Monday, April 4, 2016

Can Bernie Win New Mexico?
Feedback suggests I hit a sensitive nerve in the Bernie campaign.  I argued a couple of days ago that the Sanders campaign has four problems in New Mexico, three of which are fixable:
  • The campaign isn't reaching out to Hispanic and Native voters
  • The campaign isn't relating the Sanders candidacy with inequality in New Mexico
  • There isn't any visible statewide strategy to win the primary election.  This is particularly true in areas with heavy concentrations of Native and Hispanic voters, using what works at local levels.
  • The Democratic Party apparatus and many progressive NGOs are for Clinton.  
Neither the Clinton nor the Sanders campaigns have been very visible.  Most Democrats probably believe Clinton has the nomination locked up, something reinforced daily in the establishment news media.  Also, since the New Mexico Primary is in June, most Democrats assume the nomination will be locked up by then, so no need to expend energy in a major push for votes.  Here is a recent article that argues Bernie has a chance.

Whether Bernie has a chance to win in New Mexico will depend on what Sanders supporters do between now and the primary to address the three fixable problems listed above.  If things remain the same, Clinton will almost certainly win.  Most incumbent Democratic candidates at the local level are probably for Clinton; most of the party apparatus is for Clinton.  Without a strong statewide effort, and with Bernie trailing in the polls, turnout will probably be dominated by Clinton supporters.

On the other hand, it would be nice, and healthy for the body politic, to see a serious campaign in New Mexico for the presidential primary.

It's too early to know what will happen in New Mexico in the Republican primary.  But if Trump is just a few votes shy of the nomination, it could be an exciting time among New Mexico Republicans in late May.

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