Friday, April 13, 2012

The Senate Money Chase; Heather Shows Muscle; Where Things Stand, Plus: Blog Readers Join VP Parlor Game Over Susana 


She came with the right move at the right time. Following on the heels of fresh polling that shows her continuing to lag behind probable Dem US Senate foe Martin Heinrich, presumed GOP US Senate nominee Heather Wilson showed major campaign muscle, announcing she raised a mountain of cash in the first quarter of the year--$760,000--and is now nearly tied with Heinrich in the all important cash on hand total. He had $1.55 million in the bank at the end of March to her $1.45 million. Heinrich raised about $500,000 in the first quarter, making Wilson's showing all the more impressive.

There was other good money news for Heather this week--or at least tentative good news. The National Republican Senatorial Committee says it has reserved $3 million in TV time for Heather for September and October. However, it is important to note that reserving the time and actually buying it are two different things. Heather will need to have the race in play to score that cash. Right now it it is. She trails Heinrich by only four points 46-42--in the April Rasmussen. That's within the four point margin of error and will keep the race on everyone's radar.

We have the NM Senate race ranked "Lean Dem" because of Heinrich's early lead in the polls and because this is a presidential election year when heavier turnout favors a Dem candidate over the GOP. While many groups and pundits rank this seat as "toss-up," we are not alone in our lean Dem ranking. Real Clear Politics also says the seat that Jeff Bingaman will give up at the end of the yearis lean Dem.


The Wilson campaign and some media are calling the race a "dead heat." It isn't. A dead heat is a tie or perhaps a polling lead of one point.

The dictionary defines a dead heat in reference to politics as: "A political campaign or other contest that is so close that it is impossible to predict the winner." But in the case of Heinrich and Wilson we have had five public polls since February 2011. Heinrich has led in all five polls. His biggest lead was 11 points and his smallest lead was two points. The Wilson campaign attacked the polls conducted by PPP for including only registered voters. However, the last two Rasmussen surveys were of "likely voters" and gave Heinrich leads of two and four points. The Wilson campaign has not attacked those polls, instead arguing they show the race to be a dead heat because of the 4.5% margin of error.

Granted the race is close and Wilson can win it, but as of today the race--like the state--leans Dem. (Obama currently holds a double-digit lead over Romney).

If we took the full margin of error in all the public polls and applied it to to all the races, every other contest out there could be called a dead heat. They are not.


Readers continue to monitor the chatter about Guv Martinez's VP chances. She says she is a no go because, in part, she has responsibility for a disabled sister who lives in Las Cruces.  This reader doesn't feel Martinez has to worry about getting the call from Romney:

Joe, you keep running with the Martinez VP story. I don't believe there a chance in hell that's going to happen. As far as the Governors response,you can bet Jay crafted it knowing it's not going to happen. Sen Mark Rubio has almost total endorsement throughout the Republican and Tea Party.

And another reader chimes in:

I think that Susana is being better positioned for being chosen as Attorney General or Director of Homeland Security. If Romney makes such an announcement at the Republican national convention, with Marco Rubio as VP, he will make great head way in two very important demographic groups. It's a winning strategy.


Some readers tell us we need to get off the Susana VP bandwagon and now:

To me, it is a waste of real estate on your blog to continue speculating about Susana and the VP job. Her family comes first and she does not want to subject her father and sister to the media feeding frenzy that would be inevitable if her appointment ever were to materialize. You should respect her concern for the adverse impact on her family and write about other matters.


The VP ball keeps rolling with Chris Lopez, the editor of the Las Vegas Times, blogging in with this:

Joe, Will you Consider publishing a link from a recent  editorial I produced titled "Why Governor Susana Martinez Needs to Be  Romney’s Pick for Vice President; Why a Working Class Hispanic Woman Can  Restore the National Republican Party" regarding your Susana for VP  talks? Thanks. And thank you for the insight that your blog offers.

We sure will, Chris. And here it is

"Whether it is the contrast of a woman softening Romney’s crafted Captain America image, or the fact that the  elite Republican would choose a working class Hispanic woman who dug in  her heels to earn a law degree - there is no doubt that choosing a  Hispanic woman would drag the Republican party out of the out of touch,  elite, right wing radical ideologies and back to the reality of everyday  American
s. A Hispanic working class woman selected for Vice President would change the game, for the better."

Thank you, Chris, and thanks to all our readers here and around the USA for making us the state's #1 political web site year in and year out.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.
Reporting from Albuquerque, I'm Joe Monahan

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