If the Republicans are to even have the slightest chance of re-capturing the House majority, they must win the 2nd District of New Mexico, which occupies the state’s southern sector. In 2018, now-freshman Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-Las Cruces) won the open seat contest with a 51-49% margin over then-state Rep. Yvette Herrell (R). The re-match appears just as close. A new Research & Polling, Inc. survey (8/28-9/2; 404 NM-2 likely voters) finds Rep. Torres Small clinging to a 47-45% lead over Ms. Herrell.
The open New Mexico Senate race has attracted very little national attention, but a new Research & Polling firm study (8/26-9/2; 1,123 NM likely voters; live interview) finds the race a bit closer than presumed. The R&P data finds Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-Nambe) outpolling former Albuquerque television weatherman Mark Ronchetti (R), 49-40%. Perhaps more disconcerting to the Congressman, Mr. Ronchetti actually leads in the critical Independent sector, 38-36%. The race still must be considered as a clear Democratic favored open seat hold, but more polls such as this will bring more attention to this race.
Public Policy Polling, surveying for the New Mexico Political Report (6/12-13; 740 NM registered voters) and this time using no push questions, finds Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-Nambe) establishing his expected strong lead over new Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti, a former Albuquerque television weatherman. The ballot test breaks 48-34% for Rep. Lujan, who was unopposed in the Democratic statewide primary held June 2nd. The same sampling group posts Joe Biden to a 53-39% lead over President Trump, which is no surprise in a state easily projected for the Democratic column. The November Senate winner succeeds retiring two-term incumbent Tom Udall (D).
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-Nambe) was unopposed in the open US Senate Democratic primary. The Republican winner is Albuquerque television weatherman Mark Ronchetti in a race that clearly favors the Congressman. Sen. Tom Udall (D) is retiring after serving two terms.
In the southern 2nd District, 2018 Republican nominee Yvette Herrell, in what became a nasty primary battle, defeated New Mexico Oil & Gas Association president Claire Chase, to again oppose freshman Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-Las Cruces). Democrats believed Herrell would be the weaker general election opponent, so Congresswoman Torres Small starts out as a favorite in a district that President Trump will carry by a substantial margin.
In the open safely Democratic 3rd District, former Clinton Administration White House Fellow and attorney Teresa Leger Fernandez won the Democratic primary and a ticket into the next Congress with a victory over former CIA agent Valerie Plame and state Rep. Joseph Sanchez (D-Alcalde). The northern 3rd CD that Mr. Lujan currently represents is safely Democratic meaning last night’s primary election was the deciding factor.
A total of 24 states will host nomination elections in June, ten of which are postponed from earlier dates. Tomorrow is the biggest day, with ten states holding elections. Eight will vote in their presidential primaries (Iowa and Idaho held their presidential nominating votes earlier in the year).
June 2nd hosts regular state primaries on their originally scheduled date in Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has postponed the presidential and state primary to July 7th, thus opting out of its traditional early June nomination date because of Coronavirus precautions.
A presidential stand-alone event is occurring in Rhode Island tomorrow, necessary since their regular state primary is scheduled as one of the latest in the country on September 15th. Postponed state primaries from earlier in the year are happening in the District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
CNN conducted a nationwide political poll (5/7-10; 1,112 US adults; 1,001 registered voters; 302 over sample in 15 battleground states) and compared the national results to those found in 15 battleground states. The latter group included the typical swing states like Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin, but also added Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia, places where former Vice President Joe Biden has developed significant leads.
On the national count, as found in most other polls, Mr. Biden leads President Trump, 51-46%, but the numbers are virtually reversed, 52-45%, in Mr. Trump’s favor within the all-important battleground states.
Candidate filing closed in New Mexico earlier this week, and 3rd District Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-Nambe/Santa Fe) will run unopposed for his party’s open US Senate nomination in the June primary. Becoming the Democratic Party standard bearer in this situation makes him a heavy favorite in the fall to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Udall (D). Five Republicans filed, but none have ever been elected to any office.
Emerson College provides us possibly the first Democratic presidential nomination survey data for one of the late primary states, New Mexico, whose electorate will vote with a group of three other states and the District of Columbia on June 2nd.
According to the survey (1/4-6; 447 NM likely Democratic primary voters), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) edges former Vice President Joe Biden, 28-27%, with businessman Andrew Yang surprisingly in third position with 10%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg follow with only 8 and 7% preference, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg records a small 3% support figure. New Mexico has 34 first ballot delegates.
Though the open New Mexico Democratic primary isn’t until next June, it appears we already have a consensus nominee.
Dropping out of the Democratic Senate race is New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who found that she could not develop any traction against Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-Nambe/Santa Fe). At this point, it appears the Congressman is unopposed for the Democratic nominee, and the party standard bearer at least will begin with a heavy advantage in the general election. It appears Mr. Lujan is well positioned to replace retiring Sen. Tom Udall (D).
Reports say New Mexico Oil & Gas Association chair Claire Chase (R) is scheduled to announce her candidacy against freshman Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-Las Cruces) in the state’s southern congressional district. Assuming Ms. Chase wins the Republican nomination, it is highly likely that we will see a race based upon the Green New Deal and its promise to eliminate the fossil fuels industry within twelve years. Southeastern New Mexico is rich in oil and gas, thus placing the energy issue as the focal point of this impending campaign.
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