Friday, October 03, 2008

Sarah And Joe: How Did They Do? NM Analysts Weigh In, Plus: Wild About Harry; Teague Enjoying A Good Run, But Tinsley Lurks 

If Sarah Palin further excited the conservative base of the GOP because of Thursday night's debate with Joe Biden, that would be good news for the R's in southern NM who fear an upset in their congressional race. (see below) They need more enthusiasm on the ground for McCain. But overall, New Mexico analysts interviewed felt Palin may have done more to shed her airhead image than anything else.

"This was not a game-changing debate, but she did stop the bleeding the Republican ticket was suffering. In three or four days, this will not be a well-remembered event, but she did help herself, if not necessarily the standing of McCain," analyzed veteran Dem Mike Santullo as we made the cell phone rounds into the late night hours. He added that Palin did not help herself when she strayed and did not address the questions she was asked.

"She reinvigorated the campaign because she performed above expectations, but now it's up to McCain to close the sale," said longtime Republican Eric Lucero, a GOP Ward chairman in Bernalillo County.

Veteran Dem analyst Harry Pavlides agreed that Palin stopped the bleeding for the R's and made inroads with conservative voters who are still undecided, but not more. "Biden won the war, but she won the battle she needed to win--which was to stop the questions about her intelligence and experience."

But did Palin do more than help consolidate votes that should naturally be with the R's? There was no clear evidence that she had if post-debate polls and focus groups run by the networks were to be believed.

Respected conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote this missive prior to the debate, but it is worth noting that he believes Obama is about to take the White House. In NM, Rasmussen's latest numbers say it is Obama 49 to McCain's 44. SurveyUSA gives it to Obama 52 to 44.


Southern Dem congressional contender Harry Teague is starting to get some good national press over his chances of becoming the first Dem to take the southern House seat since Harold Runnels won in 1980. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report now puts the race for the seat in the "toss-up" category switching it from the "lean Republican" column. Teague's campaign came with a poll showing him leading Tinsley 46 to 41, but the poll was taken back on September 2nd. How about some fresh numbers? Well, we will get some soon enough from the ABQ Journal survey.

Roll Call reports rancher Tinsley, former head of the National Restaurant Association has spent $500,000 of his own cash on the general election. Campaign fund-raising is said to be lackluster.

Teague from Hobbs is a wealthy oil man, but he appears to be raising good money from outside of hs own wallet. That the race is now ranked a toss-up outside of the state--we've had it in that category for a couple of months--could mean late money coming in to both camps.

Geography is shaping the race. Dems have found a candidate from Lea County which Republicans normally carry by huge numbers. If Teague eats into Tinsley's lead there and scores a healthy win in Dona Ana County--the district's most populous--it will be hard for Ed to make up the numbers elsewhere in the sprawling district. But this is a very conservative district. If the R's have any chance of bringing home their own and conservative Dems, it is here.

Harry needs to work furiously to the end and take advantage of every puff of that Democratic wind he has at his back. Ed may have to write a bigger check.


As we blogged Thursday, we don't have an exact date for the next McCain visit, but our report that he will be here sometime around October 10th was based on a direct quote from McCain who conducted a phone call with several NM political candidates recently.

"He said he would be here in the second week of October, and that he wanted us to greet his plane when it lands," said one of those with knowledge of the call.

The chair of the McCain campaign in Chaves County, Beth Ryan, says she has been told McCain is slated to be in Minnesota and Wisconsin on the 10th. Presidential candidate campaign schedules this close to the election can change on a dime, but we wanted to let you know our report came directly from the candidate. We'll keep you posted.


Can the approval rating of Congress really be as low as 10 percent as we mentioned Thursday? It can. In fact, a Rasmussen poll in July put it at nine percent.


We end the week on an appropriate note: With a pro-bailout rage from reader Linda Rose

It is not only the CEO's that are greedy it is ALL of us!! The blame should be put on everyone shoulders of America, it is you and me that voted these so called politicians in office and it is you and me that tries to buy a house that we can't afford. It is you and me that use up all the gas just for nonsensical trips that needs to be done away with. Every citizen of the United States of America needs to wake up and clean their own house.

Thanks, Linda. But many of us aren't buying homes we can't afford or wasting gasoline; it was Wall Street that ran amok, abetted by a head-in-the-sand Congress and White House.

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