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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sizzlin' Susana: She Trumps Di 49 to 43 In Head-To-Head Match-Up, Plus: Reaction To Polls Showing Weh Fading To Black 

With two independent polls--including ours--now showing that Susana Martinez is threatening to rout Allen Weh in next Tuesday's GOP Guv primary, attention is turning fast to the main event--the face-off between Dem Diane Denish and probable nominee Martinez. And thanks to SurveyUSA we're already being titillated. A hypothetical match-up between the two women has Susana trumping Di 49% to 43%. (Complete poll with cross tabs here.)

Say what? Susana trumps Di? Somebody tell the crowd to get back in the stadium. We've got some entertainment for them.

Well, Republican pulses can slow a bit. Susana is going to enter the fall fracas a decided underdog because of Di's overwhelming name ID and nearly $3 million cash in the bank. And there's no question that the Denish operatives have it right that this may very well be a temporary bump for Martinez based on her month long big TV buy and her constant presence in the free media. But did they have to be so darn sore about it? The official Di spin:

Susana Martinez has been airing TV ads for weeks, so we take this with a grain of salt. When New Mexicans hear from both candidates, the choice will be clear. Diane Denish will be a different kind of Governor -- someone who stands up for regular families, while Susana Martinez is a failed prosecutor best-known for plea-bargaining drunk drivers and cutting deals with violent felons.

What? No warm welcome to the political big time for Susana from Di? Not even an insincere (if premature) offer to run a "clean" campaign?

Well, Susana may have brought it on herself. Recently she dashed off a news release dissing Di's latest TV spot in which she claims the mantle of corruption fighter. Says Susana:

Denish believes voters will ignore the fact that she failed to lead on the issue of corruption. As governor, I will put a stop to the nonsense and identify the corruption, remove it and...hold to account those who have broken the law. Denish can claim anything she wants, but...voters understand that I am the candidate who will deliver bold change and get our state back on track.

Hey, they didn't even shake hands before they came out of their respective corners. But with the state in a state of disarray, angry and anxious voters may be ready for a cage fight with no rules. When it's over, it means the winner will be as hardened as a cowboy's saddle and ready to ride into Santa Fe and restore some order to that rodeo.

VOX POPULI
Bob Clark
By now you know the polling in the GOP Guv contest. Our scientific survey of GOP voters released early Wednesday broke the news to the state that Martinez was pummelling chief rival Allen Weh 41 to 30, with the other three challengers way back. Late Wednesday, KOB-TV came with a SurveyUSA poll conducted Sunday thru Tuesday and that confirmed our findings. They had it 43 to 33 for Martinez.

Among the political pros reacting was ABQ Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff whose own poll was released May 16 and showed a one point race, with Weh leading Martinez 31 to 30. Sanderoff told KOAT-TV he was not surprised our poll showed the Dona Ana County DA closing this deal:

"I think Susana Martinez has been on a roll, lots of good things have happened for her," said Sanderoff.

And the list of those things are right below in our Tuesday write-up.

KKOB-AM radio morning show host Bob Clark, who provides air cover for R's in need, confessed to being surprised by the big Martinez lead:

I'm not surprised Martinez has the momentum and has an apparent lead...But I was very surprised to see your poll with her having an 11 point lead. That would be a shocker if Susana Martinez were to pull away and win by a comfortable margin on June 1st. If she does, that is quite a statement from Republican voters and I would assume Diane Denish would get very nervous, very fast.

Well, Bob, the shock has worn off--except at Allen Weh headquarters where they've rolled out a new campaign song for the final week--Fade to Black.

(Allen gets one last chance to stop the Susana express when KOB-TV hosts a debate between the five contenders at 7 p.m.)

Another veteran radio talker, Mike Santullo, says a Martinez nomination is Di's "worst nightmare" and advises the Light Guv to "get some clothes with deeper pockets"--to store the extra cash she's now going to need to do this deal.

TV BEAT

It's late, but Dem Light Guv candidate state Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino has come with a simple TV pitch and a light buy for the final days, making him the fourth of the five contenders to air spots. Only Linda Lopez stayed dark.

Liberal Jerry tries to fire them up. The money line: Our political leaders are asleep at the wheel while the enemies of democracy--the superrich--steal our inheritance."

COURT SHUFFLE

We're going to run this again because in our first draft we had the wrong ABQ Metro Court vacancy that is being filled.

One of the Legal Beagles checks in with the list of attorneys sent to Governor Richardson to fill the vacancy of ABQ Metro Court Judge Anna Martinez. They are:

Christina P. Argyres, Robert J. Baca, M. Martha Chicoski, Yvette K. Gonzales, & Gina R. Manfredi

ELECTION COVERAGE

Join me Monday, May 31 at 5 p.m. on KANW 89.1 FM for our traditional pre-game show with my panel of experts as we kick around the big ball known as Primary 2010. Then on Tuesday, June 1--Election Night--join us again for wall-to-wall coverage of the results.

Public radio coverage is made possible this year by ABQ Economic Development, The Garrity Group, Serrano and Sons, Constructors and Cordova Public Relations.

Thanks to them and to you for your continued interest and support.

This is the home of New Mexico politics. Email your news and comments, anonymously if you wish.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2009
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