Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can Pearce Drill An Opening In Senate Race? Gas Price Crisis Front & Center, Plus: Ben Ray To Barack: Si Se Puede 

Udall Vs. Pearce
How patient is the public? That could be a key issue in the NM US Senate battle featuring Republican Steve Pearce and Democrat Tom Udall. With gas prices rocketing past $4 a gallon, Udall is up with a TV ad urging the development of alternate energy sources. Pearce is beating the drum for more drilling to increase supply. Just about every issue this year breaks against Pearce, but the red-hot emotions over gas prices that threaten the American way of life--especially in places like rural NM--seem to at least give him an opening to make a race of it.

Udall and his family have long been associated with the environmental movement, but even environmentalists are going to turn into survivalists if gas prices continue their upward spiral. Udall's bedrock support won't be impacted, but what about suburban swing voting families who put 60 miles a day on their cars? These voters are sympathetic to the argument that we are oil addicts and need to cut consumption and get on with alternative energy. But they also have to fill their tanks, pay the grocery bills and buy the kids shoes.

Pearce's mantra for increased drilling implies more immediate relief than Udall's call for developing alternatives. It could get voters to give him a second look. John McCain and President Bush also rolled out the drilling issue this week, believing it may have broader voter appeal as gas prices inflict real economic pain.

A Gallup poll reports 57% of Americans are now for more oil drilling. The oil companies, making record profits at the pumps, are now working overtime on public opinion to open even more land to drilling. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

In reality, alternate sources are a long way off and drilling for more oil is also not going to lower the prices anytime soon. This one could be a battle of perceptions, but a battle it will be as long as ordinary voters continue to blanch every time they pull up to the corner gas station.


Senator Jeff, chair of the Energy Commitee, did not dismiss Bush's call for more drilling. He reiterated his own position supporting more drilling. Even Udall left the door open. How about that? The ABQ Journal's Coleman has the wrap from D.C. Also, Steve Terrell of the New Mexican is out with a report on Udall's $100,000 plus travel bill courtesy of a non-proft institute. The first race for an open NM US Senate seat demands aggressive coverage. Pearce and Udall are starting to get it.


Meanwhile, Pearce's camp is seeing double when it comes to Udall. There's New Mexico's Tom Udall and then there's Tom's cousin, Mark Udall in Colorado. Both Dems are running for US Senate, but Pearce mistook Mark for Tom in an attack news release he put out Wednesday. Udall's camp slammed it like a beach volleyball. This AP report makes a stab at sorting out just what happened.


Northern Dem congressional candidate Ben Ray Lujan turns on the Spanish as he endorses Barack Obama

We can make our economy work for the middle class. We can develop renewable energy to lower prices and create jobs. Sí, se puede. This is what New Mexico needs, and this is what America needs. I look forward to working with Sen. Obama and Rep. Tom Udall to stand up for the people of New Mexico and our great country. Juntos podemos.

Juntos podemos means "together we can." Si, se puede means "yes, we can" which is Obama's campaign slogan. Check our Tuesday blog for analysis of the Lujan-Obama alliance.


First it was ABQ Dem congressional nominee Martin Heinrich getting a boost from the national party, now it's southern Dem congressional hopeful Harry Teague:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the addition of Harry Teague to its "Red to Blue" program. The Red to Blue program supports top Democratic campaigns and offers financial, communications, and strategic support...In 2006, the Red to Blue program raised nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns. Candidates earn a spot in the competitive program by surpassing demanding fundraising goals

The Cook political Report in D.C. now ranks the southern CD race as "lean Republican" instead of "likely Republican." Teague faces GOP restaurant owner Ed Tinsley.


For Obama in New Mexico, it's all about registering new voters, and that effort is coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

News? Comments? Your e-mail is welcome.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign