Thursday, June 3, 2010

Aren't You Glad You No Longer Have to Watch Those Primary Attack Ads

Guess what... The General election has started.

Diane Denish's campaign just unveiled this new attack ad on Susana Martinez

By the way, Larry Sabato, an oft-quoted national pundit and director of the University of Virginia center for Politics today rated the New Mexico governor's race as a "toss-up."

Of the New Mexico contest, Sabato writes:

Gov. Bill Richardson (D) is term limited. With his luster dimmed after an unsuccessful run for president in 2008 and a brush with a lobbying scandal, Richardson may not have much influence on the choice of his successor. Yet his lieutenant governor, Diane Denish, is in a decent position to win. Denish nearly became governor when Richardson agreed to become the Obama Commerce Secretary before withdrawing, and was actually preparing her “administration.” Finally, she hopes she will get to put those plans in motion. Partly because of a growing Hispanic voting population, New Mexico has become an increasingly Democratic state after decades as one of America’s most competitive bellwethers. (People forget that New Mexico was even closer in absolute terms than Florida in 2000; Gore won it by a mere 366 votes compared to Bush’s 537-vote squeaker in the Sunshine State.) Obama captured New Mexico by 15% in 2008, and Democrats control the entire congressional delegation, though the GOP is going to make a comeback in a couple of districts this year. Could the pendulum be swinging back in the Land of Enchantment? The greatest obstacle standing between Denish and the governor’s office seemed to be former Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R), and she chose not to run. However, a new threat to Denish, another Republican woman, is on the horizon. The new GOP nominee for governor is Dona Ana County district attorney Susana Martinez, who easily defeated former state party chair Allen Weh and four others, with the help of a Sarah Palin endorsement and a tough stance on immigration. Martinez has led Denish in one poll, and she’s undeniably on the rise, though Denish still has the advantage of a deeper pool of potential party voters. This all-female contest—only the third in U.S. history—will be fun to watch. TOSS UP.