Drum roll, please. Yesterday evening — the 5th of June 2012 — the State of New Mexico delivered the Republican presidential primary to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Shocker! Yes, I am fully aware that many of you who are reading this blog are rolling your eyes and thinking “shocker” — precisely because of the fact that Governor Romney is indeed (already) the nominee.
Indulge me please, but I loved walking out of dinner this evening and checking my iPhone only to read on Real Clear Politics that,
“With about 10 percent of the expected vote counted, Romney had 79 percent of the Republican vote to 9 percent for Ron Paul, 8 percent for Rick Santorum and 4 percent for Newt Gingrich.”
Please note: That was just 10 percent counted. And, as it went in New Mexico, so it went in South Dakota, New Jersey, California and Montana. Yes.
For the sake of disclosure, I am absolutely biased. It is very true that I am a fiscal conservative and believe that less-is-more when it comes to Government with a capital G. And, it is also true that I had the pleasure of working on Governor Romney’s book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. Feel free to grab a copy.
But here is the deal. In the case of New Mexico — a light-blue state – my prediction is that Mitt will stick. That’s the real sticker, shocker. New Mexico might just be that light-blue state that isn’t a grey state, yet swings it.
Here are a few reasons for my prediction that Mitt will stick in New Mexico:
1. The economy. This election is all about the economy. Period, end of story. I don’t really think I need to remind you all in New Mexico about where the unemployment rate stands. Governor Romney has a real record as a real governor in a state that has/had real economic problems. Allow me to bore you with a few facts (and, don’t worry, I promise to load you with more in future blogs). As governor of Massachussetts, Romney:
- Closed a projected $3 billion budget gap without raising taxes.
- Left a $2 billion rainy day fund.
- Cut taxes 19 times.
- Balanced the budget every year.
- Brought down unemployment from roughly 6 percent to 4.7 percent.
2. Favorability matters. News flash for those of you who are not aware, but Governor Susana Martinez enjoys one of the highest approval ratings of any current governor in the United States. This matters at a time when President Obama’s approval rating only hovers around 47 percent. Let’s look at a recent Gallup Poll and note the historical significance of this:
“The three presidents since World War II who were not re-elected — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush — all had job approval ratings below 50% in the last Gallup measure before the election took place. Five presidents who won re-election — Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton — all had job approval ratings above 50% in the last Gallup poll before the election.”
3. New Mexico. By the way, if you haven’t read this Daily Beast/Newsweek piece on Governor Martinez, you really should. It portrays an outstanding woman, sister, district attorney, and governor who will ultimately help carry another successful governor. (Note: I am not suggesting that Governor Martinez will carry Governor Romney as his VP… but as a strong female, Latina governor in a battleground state.) And, this really will be something.
4. Finally, it’s hard to relate to President Obama, who has Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour telling me that the president can relate to my situation — or any average Sarah’s situation out there in New Mexico. Perhaps I am wrong, but doubtful that they have ever trucked around the likes of Truth or Consequences, Elephant Butte, Hobbs, Socorro, Alamogordo, or even Los Alamos…
Mitt will stick.
That’s the sticker.