year, losing to incumbent Allen Weh, but he garnered a respectable number of votes and his contacts in the party make his path to getting the 20% easier than the other contenders. Candidates Ed Tinsley and Aubrey Dunn, Jr. are ready to spend money, but they need to muster the 20% at the convention, and money won't replace personal relationships. They will have to build those as Greer has. Earl, chair of the Sierra County GOP, says he is the son of pioneer Sierra County ranchers, whose Hispanic lineage can be traced back to the 1500s. With Joe Cervantes quitting the race for the Democrats, Greer is the only Southern NM US House candidate--D or R--who has a Hispanic background.

CHENEY FOR PEARCE

As promised, VP Dick Cheney will hold a fund-raiser for GOP US Senate candidate Steve Pearce, following his appearance on behalf of Pearce rival, US Rep. Heather Wilson. Cheney raised about $110,000 for Heather and Steve is also going for some big bucks with his Cheney event. The D.C. Alligators have sent the invitation over for you.

You are cordially invited to a reception in honor of Congressman Steve Pearce, Republican Candidate for Senate (NM) With special guest Vice President Dick Cheney

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
730 15th Street, NW- 10th Floor
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Host: $5,000 per PAC/ $2K per Person- photo-op & reception
Sponsor: $2,000 per PAC/ $1K per Person- Photo-op & reception
Attend: $1,000 per PAC/ $250 per Person- reception

THE BOTTOM LINES

Jon Adams, seeking the Dem nod for the Northern US House seat, says he is getting a head start by already collecting the 959 petition signatures of registered Dems necessary to qualify as a candidate. Adams and the other contenders will gather twice as many signatures as necessary to avoid having the petitions challenged by their opponents. Filing day for the three congressional seats and the US Senate seat is February 12th. Do you think any of the candidates will be unable to get enough signatures, shrinking the field that day? Maybe so...

Dateline Des Moines: Terrell is there for the New Mexican. Jones is there for the Journal. Jojola is there for KOB-TV.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2008
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