Friday, August 27, 2010

The Summer Is Susana's: Rasmussen Has Di Five Down, Plus: King & Lewis May Lead Dem Ticket, And: More Opinions On Di & Hispanic Vote 

Two polls down and one to go. Rasmussen released a New Mexico Guv survey Thursday that showed Dem Diane Denish trailing Republican Susana Martinez by five points--48% to 43%. Three percent name others and six percent are undecided. The poll, taken Wednesday, comes on the heels of the news here of an insider candidate poll from mid-August that had Di trailing by a dozen points and days before Sunday's ABQ Journal poll which is now expected to confirm the summer Susana trend.

Senior Alligator Analysis:

--We have a long way to go. Susana is below the magic 50%, although she Tweeted that the race was 51% to 44% when Rasmussen counted the "leaners" and ignored the 48% to 43% spread. That seemed like an overreach and a sign perhaps of too much cockiness on her part. She is also trying to spin that she is over the magic number--and she clearly is not.

--The narrative continues to be that Susana has consolidated much of the conservative vote early. She has 86% support among Republicans; 76% of Dems backed Denish. It may be easier for Denish to pick up what's left of the undecided than Susana.

--Obama is at 57% approval in New Mexico in the Rasmussen poll taken Wednesday. That's too high. Usually Rasmussen skews a bit Republican, but this time he skews Dem. Because of that Di may actually be a point or two lower.

--Even if Obama is at 51 or 52 percent statewide, he is still higher than that in the north and an asset there to Denish. This is a presidency with strong appeal to Hispanics and Native Americans. We expect to see the Prez in El Norte for Di before the final bell.

--Susana getting to 48% is solid. Even in a Republican friendly year, it is a major accomplishment for a GOP Guv candidate to be this far ahead this early in a statewide poll.

--The Dems are paying for their ineffective June TV attacks on Martinez. If they had held her back some then, she might be at the more comfortable 45% mark, not inching toward 50%. In the last Rasmussen in late June, Martinez was ahead by two points--44% to 42%.

---Di beat Susana by 21 points in Rasmussen among Hispanics. But we want to see live polling on this sometimes hard to reach demo. Denish still has much work to do with this base Dem group.

--Negative campaigning by both sides will begin in earnest following Labor Day.

King & Lewis
The insider pre-Labor Day polling for the Dems has been generally miserable, but there is some good news in the numbers for the majority party. Attorney General Gary King and State Treasurer James B. Lewis are both performing well in the surveys. Both Dems are seeking re-election this year. King is being challenged by Clovis are District Attorney Matt Chandler and Lewis will face former Dona Ana County Treasurer Jim Schoonover.

King toyed with the idea of running for Guv this year, but deferred to Diane Denish. Now she may be calling on him even more to help her in her hot race with Republican Susana Martinez. And on that front...

As we've been telling you this week, the early polling shows a lot of undecided voters among New Mexico Hispanics, prompting worries that Dem Guv nominee Denish is in danger of ceding to many of these traditional Dem voters to Martinez. Some Dems expressed concern here that Denish does not have enough Hispanics in her inner circle, but her campaign operatives push back against that notion.

Our office staff consists of 7 members, 5 of which are Hispanics. There's plenty of Hispanic influence in our office and just because we are not part of the Rio Chama crowd doesn't make us less influential- I can assure you and your Alligators of that.

For the uninitiated, the Rio Chama is the bar in Santa Fe across from the Roundhouse where assorted hangers-on and wall-leaners chew the political fat.


And another Denish take on Hispanic involvement in her election effort:

Hispanics hold key senior-level positions both on the campaign and in her Lt. Gov office. Furthermore, there are a number of Hispanic leaders who serve as informal advisers to Diane--and that’s a group that she consults with on a very regular basis. Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales has been a valued political adviser, inside the circle every step of the way, along with other key current/former elected officials, community leaders and campaign veterans.

There have been, and will continue to be, many events in the Hispanic community - particularly in the North...For several months now, the campaign has been airing radio ads on stations popular in the Hispanic community (both English and Spanish language stations). This has focused primarily in North-Central New Mexico and in Dona Ana, but recently expanded to ABQ/Bernalillo metro area radio as well.


Chaos, backstabbing, criminal allegations, employee suspensions and more. No, it's not an episode of the Sopranos, but direct from the NM Secretary of State's office--for the second day running.

SOS Mary Herrera tried to quiet things down by calling a news conference, but then she refused to answer questions. We have a question. Did this "news conference" take place in Santa Fe or Havana?


A contrary view from ours that ABQ District Court Judge Bob Schwartz should head for the exits after news of his "romantic fling" with an assistant public defender broke. From reader Dan Klein:

...Just what discipline rules are you using to remove him from the bench? The woman involved did not complain. She has said she was not offended. It was Judge Schwartz who came forward and reported himself...He was having issues with his medication and asked his employer for help, and now you want to remove him? Exactly what did he do wrong here? If the woman is not upset and he recused himself from her cases, while reporting himself to his employer, just what are you basing removal on?

...I would hope the State Supreme Court reaches out a helping hand and realizes judges are people too. They have mental and physical issues just like the rest of us. It was honorable for Judge Schwartz to report himself. It is a shame the media and others want to hang him for it.

(Yes Bob Schwartz is a friend of mine, but I would defend others in the same position).

One other thing on the Schwartz blog. We said he was a Republican, but readers inform that while he was an R, he has since switched back to D. In fact, he ran in a Democratic primary in 2008. Schwartz served eight years as Bernalillo County district attorney as a Republican. In 2001, he ran for mayor of ABQ as an R.

Back here Sunday with a special report for you on the first ABQ Journal poll on the 2010 race for governor. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by this week.

Reporting to you from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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