Thursday, June 09, 2016

Behind Hillary's Win: Bernie Took BernCo But Not By Enough; Dona Ana Buoyed Her And The Hispanic North Closed The Deal, Plus: SOS Race Gets Early Start As Toulouse Oliver Looks To Avoid Past Mistakes, And: More Quezada Victory Analysis 

We thought if Bernie Sanders managed to carry big Bernalillo County--the center of his support-- he could pull out a statewide win. He did win here but it was so slim that it wasn't enough to put him over the top. He defeated Clinton by 1,310 votes or 51% to 49% in the state's largest county.

It seemed the Clinton campaign sensed trouble here late in the campaign and dispatched Bill Clinton to Las Cruces only five days before the primary. It paid off. Hillary came out of Dona Ana County with a big win of 56 to 44 percent, a margin of 1,854 votes over Sanders and more than enough to offset his BernCo victory. That left Sanders with a narrow symbolic win in BernCo but not the big prize.

While fending off Sanders in BernCo and Santa Fe County, where she won by a narrow margin, Clinton was running roughshod over Sanders in the Hispanic Northern counties of San Miguel (59%), Rio Arriba (60%) and Mora (62%).

Sanders' continued difficulty with minority voters was the stake to his heart in the 2016 NM presidential primary. That bodes well for Clinton as she heads into the general election in the most Hispanic state in the nation.


A Sanders NM staffer noted the success they had with an unlikely voter type--those between 40 and 60 years old who only vote occasionally. The staffer says the campaign targeted such voters and it was another reason for Sanders strong showing. . . Hillary won the absentee and early vote and Sanders won the votes cast on the actual election day. That's a pattern for the Vermont senator who starts from behind and then comes into a state and lights up the night. . . Mora County had the highest turnout of any of them, with 53% of the Dems there casting ballots.  33 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in BernCo. . .

When the AP the night before the election reported that Clinton had clinched the nomination and was the presumptive nominee did that hurt turnout for her? For Sanders? Or was there no impact? They'll be debating that for a long time. . .You probably already know this but in our election recap we did not mention that Linda Stover defeated her opponent for BernCo county clerk by getting 57% of the vote. She is now the heavy favorite to become clerk with a general election win. No Republican has had that post in a long, long while.


Dem political consultant Sisto Abeyta offered his reasons on the blog and on the air for the victory of Steven Michael Quezada over Aridan Pedroza and Robert Chavez for the Dem nod for the South Valley BernCo county commission seat. Now consultant Neri Holguin--who worked for Pedroza--offers hers:

Joe, in regards to Sisto Abeyta's anaylsis of the race - he's wrong. Here's what happened: Quezada and Chavez benefited from Santolina's PAC and their 6 mailers attacking Pedroza, expensive billboard space promoting Quezada, robo calls against Pedroza and their paid cavassers who walked neighborhoods.

We lost by 331 votes in spite of being hammered. We had to make it clear to voters who was behind the negative attacks on Adrian. Adrian took a principled stance against Santolina because he questioned their tax giveaways currently before the County Commission.

Quezada is heavily favored to win the seat in November.


That general election campaign is well under way, with Dem Secretary of State hopeful and BernCo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver trying to put away Republican nominee and State Rep. Nora Espinoza in the early going. Oliver hit the airwaves the day after the primary with three 15 second TV ads as she works to build her statewide name ID. The message:

Our last Secretary of State went to jail. Things have got to change. I’m Maggie Toulouse Oliver. We need to sweep out corruption with tough new ethics laws. As your new Secretary of State that’s exactly what I’ll do.

Oliver speaks of GOP Secretary of State Dianna Duran who did jail time for campaign finance violations that resulted from a gambling addiction. The November election is to fill out the unexpired portion of Duran's term that ends in 2018.  Oliver lost to Duran in '14 when Duran was re-elected.

That the first GOP SOS since the 30's was a failure should make the race a lay-up for Oliver but Lenton Malry told our radio audience Tuesday night the race could be close and "will be decided in the North." Oliver seems to agree and she narrates one of her spots in proficient Spanish, working to fend off the ethnic appeal of Roswell's Espinoza.

Analysts note that Oliver's polling numbers are not muscular, with a mid-May PPP survey giving her 43 percent to Espinoza's 36 percent and 21 percent undecided. And they note that Espinoza has kept even with Oliver in the cash race.

The very early TV spots and the play for the Hispanic North should help solidify her with Dems as she braces for a rigorous Republican attack.


In our early Wednesday blog wee pegged primary turnout at near 35% of the 963,000 eligible D and R primary voters but it appears it will land closer to 34%. The latest stats from the Secretary of State show a total vote of 325,000, for a turnout of 33.7%. That's still the highest primary turnout since 1994, according to records we keep. Of course, more voters stay on the rolls longer these days because those who don't vote with regularity are "purged" from the rolls less often. That can inflate the real number of registered voters.

County by county turnout here.

In 1994 primary turnout soared to 47% as Gov. Bruce King battled Attorney General Paul Bardacke, Jim Baca and Casey Luna, his own lieutenant governor, for that year's Dem gubernatorial nomination. King won and went on to be defeated that November by Republican Gary Johnson whose own primary battle stimulated big turnout.


Pollster Bruce Donisthorpe comes with the historical turnout tracking that shows the surge in Democratic 2016 primary voting for this election: 

2016: 214,000 out of 579,000=36.9%
2012: 147,000/576,000=25.5%
2008: 160,000/544,000=29.4%

GOP turnout did not surge much as all of Trump's challengers had already thrown in the towel:

2016: 104,000 out of 355,000=27%
2012: 92,000/397,000=23%
2008: 114,000/354,000=32%


We'd like to thank the many who helped us this week, particularly with the KANW FM radio broadcast:

Producers Kevin Otero and Kristin, sponsors Gallagher And Kennedy Government Affairs and BWD Global communications, Michael Brasher, Larry Gallegos, ABQ Public Schools, Lenton Malry, Sisto Abeyta, Bruce Donisthorpe, Tim Keller, Pete Dinelli, Greg Payne, James Hallinan, Patricia Madrid, Mike Cook, Mark Bralley, and any who we may have omitted.

And with that we are going to call it a wrap for this hectic week. We hope you enjoyed our election coverage in the various media. See you back here Monday.

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