Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Gary Johnson And The "Crazy" Election: His Polling Goes Crazy In NM As He Hits 25%, Plus: Wanted: More Susana Polls, And: Insider Info On Sale Of Oil Biggie Yates Petroleum  

Gary Johnson says of Election '16:

You know how crazy this election cycle is. I might be the next president. You know that, right?

Well, the former New Mexico two-term Republican governor, now the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, is not going to be president (that would be crazy). And he won't make the 15 percent in the national polls needed to get him on the debate stage with Clinton and Trump, but he continues to turn in surprising polling numbers in NM that lead us to wonder if we are underestimating his staying power come Election Day.

A new WaPo poll of all 50 states has Johnson nearly tying Trump in New Mexico, winning a  full quarter of the vote here--25 percent--to Trump's 29 and Clinton's 37. Green Party hopeful Jill Stein scores 5 percent. And in a poll conducted last week for the Republican Goal Westpac, which is supporting legislative candidates, Johnson also shows muscle, getting 22 percent support. In a late August PPP poll Johnson garnered 16 percent.

If you assume Johnson's support is cut by more than half by Nov. 8 that still has him finishing in double digits. That hasn't happened here since 1992 when independent Ross Perot came in with 16 percent of the vote as Bill Clinton trounced George Bush to carry the state.

One caveat: The WaPo poll represents "registered" voters not "likely voters" who tend to be more partisan and less likely to go for a third party candidate.

So who is Johnson helping or hurting here? When the WaPo reduced the field to just Clinton and Trump, she received 51 percent to Trump's 37. Although he is drawing more from Clinton it is not endangering her front runner status. And she should benefit more than Trump when Johnson starts to come back to Earth. But. . .

Johnson is advertising in New Mexico to keep his numbers up so the dramatic fall most seasoned observers expect in his polling could be less than expected. Johnson is right. This is a crazy election cycle.


You know who
Another poll conducted recently on Gov. Martinez's approval rating has crossed our blogging desk. This one has her sinking to 41 percent approval. The PPP poll, which surveys for Democrats, in late August had her approval rating at 43 percent.

The Guv's political machine vehemently denies these numbers, saying they are the result of poor methodology and bias but we are getting no polling on Martinez from them to contradict the Governor's poor standing. Nicole McCleskey, the pollster with Public Opinion Strategies, who is the spouse of Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey, has conducted regular polling for the Governor since she took office.

Also, the newspaper and the three TV news outlets have carried no news of the PPP poll on Martinez, even though in the past their surveys have been quoted. It's almost as if they don't want to know and ask the question: "Why is that, Governor?"

And why is no media outlet commissioning a poll of their own on the Governor's approval as she faces off in a historic budget battle with the state legislature? Too expensive? Just not interested? Don't want to show the Governor in a bad light for fear of losing ad dollars? All of the above?


Now insider Senior Alligator analysis on the week's big business story--the $2.5 billion sale of Yates Petroleum of Artesia to EOG of Houston.  The Yates family started drilling for oil in the 20's and employs 300 in SE NM:

I think they they should have taken the buyout offer they had  in 2012. Oxy and Concho  oil were bidding against each other and the price was close to $3 billion. Given their debt and amount Yates spent on drilling, which didn't work out very well, they would have been better off to sell then.  The sale may be bad for Artesia because while EOG will maintain a field office there, I doubt any of their accounting and technical will be based there. 

As for NM as a whole,  it is probably good. Yates was strapped down due to family and financial issues. Just imagine dozens, perhaps hundreds, of family heirs wanting their monthly check but not contributing anything. So cash was going out to keep everyone happy, leaving little funds to drill and develop and build the company. So all in all NM will benefit by having a company with cash resources to develop the lands which Yates wasn't doing. NM's part of the Permian Basin is a world class petroleum reserve.

By withdrawing the company from sale in '12, the Yates family left half a billion dollars on the table. There goes the Paris holiday this year. . .

Where else you gonna get that stuff? Yeah, that's what we thought.


Meanwhile, in the heart of the oil patch--in Lea county--where officials had been bragging that the next downturn in the price of oil would not be felt half a much as previous bear markets because they had successfully diversified their economy, not so fast:

In Hobbs, a. . . city of 45,000. . . gross receipts tax money flooded city coffers with $85 million in fiscal year 2014 as crude oil traded at over $100 a barrel and the local economy flourished. That revenue stream declined to $53 million for the fiscal year ending in June. Hobbs is counting on just $40 million during the current budget year, city finance director Toby Spears said. The city socked away cash during recent boom years and expects to end the fiscal year with money to spare — an extra $26 million, or 34 percent of annual general fund expenses. "If this is a long-term thing, three, four years from now there probably have to be some changes," Spears said.

Hello, from the big city, Toby. Yes, it's "a long-term thing" so good luck with all that diversifying.


Should we say it again? Well, here we go. . .

Folks, before this economic disaster is over in New Mexico, you are going to see and hear things you thought could never happen. And you've already seen and heard a bunch.

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.

website design by limwebdesign