week of the campaign trying to win the 5 electoral votes of New Mexico.
Both Trump and Mike Pence paid personal visits to the Land of Enchantment creating a blast of free media, led by the ABQ Journal’s double barreled gush on the front and editorial pages.
Local TV went with the story they had, as each of the Republican candidates came here, and, usually noted in the closing stand-up — because what pictures can you get of nothing? – that the Democrats never showed. Not even Kaine, for God’s sake.
If you were just an observer in the state, you’d have thought there was a Republican stampede on here.
Hillary Clinton won those 5 electoral votes with 48% of the vote. Trump got 40. Gary Johnson, a former Governor of New Mexico did better here than anywhere else…9.5%.
Down-ballot, the only Republican good news was, very conservative, in-early-on-Trump Congressman Steve Pearce easily won re-election, and The Majority Leader of the State Senate, Michael Sanchez, Gov. Susana Martinez’ arch-enemy lost.
Otherwise, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue. The 2 Democratic Congresspeople won easily, and the Dems added members in both the House and Senate, flipping the House, holding the senate.
The Super-PAC run by Gov. Martinez’ trusted brain Jay McCleskey spent in the neighborhood of 2 million bucks to knock off one guy, and meanwhile, almost everywhere else, the other GOP guys and gals were sputtering and going out.
With both sides of the Legislature stacked against her, the Governor’s last 2 years in office – she’s term-limited – are looking grim. New Mexico has been suffering through a withering state-sized recession brought on by low oil prices. No relief expected there before her term ends in 2018.
And here’s more bad news. Her luxury escape valve has closed, Martinez’ 2 years as vice-chair and then Chair of the Republican Governors Association just ended. And she’s politically surrounded by Democrats.
Meanwhile, of course, Donald Trump won the election and America is braced for … what? As I said a few months back, “something different.” President Trump could make a lot of difference in New Mexico.
Matthew Reichbach is the editor of the NM Political Report. The former founder and editor of the NM Telegram, Matthew was also a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. He published the “The Morning Word,” a daily political news summary for NM Telegram and the Santa Fe Reporter.
A native New Mexican from Rio Rancho, Matthew says his family has been in New Mexico since the 1600s.