Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Prez Polling In BernCo Has Clinton Far Ahead, And: Lobo Louie Blues As Athletic Department Faces New Reality 

Here's the latest for you. . .

The presidential race looks pretty much like a done deal here. Insider polling of Bernalillo County shows Clinton sporting a big double digit lead over Trump. She is pulling about 47 percent in the state's largest county in polling conducted late last week. Trump is about 32 and Johnson is coming in at about 12 percent. Even if the Hillary number is off a couple of points (it was conducted via robocalls to landlines but no cell phones) she is still in the winner's circle.

The race will probably narrow a bit but unless there is a humongous October surprise, this cake is baked. You don't need polling to know that Clinton will carry the North in a big way. So, as expected, it appears Clinton will secure New Mexico's five electoral votes and on November 8 put the state in the Democratic column for the third presidential election in a row.

Bernie Sanders today works to make sure the deal for Clinton is indeed sealed here as he rallies youthful voters who have been reluctant to join the Hillary bandwagon. Here's what the Sanders campaign told  supporters on the eve of the 11 a.m. UNM rally:

Let's raise the minimum wage to a living wage, let's combat climate change and move to sustainable energy, let's make public colleges and universities tuition free, let's end a broken criminal justice system. Let's defeat Donald Trump and make Hillary Clinton our next president.


Now more exclusive Campaign '16 news from NM Politics with Joe Monahan: 

GOP state Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes holds a modest single digit lead over Dem Ane Romero, according to the insider numbers which we have relied on with success in years past. Freshman Barnes has positioned herself as a "moderate" Republican in this contest.

The Dems need a pick up of two seats to tie up the 70 member House and three to take outright control. With Trump imploding, Dem chances have improved.

We didn't mention the ABQ North Valley, Westside and Rio Rancho Senate seat up for grabs in our Monday list of districts in play. Dems are expressing hope that Dem David Simon may have a shot against Republican Candace Gould in this battle to replace retiring GOP Senator John Ryan. Reader Mark Michel writes that Simon, a former state parks director, is "running a vigorous grass roots campaign and has strong support in the tech and environmental communities."

This is a 50-50 performing district. Pollster Brian Sanderoff adds his two cents worth, saying in a presidential year this could be a close one.


Longtime fans are sad to see the long, slow decline of UNM athletics after it provided the community with so many thrills over the decades. The Lobos, especially the basketball team, have long been a point of pride and the Pit, packed with rowdy fans whose roars seemed to move the building, earned a reputation nationally as a must see venue. Those days appear to be over for good as New Mexico deals with a long term economic stagnation that eats away at the state's foundation. At the annual Lobo Howl Friday, it had come to this:

Fourth-year head coach Craig Neal, who rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle onto the court in 2013, shaved his head for charity in 2014 and dressed up in the Lobo Louie mascot uniform in 2015, did not address fans for the first half of the men’s hour on the court Friday night. He would not talk to media afterward or allow his players to do so.

Neal follows in the footsteps of UNM executive vice president David Harris who recently stormed out of a TV news interview when asked about athletic department expenses. (It really is coming undone at UNM, folks, and we fear you haven't see anything yet.)

Resistance by Athletic Director Krebs to resolve his department's big deficit ($1.5 million) by restructuring and downsizing the department continues. He is now warning that student fees may have to be hiked yet again to support a department that is no longer the center of the universe for today's students and which is looking too fat with 24 of its employees making over $100,000 a year.

NMSU in Las Cruces this year gave an example of how to get the job done, shaving the athletic department budget and beginning the downsizing process. The UNM athletic department begs for new leadership that understands the new dynamic.

What in the name of Tom Popejoy are the UNM Regents waiting for?

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