New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2010

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Breaking news

In the New Mexico gubernatorial election of 2010, held on November 2, 2010, Republican Susana Martinez defeated Democrat Diane Denish. Incumbent Governor Bill Richardson, a Democrat, was term-limited. Martinez's election makes her the first woman elected as governor in New Mexico.

In the June 1, 2010 primary elections, Diane Denish essentially obliterated her single opponent, a write-in candidate. Martinez was in a five-way race and she ultimately took slightly over half the votes.

November 2, 2010 general election results

As of November 23, 2010, results are certified.[1]

2010 New Mexico gubernatorial general election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Diane Denish 46.51%
     Republican Party Approveda Susana Martinez 53.33%
     Other write-ins 0.17%
Total Votes 601,752

Inauguration and transition

Inaugural date

Governor-elect Susana Martinez takes office January 1, 2011.

Martinez stated she would pay for the Inauguration with private funds.[2]

Transition team

Governor-elect Martinez's transition website was at Martinez Transition. She was also elected as at-large member of the Republican Governor's Association during the RGA's winter meeting in San Diego.

Martinez named Heather Wilson as head of her transition team.[3]

The budget deficit Martinez faced was thought to be a relatively easy to handle $260 million during the summer of 2010. Newer estimates revised that upward to $450 million - or more. The Governor-elect repeatedly said that Medicaid and education would be protected from cuts but had to back away from that promise in light of the severity of the New Mexico's fiscal predicament.[4]

Appointments in the Martinez Administration

Governor-elect Martinez announced her first cabinet nomination, offering former CBO official Richard May to head the Department of Finance and Administration. It then passed to the New Mexico State Senate to confirm or reject May.

June 1, 2010 primary

Official reports and vote canvasses are available online through New Mexico's Secretary of State.[5]

2010 Race for Governor - Democrat Primary[6]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Diane Denish (D) 99.07%
Billy J. Driggs (write-in) (D) 0.93%
Total votes 109,318
2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary[7]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpgSusana Martinez (R) 50.71%
Allen Weh (R) 27.58%
Doug Turner (R) 11.56%
Pete V. Dominici, Jr. (R) 7.06%
Janice Arnold-Jones (R) 3.06%
Total votes 122,269

Race ratings

See also: Gubernatorial elections 2010, Race tracking

2010 Race Rankings New Mexico
Race Tracker Race Rating
The Cook Political Report[8] Leans Republican
Congressional Quarterly Politics[9] Likely Democratic
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball[10] Likely Republican
Rasmussen Reports Gubernatorial Scorecard[11] Solid Republican
The Rothenberg Political Report[12] Leans Republican
Overall Call Republican

Changes

6. Cook Political Report moved race from "Toss-up" to "Leans Republican" on October 29th.

5. Rothenberg moved race from "Toss-up Tilting Republican" to " Leans Republican" on October 28th.

4. Larry J. Sabato moved race from "Leans Republican" to "likely Republican" on October 28th.

3. Rasmussen moved race from "Leans Republican" to "Solid Republican" on October 26th.

2. Rothenberg moved race from "Pure Toss-up" to "Toss-up Tilting Republican" in its October 1st ratings.

1. Rasmussen moved race from "Toss-up" to "Leans Republican" on October 1st.

Polling

Just as September, and the fiscal quarter, closed, Republican Susanna Martinez broke the coveted 50% threshold in voter support. Two late September polls, taken by Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling, gave her more than half of all suppot in New Mexico, then considered a telltale sign of how the election would go and ultimately proven right.[13]

General election polling

Public Policy Polling

2010 Race for New Mexico Governor - Public Policy Polling/Daily Kos
Date Reported Martinez (R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
September 25-26, 2010[14] 50% 42% - 8%
(Sample)[15] n=505 MoE=+/- 2.7% p=0.05

Rasmussen Reports

2010 Race for New Mexico Governor - Rasmussen Reports[16]
Date Reported Martinez (R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
October 10, 2010[17] 52% 43% 1% 4%
September 29, 2010[18] 51% 41% 3% 5%
August 24, 2010[19] 48% 43% 3% 6%
June 3, 2010[20] 44% 42% 4% 10%
(Sample)[21] n=500 MoE=+/- 4.5% p=0.05

Primary election polling

In two polls taken before the primary, when Diane Denish enjoyed an open field and the Republicans had five candidates vying for voter approval, Denish led any potential challenger. At the end of March 2010, her numbers over all comers were high enough to make New Mexico look like a safe seat for her party. But the next two months took their toll and by the next time Rasmussen polled voters, Denish still led in any hypothetical November ballot, but barely. In the case of Susanna Martinez her eventual opponent, she held a single point advantage.

