Tuesday, May 10, 2016

On The Trump Train: Billionaire Owner Of ABQ TV Station Switches And Jumps On Train; Can Susana Be Far Behind? Plus: Gary Johnson Tries Elbowing In On The Donald But It's Rough Going, And: Readers Who Think Trump Has A Shot  

KOB owner Hubbard
We're back on the Trump train today, with these developments impacting New Mexico. . .

Stanley Hubbard, the billionaire owner of Hubbard Broadcasting, which counts ABQ's KOB-TV among its holdings, has switched sides and is now backing fellow billionaire Trump. Hubbard has been a strong supporter of NM Governor Martinez so the question arises of whether her support for Trump isn't far behind. The news:

Once a big donor to the anti-Trump movement, billionaire broadcasting executive Stanley Hubbard is now backing the presumptive GOP nominee. Hubbard, a prolific giver to Republican candidates and causes, will join the advisory committee of Great America PAC, a pro-Trump super PAC. During the primary, Hubbard cut a $10,000 check to the Our Principles PAC, a group that was devoted to defeating Trump. . . Hubbard said he was still no fan of Trump, but he said that he viewed him as a better choice than Hillary Clinton. And he called on the party’s donor class. . . to get on board.

Another reason you may see Martinez eventually give grudging formal support to Trump is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He has been named director of the transition in the event Trump wins the presidency. Martinez has a history with Christie who has campaigned for her in New Mexico and she for him in New Jersey. He could be her entree into a Trump White House, no matter how long a shot that seems now.

Martinez, chair of the Republican Governors Association, says because of that role she will attend the GOP national convention in Cleveland in July. She says she wants Trump to call on her and explain what his presidency would mean for New Mexico.

Hmm. Don't you think if she really wants to curry favor for the state, it is she who might want to give the first kiss?

A top staffer for Trump basically ruled out Martinez for VP in a Fox News interview last week, a surprise to no serious state politics watcher.


Gary Johnson
Former NM GOP Gov. Gary Johnson, again seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for president and expected to win it,  is drawing more attention as castaways from the Trump candidacy look for something to grab onto, but he faces much skepticism:

Johnson, who quit his job as a marijuana marketing executive to run for president, holds strident Libertarian views that fall outside of mainstream conservatism. Some don’t take him seriously because of his embrace of marijuana and his free-spirited nature – he kissed fellow Libertarian candidate John McAfee at a debate in April.

“He might be an outlet for some protest votes, but if your concern with Donald Trump is that he’s not presidential enough, I’m not sure why Gary Johnson would be your guy,” said Ryan Williams, a veteran of Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

If Johnson could poll at 15 percent in several national polls he would win a slot in the presidential debates.


Here's more from the WaPo's Chris Cillizza on how our state fits into the national presidential map:

The current Republican disadvantage in the electoral map is less about any individual candidate than it is about demographics. As the country, and the voting public, has become less white. . .  a number of states have moved toward Democrats over the past decade.

Perhaps the best example of this movement and how it has hurt Republicans is New Mexico, whose population is almost half Hispanic. In 2004, George W. Bush won the Land of Enchantment in his bid for a second term. (His margin over John F. Kerry was 5,988 votes.) Eight years later, Obama won the state by 10 percentage points over Mitt Romney; neither side targeted it in any meaningful way. In 2016, it’s not even on the long list of potentially competitive states.

We seem more likely to get a Trump visit before our June 7th primary than after it.


New Mexico First, a bipartisan public policy organization is hosting a town hall on the state's economy. Help create recommendations for New Mexico's leaders. Click here to register.


Just about everyone was wrong about Trump during the primary season. Could it be possible they are wrong again and Trump could pull off the NM upset? Taos attorney Sam Herrera writes in and tries to make the case:

Joe:  I think the pundits could be wrong about Trump losing NM. They think that just because nationally 79% of Hispanics hate him, that the same rules apply here. I know a few Hispanics (many in my family) who love Trump. They love his anti-immigrant/anti-Hispanic rhetoric. They are too brainwashed to realize that when Trump bashes Latin immigrants, he is bashing them. They have never left New Mexico so do not know anything different. . . My point is this: due to the unique nature and history of the Hispanics of New Mexico, and in particular, Northern NM, don't think that Trump has no chance here.


Republican Brent Eastwood in DC did make a very early call here for Trump to emerge as the GOP nominee. He is sticking with Trump to take the general election, but if he was forced to put some money on the line, he might balk:

I will stay with Trump, but he has a difficult and narrow path to victory with little room for error. The electoral map favors Democrats. Trump's current disapprovals are in the low 60's. A unifying and presidential-sounding speech at the GOP convention is essential for Trump to get those numbers down. He needs a perfect October with clear debate wins and he needs Hillary to have a negative October surprise. And then during the last 72 hours, he needs a lot of independents and conservative Democrats to hold their nose, shrug their shoulders and switch to him. . . A substantial number of people could secretly go for Trump even though they tell pollsters, friends and family otherwise. Like I said, he has to get all the late breaks.

Brent, you ought to be a hedge fund manager.

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