Two years ago at this time Richard Romero was only one point behind Heather Wilson in the Albuquerque Journal poll. This go around, Heather and Madrid are tied. Madrid’s bloggers here, here, and here are attempting to spin this result as a clear sign that the challenger is on the road to victory, but the reality is something completely different.
Compare Romero’s 44% to Heather’s 45% in the Journal poll of October of 2004 to the current 44% for both Heather and Madrid this year, and you realize that the results are exactly where they are expected to be according to historical trends.
Keep in mind, that this repetition of 2004 is despite the millions the Madrid camp and the DCCC are spending in an attempt to portray Heather and President Bush as one in the same. If their efforts were proving successful, we would expect Heather’s decline in the polls to mirror that of the President. However, a look at the President’s approval rating around election time in 2004 versus his current standing clearly indicate that the Democratic efforts are falling significantly short of their mark. Heather at best could be considered to have lost one point during a time period where the President is down about ten points.
Which leads to the question, why has Madrid been unable to significantly outperform Richard Romero?
Well, one of Madrid’s bloggers buries the answer in his “analysis” (decidely weak in historical perspective). He points out that the Attorney General’s tacit approval of corruption in New Mexico has kept her from grabbing a lead in the race, and yesterday’s jury verdict in the treasurer scandal trial is only going to exacerbate this problem for Madrid. The undecided voters, who are going to play a critical role in this election, are unlikely to forget before Election Day the wrench that Madrid intentionally threw into the judicial process to the benefit of fellow Democrat Robert Vigil.
The other Madrid spin sites are right in their analysis that this race is going to come out to which campaign is better at getting out the vote. Congresswoman Heather Wilson is a proven entity in this regard. Her opponent on the other hand is relying on the same failed strategy from the 2004 national elections.
Like John Kerry, she is hoping that a vote against the President translates into a vote for her. Plus, she is counting on Bill Richardson’s ability to get out the vote. These didn’t work in 2004, and it’s hard to come up with solid reason why they should in 2006.