Who makes waves in the desert? Well, New Mexico Democrats rode perhaps the biggest Blue Wave in the country to take all the statewide and federal offices up for the grabs in the 2018 midterm elections.
In a formerly purple state, the Democrats did the best job since Visine of “getting the red out.”
The governor’s chair, for the past eight years, the seat of Republican Susana Martinez, was flipped with a vengeance by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, who defeated Republican Congressman Steve Pearce decisively, 57% to 43%.
Democratic incumbents won by similar margins to hold onto positions as Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor and Attorney General. Further, a Democrat took what had been a Republican job as State Lands Commissioner.
On the Federal side, the Democrats pitched another shutout, taking all three Congressional Districts: one held by incumbent Ben Ray Lujan; one kept Democratic by Debora Haaland, and one former Republican seat, Congressman Pearce’s taken away by Democrat Xochtil Torres-Small, while Senator Martin Heinrich won re-election easily.
In her race, Torres-Small not only flipped the seat, she flipped the result at the last minute, surging from thousands of votes down to 3,500 ahead at the end, but not before news agencies, national and local had called the race for Torres-Small’s Republican opponent Yvette Herrell, and not before Herrell had celebrated her mis-called victory on TV across the state.
Deb Haaland, along with Sharice Davids of Kansas became the first Native American woman elected to Congress, although both Xochtil Torres-Small and Yvette Herrell said during the campaign that they had Native American blood. With the Hispanic-American Ben Ray Lujan making three, New Mexico became the first state in American history to have nothing but “minorities” in its delegation in the House of Representatives.
Makes sense, since New Mexico is a “minority-majority” state with no ethnic or racial group in the majority.
Brian Sanderoff has been the President of Research & Polling, Inc. since its inception in 1986. He manages the firm and has written over 1,500 surveys in his career. His areas of specialization include: public policy, corporate and brand image, customer satisfaction, litigation support, and assessing demographic trends. Mr. Sanderoff is the pollster for the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico’s largest circulation newspaper and the political analyst for KOAT TV, New Mexico’s ABC network local affiliate. He has made appearances on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, BBC and the Jim Lehrer News Hour.
Mr. Sanderoff is also a widely sought after speaker and has conducted seminars for various organizations about targeting markets and analyzing demographic data. Mr. Sanderoff holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico and attended graduate school in the Political Science Department.