Does New Mexico Belong to Obama?

Jim Spence
President Obama was actually mocking calls for increased domestic gas production while touting oil-producing algae as the solution to high gas prices this week. If algae technology is ever proven to be viable, we are many years away from it providing for even a tiny portion of our energy needs. But in the face of huge jumps in gas prices it would seem that pinning hopes on Solyndra is a pretty tough sell for our leader.
Obama Praising Solyndra
Still, if you believe recent polls, New Mexico appears to be a safe bet to go into the Obama column in November. How can this be?
Oh it be. Obama’s strength in New Mexico is built on a couple of solid pillars. First, there has been a huge influx of white baby boomer progressives into New Mexico from places like California. Though these people are economically naive, they are politically active. They host neighborhood socials and go door-to-door looking for one-on-one situations where they can convince otherwise politically indifferent people to vote all Democrat.
If you are a hopeful Republican you better stop kidding yourself about what you are up against. These progressives now have hundreds of precinct captains in place all over our state. And they have several thousand foot soldiers. Progressives have armed themselves with voter lists. And unlike the average business person or generally disinterested independents, these people are intensely political. They know how their neighbors are registered and they are out there working every day to quietly convince them to either vote for Democrats, or alternatively, against certain Republicans. They are well trained and they know how to persuade the uninformed.
The second pillar of Obama support in New Mexico is simply the voter rolls. Thanks to “tradition,” there are simply a lot more registered Democrats in this state than Republicans. And most times the gravity of traditional voting patterns is overwhelming. In conversations with most life long Democrats, one gets the impression they don’t even realize their votes are gradually producing economic catastrophe. They simply vote for Democrats because that is what they have always done. The Democratic Party gets the same treatment as a favorite football team. And in New Mexico, most Hispanic voters have also block voted for Democrats. Block voted that is, until Susana Martinez came along.
Susana Martinez
Are pollsters who tell us New Mexico is safe for Obama actually right? There are only two potential threats standing in the way. And for now, they are merely “potential” threats, not real ones.
First, the tea parties in each and every municipality in the state have to recommit themselves to more sophisticated organizational tactics. If the tea parties' leaders realize they must commit to a structured, one person at a time approach to matching the organized efforts of progressives, this could present a bit of a problem for Obama.
Second, if the very popular slate of Hispanic leaders running the executive branch of government in New Mexico, led by Susana Martinez, makes a genuine commitment to communicate what is at stake for New Mexico and for America, and then works tirelessly all over the state, one precinct at a time for the Republican nominee, New Mexico might not be quite as safe for Obama as all the pundits and pollsters seem to think.
In the absence of these potential threats becoming real, this state will vote blue. And if our five electoral votes are as important as most people think, the outlook for employment and higher living standards won't just be blue, it will be bleak.