<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Insider Polls Floating That Give Definition To Battle For Control Of State House; Dems On Defense To Hold What They Have 

A number of insider polls from the political parties and special interests are starting to float around as we take Campaign '14 into  October. The polling is taking place before the heavy media hits so there's not too much to conclude yet. But there are trends. . .

Most of the surveys cast strong doubt on the Democrats making any gains (and certainly no more than one) in the NM House. All the talk has been about a possible GOP takeover of the chamber for the first time in over 60 years and if the early numbers have it right, we will still be talking about that come Halloween. Here's the lay of the land. . .

The House is divided 37 to 33 in favor of the Dems but appointed GOP Rep. Vickie Perea is expected to lose right out of the gate in the Dem dominated mostly Santa Fe region district she was named to.
Also, Republican Rick Little is expected to take back the Dona Ana County seat he lost to Rep. Nate Cote in 2012.

So soon after the polls close we will likely still have a 37 to 33 House. That will mean as we head deeper into the evening the R's will need to pick up three seats for a win and 2 to tie . .

The surveys agree that freshman ABQ Rep. Liz Thomson and Las Cruces Rep. Phil Archuleta are most vulnerable Dems. The good news for the D's is that Joanne Ferrary is looking strong in her rematch with Dona Ana County GOP Rep. Terry McMillan. Ferrary lost to McMillan by only 8 votes in 2012. Considering the electorate is more conservative in this off year election, insiders thought Ferrary would have a tougher time. The race is still a toss-up but Ferrary has a good shot, according to the early numbers we've seen.

Back in ABQ, Dems have been touting the campaign being run by freshman NE Heights and North Valley Rep. Emily Kane. The polls back that up but Kane's Republican foe--Sarah Maestas Barnes--is not out of it and a close race is expected. Barnes is already up with radio ads and Kane has a large sign presence in the district in what is going to be a big spending contest. This one could decide which party has control of the House in 2015.

The polls agree that it appears Los Alamos area Dem Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard is on her way to closing out her race. Her GOP foe lags. In San Juan County the Dems think they have a shot at unseating freshman GOP Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage but a good part of the district is on the Navajo Reservation and difficult to poll. R's think she's in good shape.

Shake it all out and it appears there are only four seats in real serious play right now and three of the four are held by Dems--Archuleta, Kane and Thomson. Again, the early surveys tell us it is unlikely the Dems will increase their advantage in the House. Their best hope is that the same holds true for the R's and they beat them in the battleground seats.

A final note on this. What happens if the night ends with the House divided 35 to 35? The odds for it seem to have grown a bit. All you Alligators, wall-leaners and hangers-on may want to work on that scenario--just in case.

D'S CATCH A BREAK

The election for president of the Navajo Nation will go on Nov. 4, the same day as the NM election. And that's good news for the D's who were worried that cancellation of the election would mean many Indian Country Dems would stay away from the polls. One of the candidates does not speak fluent Navajo--a requirement for the presidency--and his opponents wanted the election called off. Their complaint will go forward.

For us this story was live and learn. Did you know the Navajo President must be fluent in Navajo?

A GUN AND A BADGE

That Mayor Berry and APD Chief Eden refused to demand the badge and gun from the officer who shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd back in March turned into another PR disaster for the city this week.

The cop in question was revealed to have told another officer that Boyd was a "fucking lunatic" and he was going to soon shoot him.  The rogue cop is on administrative leave and isn't making arrests. But Berry and Eden could have shown they mean business in cleaning up the department by taking the badge and gun. Instead, they appear to be hostage to the corrupt culture that has taken over APD and which has prompted a Department of Justice civil rights investigation. And they also seem to be shaking in their boots about the millions upon million in lawsuit that are raining down on the city.

When oh when does this nightmare of mismanagement from a bunker end?

WIPP LASH

The shuttered WIPP site near Carlsbad will being receiving low-level radioactive waste again and reopen in 2016, say the feds. Really? Let's see. Didn't the Department of Energy tell us when WIPP opened years ago that the odds of an accident that released radiating was 1 in 10,000? Those sound about the same odds for WIPP reopening in two years. . .

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.      

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign