Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

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The Final Call

In the final hours of the campaign the races in New Mexico seem to be etched in stone. The majority of polls show President Obama claiming the state’s five electoral votes and U.S. Senate candidate Martin Heinrich is predicted to win Jeff Bingaman’s seat. Although the races appear to be settled, Republican advocates and Super PACs are making last ditch efforts to drum up support for local Republican candidates such as Heather Wilson and Janice Arnold-Jones. Continue reading


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New Mexico politics is shifting gears

In past elections New Mexico has always been considered a swing state. However this year, since President Obama swept the state in 2008 and has held an almost double-digit lead over Governor Romney, this presidential election the state is colored blue. Since the focus is off of the executive office one would think New Mexicans would turn their attention to the major House and Senate races. However, this is not the case. The race that held the most promise to be a competitive fight is for Jeff Bingaman’s open Senate seat between Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson. One would think that pitting two prominent political figures against each other would leave voters to decide a razor thin race however, Heinrich has kept a double- digit lead over Wilson since the spring. So that brings me to the question, what races are New Mexicans focusing on this election season? Continue reading

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New Mexico loses swing status

With three weeks until the election New Mexico is no longer considered a “swing state.” An Albuquerque Journal poll indicated that the state’s five electoral votes will most likely be blue with President Obama up ten points from Governor Romney, 49-39. This poll has been fairly stagnant throughout the past month mostly due to the growing support of Latinos for Obama and Governor Romney’s shift of head staffers to other states. News station, KRQE, conducted a poll consisting of 400 Latino voters and the results were overwhelmingly in President Obama’s favor. Sixty-nine percent of those polled indicated strong support for Obama and Romney only held 24 percent of support. With Latinos making up 46.7 percent of the population, their support will inevitably declare the winner in New Mexico. Although New Mexico’s electoral votes are for the most part decided, let’s take a look at the local races to see if there will be a shift of power. Continue reading

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The Future of Healthcare in New Mexico

Healthcare has been an issue of high interest on the national stage with the passing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the question of how the election will affect the bill. This issue has also been in the forefront in state races as well. In the race in the First Congressional District in New Mexico, contenders Janice Arnold-Jones and Michelle Lujan Grisham offer their views on healthcare and ways to fix the system. Although the two opponents don’t see eye to eye on many things, they both see healthcare as an important issue in New Mexico. Continue reading

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Ventura calls for Libertarian candidate to be included in presidential debates, Support for third party dwindles

The super PAC Libertarian Action recently funded a video featuring former Minnesota Gov., pro wrestler, and actor Jesse Ventura that calls for former two-term New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson to be included into the 2012 debates. Johnson’s name will be included on the ballot of all 50 states as the Libertarian presidential candidate, but so far there has been no third party candidate asked to join in on the Obama-Romney face offs of the upcoming weeks.

Ventura advocates for Johnson with two arguments. The stronger of the two, is the third party candidate as a “watchdog” during the debates. Ventura states, “Isn’t it time we allowed a credible third party candidate in the debates to tell Obama and Romney when they’re wrong?” Ventura’s other argument, however, is not what POLITICO writer Alexander Burns calls a “risk-free pitch.” Ventura tells viewers it was his own rhetorical finesse and debate skills that got him into office. Hopefully, this video is not a representation of that statement.

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New Mexico’s 47 percent

In the past week, “47 percent” has been a common theme in the news. This number doesn’t refer to approval ratings or the number of Americans supporting one candidate over another. This number was uttered by Governor Romney in a speech in May that is resurfacing now with fervor. In his comments the 47 percent he was referring to are the number of people who will vote for President Obama no matter what and who are dependent on the government because they are victims of their circumstances. This comment obviously led to a great amount of fallout nation wide.

In New Mexico, Governor Martinez swiftly separated herself from Romney’s loaded comments and told the press no matter what the economic status of a person, everyone’s vote matters equally. As a leader of a state with 22.2 percent of the population with economic levels below the poverty line, she understands how her constituents would react to these comments. Romney’s 47 percent pointed to the 26 percent of people who receive Medicaid, 16 percent who receive social security and 16 percent of the population dependent on food stamps. These people are spread throughout the nation however; New Mexico is home to a good number of them. According to the Albuquerque Business Journal, New Mexico is the 8th largest recipient of Medicaid. The state also has 38.4 percent of people who collect social security and 20.5 percent of the population who are dependent on food stamps. These segments of the population make up a healthy portion of New Mexicans, a healthy portion that Romney will need to win over if he wants to clinch the five golden delegates New Mexico has to offer.

My grain of salt that I wish to offer Governor Romney is this, he should start making a bigger effort to reach out to Hispanics and show them he is a person who cares about their well being in this country and he will fight for them if he takes office. Right now, especially with the leak of these comments, a fissure has been created with the people of New Mexico and the only way he can mend that is taking concrete steps to connect with Hispanics.

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Battle for the Land of Enchantment

This year the battle for the executive office is contingent on the swing states. However, even with just 5 electoral votes the Land of Enchantment is an important cog in this election because of the growing importance of the Hispanic vote especially since New Mexico is home to 35% of Hispanics in the United States. In past elections New Mexico has been pretty accurate determining the victor. The state overwhelmingly supported President Obama in the 2008 election, which signaled a growing democratic base. However, in 2010 the state elected their first Hispanic Female governor who happened to be a republican.

Governor Susana Martinez has played an important role with the Republicans in the state and the Romney campaign. She delivered a hard-hitting speech at the National Convention and is striving to ignite a flame for the Republican base with females and latinos. According to a recent Albuquerque Journal poll, 45% of the state supports Obama, 40% supports Romney and 7% supports New Mexico’s former two-term governor, Gary Johnson. Continue reading