Author: Andrew

The GOP’s New Mexico campaign is a race for the nomination

The GOP’s New Mexico campaign is a race for the nomination

Guerrero: Kevin de León’s bid for sympathy digs a deeper hole in his already battered campaign


Published: June 3, 2014

As the dust settles on the first four weeks of the campaign in New Mexico, former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, the most popular GOP candidate among Latinos, still holds the lead in the polls there, with a 40-percentage-point advantage over the closest challenger, Carlos Guerra, a state senator from Taos.

And unlike other states that have seen intense campaigning, the candidates seem to have a very firm grip on their respective bases.

Domenici enjoys the support of an estimated 90 percent of the state’s Latinos – those who live in the Rio Grande Valley and Albuquerque, while Guerra has about 75 percent of Taos County’s Latino voters. That’s not to mention a solid chunk of the state’s Anglo voters.

But Guerra, who is the state’s first Native American member of the Legislature and has the backing of every member of the state’s tribes, is still in the hunt in the campaign’s final weeks.

Domenici, on the other hand, remains stuck in third place, with his closest challengers now trailing well more than the 10-to-1 mark held by Guerra in the polling.

What’s fueling these numbers, many in the Albuquerque area and across the state say, is a strong sense of disillusionment among moderate voters at the prospect of two Republicans vying for the party’s nomination.

Domenici and Guerra are both running as Republicans, meaning they have taken a less-than-positive tack on the unpopular economy and the state’s controversial immigration laws.

They’re running on a platform that includes a $800,000 per year job creation plan (Domenici) and a conservative approach to immigration (Guerra), respectively, and they’re also running on the general theme of fiscal responsibility, something that seems to appeal most with conservative voters.

But even Domenici acknowledges that his campaign has run into difficulty. Some voters are choosing not to vote at all because of the intense opposition he faces from the more conservative elements of the party,

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