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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trump's NM Numbers Still In Cellar: A Boost For Dem Hopefuls? Gonzales Is Gone; Ends Bid For Light Guv Nod And BernCo Dem Chairman Praises Socialism 

He's more popular here than Gov. Martinez but not by much and that could boost the Dems chances to pick up some strength this November.

President Trump, according to a Morning Consult poll taken January 20-29, has an approval rating of only 38% among the state's registered voters. The R's knew it was going to be a tough year for them and this survey signals the rough waters ahead as they attempt to hang on to the governorship and prevent erosion in their numbers in the state House.

Gov. Martinez had an approval rating of 33 percent in a Morning Consult poll that was conducted over the last three months of 2017.

Still, R's warn, the Dems could overplay their hand by going anti-Trump all the time, pointing out that there are a bevy of local concerns that they will use to keep the focus away from their White House weakness.

In neighboring Texas the GOP can breathe easier. Trump wins an approval rating of 51 percent in the Lonestar State. To our north, Colorado voters are similar to ours when it comes to Trump. Only 41 percent approve of the president's job performance.

One of the ABQ congressional candidates isn't wasting any time in trying to use Trump's unpopularity to his benefit. ABQ City Councilor Pat Davis, one of six hopefuls for the seat being vacated by Dem Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, came with a TV spot Tuesday that said in part:

. . . He'll be a leader to battle Trump and fix a corrupt political system. With all that's going on we need Pat Davis in Congress.

A consultant for an opposing campaign said Davis only spent about $2,500 on the ad for a one month run and that it will air only on MSNBC. Davis has lagged in fund-raising compared to Deb Haaland, Damon Martinez and Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez.

But Davis is preaching to a small audience right now--the hundreds of delegates who will attend the March pre-primary convention where there will be a vote on the hopefuls. Whoever comes out on top or near it will claim momentum for the June primary.

GONZALES GONE

Is there a back story on why Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales has decided to end his run for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor? He confirmed he was out shortly after Alligators put out the word on the blog yesterday that he could be headed for the exits.

It was odd that he got in the race after saying he was getting out of politics to tend to the needs of his daughters. Then on his way out the door there were some nasty reports about Gonzales that were floated to this blog and to the New Mexican. They did not see publication but still. . .

Then there was Dem gubernatorial front-runner Rep. Lujan Grisham. Did she really want to run with Gonzales thinking he would be highly popular in the North? He would not have been, judging by his polling numbers in his own city.

In any event Gonzales's departure leaves four contenders for the #2 spot: Taos educator Jeff Carr, Doña Ana County Commissioner Billy Garrett, former House Majority Leader Rick Miera and state Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City. Morales and Miera are seen as the two to watch.

A DEM SOCIALIST

Peifer
Here's some Dem messaging that had us doing a double take. BernCo Dem Party Chairman Bill Peifer recently wrote to party members:

Dear Democrat, Most Republicans believe that "socialism" is a terrible thing. They incorrectly equate it to communism, which they again incorrectly equate to despotic dictatorship. Most of them can't even comprehend situations where socialism works better than greed-based capitalism, even when they are themselves being helped by socialistic entities. . . In fact, sometimes they can't even see socialism working better than capitalism when it IS right in front of them.

. . . W can see dozens of areas where competitive capitalism just doesn't work. Socialism isn't a pervasive evil that needs to be eradicated. In general, it can be argued that the things for which all of society has an overwhelming need are best left to a socialized system. Fire protection, law enforcement, education, culture and basic old-age pension fall into that category. Quality healthcare is certainly another overwhelming need of society in general. Every other civilized country in the world has recognized that fact, and have socialized their entire healthcare systems. It's time for America to move into the 21st century and do the same.

Peifer has been one of the more active BernCo Party Chairs in recent years and has reinvigorated the base with fighting words like those. Of course, the R's could soon use those same words against him (and Dem candidates) to ignite their own base.

ROUNDHOUSE WIND DOWN

"Dr. No" is at again.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith says he will not give a hearing to the proposed constitutional amendment to use a portion of the state's $17 billion Land Grant Permanent School Fund for very early childhood education. That's par for the course for the Deming lawmaker who has killed the measure in the past, despite its approval by the state House.

The amendment continues to pick up public and media support and will be back in the '19 session when supporters say if a Democratic governor is elected that could help win Senate approval and send it to the voters in 2020. . .

THE BOTTOM LINES

Ray Moran
Media and business old timers in ABQ and NM will remember the name Ray Moran, the pioneer broadcaster who in the 70's and 80's served as General Manager of radio stations KRST and KRZY in Albuquerque, growing them to industry prominence. He founded KTEZ radio in Lubbock in 1972. In 1981, Moran's Ramar Communications launched channel 34 in Lubbock, RX as an independent TV station.

We worked for Ray at ABQ's KRZY-AM and KRST-FM as a news director in the late 70's. He always gave us the freedom to report the news free of any commercial restraints or pressure. He believed in talent and we grew and prospered because of it.

Moran, 82, a past president of the NM Broadcasters Association, died February 11 in Lubbock. Ramar Communications currently has 16 TV and radio stations in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.

Well done, Ray, and thanks. Those were the good times. RIP. . .

Political consultant Chris Brown is already earning lashes with the wet noodle. He made an error in predicting the Santa Fe City Council District 4 race on the Tuesday. His actual prediction is that JoAnne Vigil-Coppler will take the race, not the candidate he first mentioned here.

If his predictions don't pan out at the March election a more stern punishment of no green chile for a month will be handed down.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2018
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