Having enjoyed a double-digit lead over anyone the GOP could put forward and exceeding the critical 50% support margin against three of her challengers, by May 2010, Denish fell short of 50% across the board, only maintained a double digit lead against two relatively weak Republican nominees, and was not even outside the margin of error in two cases.

Further surveys taken after the primary when Denish knew she would face Martinez saw Denish's lead finally evaporate altogether.

2010 Race for New Mexico Governor - Rasmussen Reports[22]
Date Reported Martinez (R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
May 25, 2010[23] 42% 43% 3% 12%
Dominici, Jr. (R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
May 25, 2010[24] 40% 47% 15% 9%
Weh(R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
May 25, 2010[25] 39% 45% 9% 7%
Arnold Jones(R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
May 25, 2010[26] 31% 45% 11% 13%
Turner(R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
May 25, 2010[27] 31% 57% 11% 11%
Date Reported Martinez (R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
March 24, 2010[28] 32% 51% 7% 10%
Dominici, Jr. (R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
March 24, 2010[29] 35% 52% 6% 6%
Weh(R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
March 24, 2010[30] 35% 45% 7% 13%
Arnold Jones(R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
March 24, 2010[31] 30% 52% 6% 12%
Turner(R) Denish (D) Other Don't Know
March 24, 2010[32] 34% 43% 7% 16%
(Sample)[33] n=500 MoE=+/- 4.5% p=0.05

Candidates

The November Ballot – Who Made It? New Mexico Governor[34]
Nominee Affiliation
Diane Denish Democrat
Susana Martinez Republican
Billy J. Driggs write-in (Democratic)
This lists candidates who won their state's primary or convention, or who were unopposed, and who were officially certified for the November ballot by their state's election authority.

New Mexico's Secretary of State maintained a list of all active and certified candidates.[35]

Democratic

  • New Mexico Lt. Gov. Diane Denish
  • Billy J. Driggs, who ran as a Democratic write-in

Republican

Withdrawn

Debates

The entire series of 2010 gubernatorial debates were hosted by KOAT-TV, who made the debates available on their website.[37]

Martinez and Denish met for a final debate on October 17, 2010, a face-off where they reiterated prior attacks on one another while agreeing that New Mexico's budget had to endure some "belt-tightening."[38]

Under term-limited Democrat Bill Richardson, the state's payroll ballooned as he multiple added well-paid appointed positions. Democrat Diana Denish may have scored the wittiest comment of the evening when asked about cutting salaries somewhere on the government payroll. She quipped, "And, yes, I can cook. I don't need a personal chef at the (governor's) mansion," a jab at Richardson who added just such a position to the his private staff at the governor's mansion.

Speaking more broadly about her fiscal plan, Denish went over her plan to consolidate government agencies and to slash salaries and such perks as state-funded cars for high ranking employees. However, even her own campaign's figures showed this would shave off $90 million, a mere third of the $260 million New Mexico was estimated to be short for the 20l1 budget.

Denish promised "smarter use of technology" while Republican District Attorney Susanna Martinez vowed to cut waste and fraud, typifying vague statements from both side throughout the campaign about how New Mexico would cover its enormous budget shortfall.

Both women used some of the same attacks that had been going back and forth all season: allegations that Denish's husband and his business interest improperly tapped connections in the government and that Martinez accepted donations from an out-of-state millionaire who funded the 2004 'Swift Boat' attacks on John Kerry.

