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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Final Debate: He Could Have Said It Different, Plus: NM Polling For Clinton Still Solid, We're Walking Back That Thomson Polling Lead In Key House Race, Our Odds On Dems Tying House Or Takeover Shift Slightly And NM Newspaper Decides No Candidate Endorsements  

Trump could have said it another way at last night's debate--that he would accept the election results once he was assured there was nothing illegal about them, but he didn't and we get this extraordinary paragraph:

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Threatening to upend a fundamental pillar of American democracy, Donald Trump refused to say Wednesday night that he will accept the results of next month's election if he loses to Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee declared Trump's resistance "horrifying."

It's true that back in the day a number of elections were stolen through stuffing the ballot box and other nefarious methods. Those days are gone, although the cynics among us would say the elections are still being stolen, but it's done legally with millions of dollars of unregulated and anonymous cash. . .

Okay, here's more for all you Bad Hombres this Thursday. . .

More presidential polling here continues to show Democrats coming home to Hillary Clinton. The latest WaPo survey conducted October 8-16 puts Clinton at 41%, Trump at 33, Libertarian Gary Johnson at 18 and the Green Party's Jill Stein at 5%.

An eight point lead in a NM presidential race is large. Will it hold and if it does will it have a big impact on the battle for the state House and the state Senate?

History says Johnson will fade in the final weeks, but he seems on track for a finish of 10 to 12 percent. Stein probably drops a couple points to settle at 3%.

The insider BernCo polling we reported on this week and that was conducted Oct. 14 had Clinton performing at 47% with Trump at 32 and Johnson at 12.

WALKING BACK 

Meanwhile, we're walking back our insider polling report showing former Dem State Rep. Elizabeth Thomson sporting a "double digit" lead over her Republican opponent Christina Hall in a key swing district in ABQ's NE Heights.

While we received a bunch of polling numbers from across the state, the Thomson-Hall race was not one of them. This is not a district that historically is won by double-digits. The mix-up came while other results were being relayed to us. Meanwhile, Republicans are saying their polling is showing the race is still in play. However, in a presidential year this seat is lean Dem.

HOUSE ODDS

A round of consulting with our Alligators, insider-leaners and assorted hangers-on has us adjusting our odds on who will will control the state House after this election. The odds of the Dems tying it up or taking it over outright now go to 52 to 48 from 51 to 49.

That's mainly because a pick up of only two seats would give the Dems a a 35 to 35 tie. The consensus of our insiders is that the Trump implosion--if not reversed in the final weeks--will help the D's pick up at least two.

The Dems still seem somewhat unfocused to many of our observers and not providing a clear rationale as to why they should take the House back. Meantime, the tough on crime pitch from the R's seems to be falling a bit flat.

SUPREME TV

Republicans have to be worried that the Democratic trend this year will jeopardize  Judy Nakamura's chances of keeping the seat on the NM Supreme Court that she was appointed to by Gov. Martinez. She's being challenged by Dem Court of Appeals Judge Michael Vigil. It has always been a tough race for Nakamura. No R has been elected to the high court since the 80's. But her long judge service in BernCo has given R's hope that there will be ticket splitting and she could slide in on her strength in BernCo. But a big Clinton win in the county--say 8 points or more--could doom her. Meantime, the judge candidates are on the TV airwaves. Here's Vigil's ad and here is Nakumara's ad.

WHY ENDORSE?

With trust in the media continuing to plummet--even before Trump went to town on them--some observers are saying it's time for newspapers to get out of the endorsement game. They say it would help rebuild trust with skeptical readers. Whether it would or wouldn't is up for debate but the Roswell Daily Record may be a test case. It has decided not to issue any candidate endorsements this year:

. . . This newspaper has declared itself an independent publication that won’t kowtow to either political party. Our move to the independent center is a result of changes in newspaper management more than a year ago in response to a perception that we’d become a right wing newspaper, beholden to a Republican Party that dominates Roswell’s politics and government. Our intent is not to suppress conservative voices but to encourage more liberal and libertarian viewpoints by welcoming them to the op-ed pages of the RDR. And on our news pages, we seek to be more inclusive of the viewpoints and lifestyles that make up Roswell. We seek to be a neutral observer, and to supplement our reporting with thought-provoking editorials from time to time. 

THE BOTTOM LINES

In our first draft Wednesday we said that Bernie Sanders drew a crowd of about 1,000 to his Tuesday UNM rally. That was based on the initial newspaper estimate. The paper later changed its estimate to 2,000. . . .

And it's the time of year when we give you monster blogs to keep you up on the action and that inevitably leads to some errors. Fortunately, we have reader/editors who keep the blog on the straight and narrow. . .

We said Arizona had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 but that was way off the mark. First off, in 1964 Arizona voted for Republican favorite son Barry Goldwater and in 1996 Arizona voted for Democrat Bill Clinton. . .And we had the wrong year for the next election for NM secretary of state. It's 2018 that the office will again be on the ballot for a full four year term. The winner this year will serve two years to fill out the term of ex-SOS Duran.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2016
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