Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Congressional Lujans Are Smiling And With Good Reason, Plus: Fading Giant; Ratings Sink For KKOB-AM, And: The Really Big Change In NM Politics 

Hey, you'd be smiling too if you were running for re-election and no big name opponents had yet emerged to take you on. Beaming for the camera are northern Dem Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and ABQ Dem Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The two Lujans are unrelated (well, with a four century old New Mexican name you never know) but they could become like family in the years ahead unless the R's are able to pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Ben Ray won his heavily Dem seat in 2008 and will seek a fourth, two-year term next year. His main threat is probably a challenge in a Dem primary and none is on the horizon. GOP Rancher Jeff Byrd, who was handily defeated by Lujan two years ago, is making rumblings about a rematch.

Michelle is serving her first term and finding her sea legs. As a freshman she is at her most vulnerable in 2014, but the R's have no big names floating. Maybe it's because she beat her '12 foe by winning 59% of the vote.

The two reps are pictured at the recent convention of Berna,illo County Democratic Party.

Have a politico pic for us? Email it in.


While the Lujans don't seem to have much to worry about when it comes to major challengers, southern GOP conservative Congressman Steve Pearce may have a name chasing him in 2014:

Former state Rep. Joe Campos is considering a challenge to Rep. Steve Pearce, the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation who is two terms into his second stint in Congress, after losing a Senate bid in 2008.

“We’re taking a look at it, but we haven’t confirmed anything yet,” Campos said in a phone interview. “We’re just looking at it, and I would say by the end of the month we will tie everything up and see if it’s doable.”

Campos could be a strong candidate. His big challenge is low voter turnout in an off-year election. Speaking of which...


What has been the biggest change in the New Mexico political calculus in this new century? This assessment from public opinion firm Research & Polling sums it up quite well:

Twenty years ago both Albuquerque and Las Cruces were considered swing cities, politically. But as they continued to grow, they began taking on the political characteristics of urban areas, namely, leaning more and more to Democratic Party candidates. In the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama won Bernalillo County by about 44,000 votes and Doña Ana County by a margin of about 10,000 votes, making it nearly impossible for Mitt Romney to offset New Mexico’s two largest cities. 

So how do state Dems get those voters to the polls in off year elections like 2014? Or the 2013 ABQ Mayor's race? And how do R's win them over to their side---or keep them home?


The mighty 770 KKOB-AM is getting a lot less muscular. The latest Arbitorn ratings for the ABQ market still have the 50,000 watt conservative talk station at the top of the heap--but not by much and at a level that appears to be at an historic low.

For the December-February period KKOB scored a market share of 6.1 percent among listeners aged 12 and over. Coming in second was KMGA-FM (Magic 99), a soft rock outlet that garnered a 4.9 percent share.

The ABQ market ranks #68 in size in the USA.

Not that many years ago KKOB routinely scored a share of over 9 percent, but the station has suffered cutbacks, increased media competition and a fading in popularity of the hard-right format that is the staple of the station.

These latest ratings came before the forced departure in March of longtime afternoon personality Jim Villanucci so radio watchers wonder if the ratings decline will accelerate or stabilize at these lower levels.


We somehow got it stuck in our head that Sam Bregman challenged Javier Gonzales for the chairmanship of the Democratic party four years ago, but a number of readers point out Bregman's unsuccessful challenge was two years ago...

Reader Michael J. Garcia writes:

Keep up the great work Joe! I've enjoyed reading your blog since I was an undergrad student at UNM 10 years ago...

Has it been that long, already?

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