Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Crunching the Numbers: New Mexico

I’ve been following New Mexico politics for 48 years. (Surely, I’m much younger than that!) I remember staying up till midnight on election nights in the early 60s, listening to KOBE radio as the election returns trickled in. It was there that I learned the basic parameters of New Mexico politics: 1) the eastern counties (“Little Texas”) always vote heavily Republican; 2) the north-central counties, anchored by Santa Fe County, always vote heavily Democratic; and 3) huge Bernalillo County, the 900-pound gorilla of New Mexico politics, is always up for grabs. Whoever takes Bernalillo County by a large enough margin will probably win the state. This year was no exception.

In Bernalillo County, Obama had 166,000 votes out of 278,000 votes cast, giving him, percentage-wise, a 60 to 39 victory over McCain. Bernalillo County alone accounted for 35.9% of the statewide vote. When you win Bernalillo County by such a large margin, it’s virtually impossible to make up the deficit elsewhere... especially when the #2 county, Santa Fe County (9.0% of the statewide vote) gave Obama a stunning 77-22 victory.

And #3, Dona Ana County (7.7% of the statewide vote), gave Obama a very credible 57-42 victory. Way to go, homies!

The northern counties, starting with Santa Fe’s 77-22 victory, went over the top for Obama. County totals include:
San Miguel 80-19
Mora 79-21
Rio Arriba 75-24
Taos 81-18
(These county totals are right up there with the ultra-liberal Bay Area results. By way of comparison, the People’s Republic of San Francisco went 85-13 for Obama.)

The eastern counties underperformed; McCain took them by a margin of approximately 65-34. You’ve got to hand it to the hardy Dems on the eastern plains who make a lifestyle out of facing 2-1 odds.

The upshot: Obama took New Mexico, 57-42, adding our 5 electoral votes to his impressive 349-147 e.v. victory. (As I write this three states remain uncalled.)

The Senate race was never in doubt; Tom Udall had been leading Steve Pearce by double digits all along. Udall took it as expected, 61-39. Good riddance to wingnut Pearce! Hopefully Udall will live up to the reputation he earned in Congress, and in my estimation, enters office with the honorific “Democrat” rather than “Caver.”

Turning to the Congressional races, Martin Heinrich took District 1 over Bush’s personal friend Darren White, 55-45. This was a sweet victory; any personal affront to Bush is sweet indeed.

Harry Teague, almost unbelievably, won the conservative Second District, 55-45. Even though he will probably vote more conservative than I would prefer, he’s an infinite improvement over Pearce. It’s better to have a congressman who votes our way part of the time than one who never represents us at all.

In District 3, Tom Udall’s old district, Ben. R. Lujan beat Daniel East, 56-30. This is New Mexico’s most liberal congressional district, so Lujan’s victory was no surprise.

A clean sweep: it can’t get any better than that! We wake up this morning with two Democratic Senators, three Democratic Representatives, and we helped elect a Democratic president. What a welcome spot of blue New Mexico makes on the electoral map! Now, will the Dems finally grow some spine and represent us? I’m sick to death of having to call them “Cavers” all the time.


Blogger Jacques Conejo said...

Wow Gordon...... you're such an excellent coordinator of information....... thanks for making it so clear and concise with all the accompanying perspective on trends, tendencies and of course your delightfully candid commentary on the individuals you so love and despise..... Always a delight to read your views....

Hope prevails..... at least today.


12:19 PM  

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