Monday, July 28, 2014

100 Days Left In Campaign '14; Pros Weigh Turnout, King's Next Move And More: Plus: The Wheelchair Campaign: Can Rep. Archuleta Ride His To Roundhouse?  

(click to enlarge)
Today marks the 100 days to go mark before the November 4 election (or 99 when this is posted) but neither side seems particularly energized. Still, our analysts do not expect voter turnout to be especially low. Most are calling for a turnout of about 600,000 of the 1.273 million registered voters. In 2010, the last non-presidential general election, 607,000 New Mexicans cast ballots. . .

One reason for the forecast for a somewhat normal turnout is the June 3 Democratic primary. It began with Dem fears that turnout would collapse, but over 130,000 D's cast ballots, surpassing even optimistic turnout predictions. . .

The economic backdrop continues to be awful for Gov. Martinez but the Democrats still seem asleep at the switch, failing to pin the tail on the donkey--or in this case the Republican elephant. Forbes Magazine now forecasts that ABQ will be dead last among 200 USA metros in creating jobs through 2016. Job growth of 0.2 percent annual is forecast--or basically no growth (see the attached chart).

So where is the opposition party's response?

Meanwhile, Martinez works furiously to steer the conversation away from jobs and the economy and onto education and, of course, her all-time favorite--her futile efforts at repealing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants (Hey, it fires ups the base). . .

The number one comment you hear from the political pros about Gary King is: "When is he going to write the check and get on the air and stay there?" They seem to think that time is running out for King to raise the necessary money to compete against Susana's over $4 million war chest. . .

King comes from a wealthy ranching family and has already loaned his campaign $500,000. But several of the pros say in the aftermath of that Rasmussen poll that rightly or wrongly shows the Guv
race to be a dead heat (43 to 43), now would be an ideal time for King to announce that he's putting up $1 million and getting on the air.  They argue that would attract more private funds--not deter them--and energize the race. Of course, it's easy to spend someone else's money. . .

If it turns out Martinez has a glass jaw she will fall mostly on her own accord in September and October, but if the support is firmer, King will be scored for wasting the summer months and not softening her up. That will be especially true if he should lose by only a couple of points. . . .


Rep. Archuleta
When Dona Ana County State Rep. Phil Archuleta had to have his leg amputated there were some Dems who wanted him replaced on the ballot. That's because his re-election is key as the R's try to take over the state House. Archuleta faces former state Rep. Andy Nunez--a Dem turned R--and it looks like a competitive race.

But Archuleta is trying to turn his disability into a plus, openly campaigning from his wheelchair as we see in this pic. He is joining others who are disabled and celebrating the 24th Anniversary of ADA.

It's a pretty clever move. Now, can he effectively explain why he collected his legislative per diem this past session even though medical issues prevented him from attending the session? (Archuleta points out he returned the money.)

Sidebar: Over in Texas the GOP Guv nominee is campaigning openly from a wheelchair and seems poised for a victory. We can't recall any prominent NM politicians who were confined to a wheelchair. If he can get past Nunez, Rep. Archuleta might be the first. . .


About that speculation on what would happen if on Election Night we find that the state House was evenly divided between the R's and the Dems. Could the Dems hold the speakership by getting the R's to support one of their more conservative members? A Senior Alligator of the Republican variety--(an endangered species but still among us) says don't bet on it:

No Republican would be able to support a Dem for speaker because the Tea Party Republicans would make sure that Republicans would be defeated in the next primary election. Getting so close to taking over and then giving the gavel to a Dem would be a bitter pill for Republican activists to swallow--and they would not swallow. . . 


Reader Helen Laura Lopez writes:

Joe, There is lots of writing about the two recent horrific crimes in ABQ--the vicious beating and killing of two homeless Native Americans by three teenagers and the brutal slow killing earlier this year of 9 year old Omaree Varela, whose suffering was ignored by officials. But there is little talk about the horrific hate crime committed last week by a mother against her 17 year old lesbian daughter in Las Cruces. Perhaps it is too unseemly to talk about in polite company, unlike murder. The teenager told her mother she was lesbian, her mother beat her, threatened to sexually penetrate her with a plunger and made her perform sexual acts on herself for some distorted reason of demonstrating lesbian sex. A lot of young GLBT youth experience similar abuse never reported. It should be reported openly and examined closely, as any other hate crime and child abuse.

And you have done so here, Helen.

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