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Friday, October 01, 2010

Score September For Susana; Now For October, Plus: Our Ruminations On This Joyless Campaign, And: Rasmussen With 10 Point Lead For Martinez 

  • Rasmussen survey released Friday afternoon gives Martinez a ten point lead--50-40--over Denish in Guv race. When "leaners" are included it is 51-41 in favor of Martinez. 

  • Score September for Susana. She began the month five points ahead and either kept or expanded that lead, depending on which poll you look at. When Dem Guv nominee Diane Denish came with a poll of her own that showed  the GOP hopeful just one point shy of the critical 50% mark, Martinez took the month definitively.

    Previously, we scored June for Martinez when Denish's first round of ads backfired. July went to Denish when she regained her footing. Susana took August when Di failed to gain ground. So it is 3 to 1 in the month by month battle. But October is the month that can quickly wipe away earlier sorrows and mistakes. Hope is still alive for the underdog.

    The starting line for the final month will be drawn in chalk Sunday when the ABQ Journal comes with its second Guv poll. The late August survey had Martinez winning 45 to 39. If this survey has Martinez expanding her lead it will be a blow to Di, but if the lieutenant governor has narrowed the gap it could rejuvenate her forces.

    THE JOYLESS CAMPAIGN

    Former NM GOP Governor Dave Cargo ('67-'70) told us this week that this "is the most sterile campaign I've ever seen." And it may well be, consisting as it does of high-level nuclear attack TV ads and little else. The candidates hardly appear together to debate the issues. Contrast that with previous competitive Guv campaigns when the contenders have appeared together more than a dozen times. So far, we have had a mere two joint appearances. Two TV debates are scheduled in October, but that may be all we get. The turgid TV ads is all much of the public knows of this race.

    It seems to be fine with both sides, too. Neither candidate appears to especially enjoy their outings together. There is rarely any humor between the pair or from them individually and both seem wound too tight and over consulted. Maybe it is their inexperience at this level, but the authenticity that has been so prized in state politics seems to have been replaced by packaging. Maybe now that we've reached the 2 million population mark, we can't expect much personal politics--at least in the cities. But how about some door-to-door campaigning or some old-fashioned gimmicks to give this campaign some warmth and humanity to overcome the sterility?

    About the only one who seems to be having any fun is Brian Colón, the Dem Light Guv candidate who is the modern day version of the Happy Warrior. He's hopscotching from town to town and tweeting away with abandon.

    But the Guv candidates seem petrified of making a mistake and having it caught for the next wreckless TV attack ad which would be reliably delivered without joy, humor or irony. But the negative ads, of course, are effectively brutal. The 81 year old Cargo doesn't pine for the days of the past, just a future where there is some connection between the campaign and governing. In 2010, in New Mexico, he seems to be asking too much.  

    BILL'S BILLS

    He's done everything but throw Rolex watches at the state fair parade crowd to get his popularity back up, but all recent polling shows Big Bill mired in the low 30's or even high 20's in voter approval. Maybe he'll get some credit for keeping his bills down?

    KUDOS FOR HARRY

    A nice pat on the back for southern Dem Congressman Harry Teague from the Alamogordo Daily News. They come with an early endorsement of Teague who is locked in a brutal battle for his political survival against GOP challenger Steve Pearce.

    We've seen the many things he has done for Alamogordo, Otero County and Holloman Air Force Base. We've seen his work with area veterans, an issue he takes so seriously that, as a freshman congressman, he was able to gain a seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee. That's where he's able to work on such issues as veterans' health care funding, veterans' mental health, economic opportunity for veterans, women veterans' issues and veteran homelessness.

    That the endorsement comes from the most conservative part of the district is especially gratifying for Teague who Pearce is painting as too liberal.

     THE HERITAGE QUESTION

    We wondered in our June 15 blog about the grandparents of Susana Martinez, who would, if elected Nov. 2,  become the first Hispanic female Governor in the nation's history. The press has not told us much about her family background Well, it turns out on June 24 Martinez did address her grandparents' heritage. It was with an interview with national radio talk show host Laura Ingraham the candidate said her grandparents on her father's side were born in Mexico. From a reader:

    Martinez said her paternal grandparents were born in Mexico. Martinez was asked about her parent’s background and whether they came from Mexico. Martinez said,
    “No. My, my paternal grandparents did. My parents…who were born in the United States...and my maternal grandparents were in the United States but not my paternal grandparents...

    It may take some time, but just about every question ever posed here is eventually answered.

    Martinez was born and raised in El Paso. Large campaign contributions she's received from Texas are a focal point of one of Diane Denish's current TV spots.

    THE BOTTOM LINES

    Democrat Karen Montoya looks good for re-election as Bernalillo County assessor, but appointed Bernco Sheriff Manny Gonzales seems to be struggling against Republican Dan Houston.

    This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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    (c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2010 Not for reproduction without permission of the author
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