One surprise in the evening came when Denish produced a paper copy of an email invitation to a fundraiser for Martinez hosted by members of the payday lending industry. Denish had characterized the short-term high interest loans as "predatory" and said she would support legislation to ban them entirely. Martinez said she would consider laws to cap interest rates on such loans, a less severe position than her opponent.

The Republican seemed surprised by the invitation and, rather than directly responding to Denish's challenge to explain the fundraiser with executives of a deeply unpopular industry, called out her opponent for breaking debate rules by bringing in outside material. Denish's staff later released the email invitation.

Campaign ads

NEA's spot in support of Diane Denish use controversial spokeswoman

Created and paid for by the National Educator's Association, a spot featuring a New Mexico special education teacher and claiming that Republican candidate Susana Martinez would, as governor, cut education funding, drew a bitter response.[39]

Freda Trujillo, who teaches in Las Cruces, was the star of the campaign spot, in which the NEA, a group that already endorsed Democrat Diane Denish, warned of cutbacks in funding for public education if Martinez was elected. However, the choice of Miss. Trujillo led to major bad blood - and at least two rebuttal ads.

As District Attorney of Las Cruces County, Susana Martinez successfully prosecuted Freda Trujillo's husband, Jesus Carmona, for kidnapping. He is now serving 23 years for the 2002 crime. Miss Trujillo and Mr. Carmona were married in 2004 and have been divorced since 2008. The Martinez campaign's first rebuttal ad directly suggested that the choice of Miss Trujillo and her personal willingness to film the ad were motivated by anger over the conviction.

The NEA fired back with a statement that Martinez failed to respond to the material allegation of the ad. The original NEA was not been made available online.


Susana Martinez for Governor' 'Convicted' ad.

Martinez accuses Denish of improperly taking Mesa del Sol campaign contributions

The second act of the battle of the campaign spots started with a spot the Martinez campaign ran in which Diane Denish was accused of accepting campaign contributions from Mesa del Sol, a construction and development project in Albuquerque. Diane Denish's husband, Herb, is a registered lobbyist in Albuquerque who worked for Forest City Covington, the developers of Mesa del Sol, from 2006 to 2009.

In the ad, Martinez alleged that Forest City gave $320,000 in total to current New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and to Diane Denish between 2002 and 2010. The ad also claimed Forest City received tax cuts worth some $500 million in return.

In response, the Denish campaign pointed out that Mr. Denish was registered as a city lobbyist and had never been registered to lobby state government. They also point to minutes of the New Mexico State Board of Finance to show that Miss Denish recused herself from discussions relating to Mesa del Sol and Forest City Covington.

In response to the Martinez ad, the Denish campaign came out with a spot called, "The Difference," which went after Martinez on economic policy.


Susana Martinez for Governor' 'Real Scandal' ad.

Diane Denish for Governor' 'The Difference' ad.

Political Landscape

New Mexico leans Democratic. In 2008 the state swung even more sharply to Democrats, with both House and Senate seats changing party hands. Both of New Mexico's U.S. Senate Seats are held by Democrats, and the House delegation consists of three Democrats and no Republicans. The current governor, Bill Richardson is a Democrat.

Recent Presidential election results:
2008 Barack Obama: 56.91% John McCain: 41.78%
2004 John Kerry: 49% George W. Bush: 50%

2006 Results

Candidate Votes Percent of total
Bill Richardson (D) 384,806 68.8%
John Dendahl (R) 174,364 31.2%

Gubernatorial electoral history

1998 Gubernatorial Results[40]
Candidates Percentage
Gary Johnson (R) 54.53%
Martin Chavez (D) 45.47%
Total votes 498,703
2002 Gubernatorial Results[41]
Candidates Percentage
Bill Richardson (D) 55.49%
John A. Sanchez (R) 39.05%
David E. Bacon (G) 5.47%
Total votes 484,233
2006 Gubernatorial Results[42]
Candidates Percentage
Bill Richardson (D) 68.82%
John Dendahl (R) 31.18%
Total votes 559,170



Presidential electoral history

2000 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 47.85%
Al Gore (D) 47.91%
2004 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George W. Bush (R) 49.84%
John Kerry (D) 49.05%
2008 Presidential Results[43]
Candidates Percentage
John McCain (R) 41.78%
Barack Obama (D) 56.91%


1992 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
George H.W. Bush (R) 37.34%
Bill Clinton (D) 45.90%
1996 Presidential Results
Candidates Percentage
Bob Dole (R) 41.86%
Bill Clinton (D) 49.18%

See also

External links

Campaign Sites

Democratic

Republican

References

  1. New Mexico Secretary of State, "Statewide Results," November 24, 2010
  2. Las Cruces Sun News, "Law may not apply to Susana Martinez inaugural funds ," November 18, 2010
  3. New Mexico Independent, "Heather Wilson to lead Martinez transition team," November 4, 2010
  4. New Mexico Watchdog, "Reactions to the new deficit estimate: New Gov says she’s frustrated, lawmaker says he’s not shocked, and New Gov’s transition chief: “I’m a pretty tough cookie”," November 12, 2010
  5. New Mexico Secretary of State, Statewide Primary Results
  6. New Mexico Secretary of State Elections Division - 2010 Primary Results Statewide
  7. New Mexico Secretary of State Elections Division - 2010 Primary Results Statewide
  8. The Cook Political, “Governors: Race Ratings”
  9. CQ Politics, “2010 Race Ratings: Governors”
  10. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball', “2010 Governor Ratings”
  11. Rasmussen Reports', “Election 2010: Scorecard Ratings”
  12. Rothenberg Political Report, “Governor Ratings”
  13. Real Clear Politics, "Martinez Pulling Away in New Mexico," September 30, 2010
  14. Mexico Public Policy Polling, “Daily Kos/PPP New Mexico Poll”, accessed October 3, 2010
  15. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
  16. Mexico Rasmussen Reports, “State Profiles: New Mexico”, accessed August 30, 2010
  17. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: New Mexico Governor: Martinez (R) Receives Highest Support Yet”, October 11, 2010
  18. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: New Mexico Governor: Martinez (R) Extends Lead Over Denish (D)”, October 1, 2010
  19. Rasmussen Reports, “Election 2010: New Mexico Governor: Martinez (R) 48%, Denish (D) 43%”, August 26, 2010
  20. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Martinez 44%, Denish 42%”, June 4, 2010
  21. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
  22. Mexico Rasmussen Reports, “State Profiles: New Mexico”, accessed August 30, 2010
  23. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish 43%, Martinez 42%”, May 27, 2010
  24. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish 43%, Martinez 42%”, May 27, 2010
  25. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish 43%, Martinez 42%”, May 27, 2010
  26. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish 43%, Martinez 42%”, May 27, 2010
  27. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish 43%, Martinez 42%”, May 27, 2010
  28. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish Tops Five GOP Hopefuls”, March 27, 2010
  29. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish Tops Five GOP Hopefuls”, March 27, 2010
  30. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish Tops Five GOP Hopefuls”, March 27, 2010
  31. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish Tops Five GOP Hopefuls”, March 27, 2010
  32. Rasmussen Reports, “New Mexico Governor: Denish Tops Five GOP Hopefuls”, March 27, 2010
  33. [More complete methodology and sampling tabs are available at www.RasmussenReports.com]
  34. New Mexico Secretary of State, “Statewide Primary Results”, accessed September 14, 2010
  35. New Mexico Secretary of State Primary Candidates, current for February 10, 2010 cut-off
  36. "Citing family concerns, Greg Zanetti withdraws from guv race" The New Mexico Independent
  37. KOAT-TV, "Denish, Martinez Meet For Televised Debate," accessed October 22, 2010
  38. Santa Fe New Mexican, "Denish, Martinez trade jabs in final governor's debate," October 21, 2010
  39. The Santa Fe New Mexican, "TV ad war between Martinez, Denish grows hotter: Martinez's spots praised by GOP pundits; Denish campaign cries foul ," September 10, 2010
  40. New Mexico Secretary of State, “1998 General Election Results“
  41. New Mexico Secretary of State, “2002 General Election Results“
  42. New Mexico Secretary of State, “2006 General Election Results“
  43. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections', accessed July 28, 2010