Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cook on CD3: "Likely" -- But Not "Solid" -- for Lujan

National political analyst Charlie Cook this week has moved the Congressional race between incumbent Ben ray Lujan and challenger Tom Mullins in northern District 3 -- what, on the national level might as well be considered the forgotten race -- from the "Solid Democratic" column to the "Likely Democratic" column.

Tom Mullins Not earthshaking news by any means, but it's one little ray of hope for Republican Mullins.

Here's what Charlie says:
Republican polling claims that gubernatorial candidate and GOP District Attorney Susana Martinez is now leading Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the 3rd CD, and a recent Public Policy Polling survey showed Lujan leading GOP businessman Tom Mullins 49 percent to 43 percent. Advertising is so heavy in the state’s two other congressional districts that even the heavily Democratic 3rd could be feeling some of the effects, but probably not by enough to put Lujan in serious jeopardy. Mullins, generated some unwanted headlines over the summer by bringing up the idea of placing land mines along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration (this district is just 41 percent Anglo). 

Ben Ray Lujan, Dem The only reason a Republican represented this heavily Democratic northern New Mexico district between 1997 and 1999 is that a flawed Democratic candidate allowed a Green Party nominee to siphon away a large share of Democratic votes in a special election. Democrats here joked that the Green Party stood for "Getting Republicans Elected Every November." Luckily for Democrats, that dynamic isn't in play this year as Lujan runs for a second term. Still, given Democrats’ flagging numbers across the state, we are adding it as a long shot to the “Likely Democratic” column. 

Here's the PPP/Daily Kos poll Cook refers to.

That "flawed" Democrat he speaks of was Eric Serna. In the special election to replace Bill Richardson, who had gone on to the Clinton Cabinet that year, Serna, hurt by Green Party candidate Carol Miller lost to Republican Bill Redmond.

The Cook report is HERE (but you'll need a subscription)