Monday, July 10, 2017

Pearce's Guv Run: Smooth Flying For The Nomination But A Kamikaze Mission For The General?  

Steve Pearce will be the Republican nominee for Governor. He is popular in the party, will be well-financed and has the conservative credentials the nominating wing of the GOP  demands. It is highly unlikely now that any other name brand candidate will run. Beyond that, however, Pearce's path to the governorship looks very cloudy.

(Pearce's video announcement for governor is here.)

His statewide loss to Tom Udall for the US Senate seat by a margin of 62 to 38 in 2008 illustrates the problem. He was crushed in the ABQ metro and the Hispanic north while competing in the less populated southern district. Unless he or the electorate changes in a dramatic way, he faces a possible repeat.

Pearce's long-held conservative views--all on the record--will be his chief obstacle. His determination to repeal Obamacare in a Medicaid dependent state is just one example of what will be a major attack point for the Democratic nominee. His support of Trump is also problematic, given that the president lost this state by 8 points. Pearce has some degree of separation from unpopular Republican Governor Susana Martinez, but the Democrats should have an easy time linking him to her, despite his protests.

In his last political hurrah Pearce, who turns 70 in August, seems to be betting that whoever the Democratic nominee is, they will be weak and prone to mistakes while a political pro such as himself can dodge the minefields to come.

Pearce, who served as an air force pilot and who recently flew a small plane around the world in honor of American veterans, will need perfect flying conditions to pull off the upset and extend eight years of Republican rule to twelve. Otherwise, this is going to look like a kamikaze mission.

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