Friday, August 31, 2012

R's Hope For Convention Bounce, But New Mexico Still Trending Dem; Can Susana Help Turn It Around? Plus: Pundits Pile On Heather 

Now that Governor Martinez and the state's delegation to the Republican National Convention are headed home the question is what she can do--if anything--to halt what could be somewhat of a GOP debacle come Election Night.

We saw debacle because her political ally and GOP US Senate candidate Heather Wilson is slip sliding away. If she doesn't do something quickly, she could be a dead woman walking for the next two months.

The big blow to her this week was when the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled the TV plug on her, signaling they do not think the race is winnable. We talked about that with KOB-TV's Stuart Dyson.

Can Susana use some of here afterglow from the convention to help Heather with Hispanic voters and places like Dona Ana County? And how about Romney? Can the Guv's political arm give Romney a boost? He is in as much trouble here as Heather. And that goes double for ABQ GOP congressional candidate Janice Arnold-Jones. Her race with Dem Michelle Lujan Grisham has been all but written off by political pros on both sides. Martinez also has her hands full as she uses her PAC to ty to alter the shape of the New Mexico Legislature, currently controlled by the Dems.

It was a nice vacation for the Governor in Tampa, but now it's back to reality--possibly a grim one.
2010 was a huge Republican year in New Mexico. 2012 appears to be shaping up as a very good year for the Dems here, if not quite as potent a display as the R's put on two years ago.


A variety of opinion across the political spectrum on how Governor Martinez performed when she addressed the GOP convention Wednesday night, but not surprisingly Republican opinion was unanimous that she did very well indeed. Kevin Moomaw, former executive director of the NM GOP, now working in politics in Austin, TX, emails this:

The Governor did an outstanding job. The content of the speech was excellent and her delivery was wonderful. Susana came across as genuine and as someone who can relate to the average Individual . Her ability to express her philosophy in human terms is a hard act to follow. Romney's campaign will certainly ask her to campaign across the country. I received dozens of emails last night and today from friends across Texas telling me how well she had done--including Texas delegates at the convention...

Martinez moved up the ladder with her speech, but still way in front of her on the top rungs is Marc Rubio, the Hispanic Florida Senator who gave quite the speech to the convention on its final night.


Back on the Senate race, we were alone then, but we expected to hear some footsteps behind us when months ago we ranked the race for the open NM US Senate seat as "Lean Dem. Here they come:

The New Mexico Senate race appears to be moving in Democrats’ direction. That’s the sense after a string of new polling showed Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) expanding his lead beyond the margin of error against former Rep. Heather Wilson (R). Plus, national Republicans have shifted money for television time out of the state to a more competitive race. With these developments, Roll Call is moving the race from Tossup to Leans Democratic.

The Washington Post has also now moved the NM US Senate race from "Toss-Up" to "Lean Dem."


Staying with the Native American theme, we have this email from ABQ Dem State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino about the quest of an Indian tribe to open a casino in southern New Mexico:

Joe, about your mention in the  blog during your recent visit to Deming of the "Oklahoma Indian  tribe" that claims part of Luna County as their ancestral lands.  I've had the opportunity to meet with various representatives of the  Fort Sill Apaches, and their history is one of the sorrier chapters in  New Mexico's dismal past dealings with native tribes. I wish the band  would more widely use their more accurate name: the Chiricahua Apaches, rather than the  one based on where they wound up being shipped: Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  

This is the tribe of Geronimo, Mangas Coloradas, Victorio--and many  other colorful figures who never did surrender to the US Army.  It was  only through trickery that Indian Agents were able to put many of them  on a train and take them to Florida.  They thought they were heading for  Washington, D.C. and a meeting with the President...Instead they spent several decades in wretched camps in  inhospitable Florida, then got sent to Oklahoma, where they never did  get their own reservation but lived in tiny settlements...

Some Chiricahuas did  get sent to Mescalero, where they have tried to maintain a separate  identity for a century. Now the two remnants have a workable plan to  create their own nation in the area their ancestors roamed 150 years  ago. It hinges on being able to start a casino near Deming on a ranch  they've purchased, and then gradually using casino earnings to buy  adjacent property, eventually creating a land of their own. I just want  to make sure your readers understand this is really a historic New  Mexico band of Natives, not an opportunistic band from another part of  the country. And your blog, as always, provides great insights and  information that the print and television guys never seem able to dig  into.  

Thanks for that interesting history, Jerry. As for the tribe's efforts to open a casino in Luna County, we reported that we heard much support for it while traveling in the economically hard hit area. The proposal is currently winding its way through the federal government machinery. There is discussion on whether the casino can go ahead without the approval of the Governor. Martinez has expressed her opposition.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

E-mail your news and comments. (jmonahan@ix.netcom.com)
Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here. Email us for details.

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