Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Photo Fun: Readers Take On Dem Power Trio In Caption Contest; We Have A Winner, Plus: Pearce Closes In Latest Poll, And: Pete's Papers 

Jeff, Bill & Tom by Bralley
How would you caption this interesting photo of La Politica? That was the question we asked about the snap of (left to right) Senator Jeff Bingaman, Governor Big Bill and Rep. Tom Udall. The Democratic power trio attended the Monday Obama rally in ABQ. We offered free lunch to the reader who came up with the best caption, and we had plenty of fun fielding the many entries. Here's a sample of them, some anonymous, some not. They're followed by the winner.


Udall: Since I'll be in the Senate soon, I can't wait to talk to Jeff about homeland security reform.
Big Bill: Since I'll be Secretary of State soon, I can't wait to talk to Jeff about foreign policy initiatives.
Bingaman: If I pretend I'm asleep, I won't have to talk to these guys.

Ronald Domino
Bill and Tom: He just got promised a cabinet post?! How did he get a cabinet post?"

Bill to Jeff: I really need to get the name of Jeff's Stylist when I move to DC.

Tony Olmi
"Ok Jeff, what do you know we don't know? Are you on the Veep Short List?"

Jeff: Ahhhh life is good. After the election I'll be able to cram my energy package down their throats and I'll be a lock for reelection.

Big Bill: Just what the hell does Jeff know that I don't? Hmmm.

Dana Elliott
Udall : Come on guys. Tell me what's up. Come on. Let me in on the secrets.


Senator Bingaman: "Yes I know who the VP choice is, but my lips are sealed."

Michael Padilla

Senator Bingaman, Vice-president Richardson (oops…meant to say Governor Richardson), and Senator Udall (oops again…meant to say Representative Udall) watch as the Democratic tidal wave takes hold of the nation.

J.D. Bullington
"What in the heck is Diane Denish wearing? Is that a tutu or a toga?"

Kevin Reagan
Big Bill: "Gee Jeff, since this campaigning is so tough on you that you need to nap during the day, why don't you resign and I'll appoint somebody reliable."

Linda Doran
U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman smiles to himself after telling fellow New Mexico lawmakers Gov. Bill Richardson and Congressman Tom Udall, “Look, it’s Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky!”

And the winner is:

Phil Carter
"Maybe if I'm real quiet, they won't notice the tiny woman's head stuck to the back of my neck."

We didn't even notice that part of the pic. Phil's cleverness and wit wins him the lunch. By the way, we're told the woman to the left of Tom Udall is state education secretary Veronica Garcia. Thanks to all for taking part.


Pearce Vs. Udall
It will be no surprise to readers here that Dem Tom Udall now leads Steve Pearce by just 10 points, not the 25 point lead he scored in the July Rasmussen poll. As expected as it may have been among the political classes, the poll will still give Republican Steve Pearce a boost as he continues to try to persuade money givers that he is capable of the upset. The Aug. 20 Rasmussen has Udall still over the magic 50% level, garnering 51% to Pearce's 41%, but a month ago it was 59% for Tom and only 34% for Steve. The MOE for the August poll is + or -4%.

After ceding the airwaves to Udall for June and July, the southern NM congressman this month came with negative TV against Udall, and it's been buttressed by a negative $150,000 ad attack from the conservative Club for Growth. That negative punch, mainly over energy policy and high gas prices, outweighed Tom's mainly positive TV, but this week he came with his response to Pearce. Now the suspense will be whether Steve can take Tom below 50% in upcoming polls. That could set off a frenzy and recast this contest which so far has heavily favored the northern NM congressman.

In the poll, Udall retains a healthy 59% favorable rating, to Pearce's 53%. Rasmussen points out: "The Democrat still leads by nine points --48% to 39% -- among independents but in July he had a 32-point lead among these voters.The candidates are now even among men. Udall still maintains a commanding 54% to 35% lead among women voters, but this is only half the margin he had in July."


The Alligators chipped in and bought us the Rasmussen crosstabs. They show both candidates have done a good job of bringing home base voters. Udall gets 83% of the D's and Pearce gets 84% of the R's. That D number is a big problem for Pearce in a state where 50% of the voters are registered with the majority party. It also signals he is not yet getting enough conservative Dems in his southern congressional district.

Udall beats Pearce in every age category among the 700 likely voters. But Pearce gets some good news when Rasmussen includes voters leaning toward a candidate. Udall's overall lead then shrinks from ten to eight points, 52% to 44%, but still over the critical 50%.

The race is shaping up as my experts expected. Using history as a guide, they are saying Udall is currently favored to win this race with around a 53% to 55% majority. This is the first poll to confirm where they have been leading us. The upset remains improbable, but not impossible. Any cockiness left in the Udall camp, especially among the far-left, is out the window. And likewise for Pearce having any tolerance for running a less than perfect campaign.


The latest Rasmussen NM presidential polling doesn't show much change. Obama leads McCain by six points--47% to 41%.


It's not surprising to hear that the University of New Mexico doens't want to talk about Senator Domenic's papers going to NM State University. It's a pretty good coup for the Aggies, who promise to put the papers to use. UNM's political archives have not been a top priority, and now the archive of the longest serving senator--a native of ABQ--are headed 300 miles south. Hopefully, they will result in a balanced and complete book of Domenici's career. There still isn't one out there on Senator Dennis Chavez, the previous longest serving Senator and the most important in NM history.


More controversy for northern Dem Public Regulation Commission contender Jerome Block, Jr. This guy is leaking news like a faucet. Despite the negative hits, he is still favored to win in the heavy Dem district, but some D's are starting to gather around Green Party candidate Rick Lass. No R is running.

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