Why Hillary Can Win In New Mexico

H/T TexasDarlin for images I could grab easily. I’ve been wanting to write this for a while

In post after post, Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft suggests that Obama will have an easier time winning New Mexico than Hillary. His latest is here. I actually think Hillary will be able to pick up NM, while Obama will have a much harder time. And its not because I’m a Hillary supporter who grew up there. I don’t have much time, but I want to show why a Hillary win in NM is more possible than an Obama win (not impossible, though unlikely IMO). Here is the map from the election results:

Anyone with any familiarity with NM understands that congressional district two (NM-2), the southern portion is the GOP stronghold in the state. Kerry did poorest in NM-2 in 2004 (map here). For the 2008 caucuses, Hillary and Obama essentially split NM-1 and NM-3, but Hillary decisively won NM-2

What’s more, a look at the Texas map shows the counties bordering NM went decisively for Hillary:

Pay particular attention to El Paso county (TX) and Dona Ana county (NM). Dona Ana is the bluest part of souther NM. It is home to New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where I grew up. This is the population hub of the NM-2 as Las Cruces is one of the state’s larger cities. To be successful in NM-2, you have to turn out the vote in Dona Ana county. Believe me, I’ve been thinking about this for a really long time and have tried to help candidates there (Al Kissling was the last one in 2006).

Obama’s weakness in NM-2 poses a problem for the general election. The Clintons are popular here and having a surrogate like Wes Clark campaign at White Sands Missile Range and Holomon Air Force base will definitely help her chances. I see no such advantage for Obama. I don’t think Obama will be able to overcome McCain’s military hero status. Hillary will have a hard time, but she has the overwhelming respect of the military brass and that will come in handy in November.

This was written fast, but you get the point. Hillary is strongest in NM exactly where strength needs to be demonstrated. That Obama couldn’t win a caucus in NM-2 despite having NMSU in the area should give folks pause when they think about Obama’s chances.

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