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Tags: Jon Barela

Bingaman Departs, Continuing the Exodus of Senate Democrats



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The story of the last couple of days, during my Presidents Day Weekend travel, has been Democrats choosing not to run for statewide office in 2012. Besides Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel taking a pass on the Indiana gubernatorial race and Rep. Joe Courtney taking a pass on running for Connecticut’s Senate race, the big news is five-term senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico choosing to retire.

He had always won solidly, and in 2006, Bingaman won 71 percent of the vote. Already the race to replace him is being categorized as a “toss-up,” but a great deal depends on the candidates. Democrats had done well here in recent cycles until 2010, when Susana Martinez won the governor’s race and Steve Pearce won one of the state’s three congressional districts.

Bingaman joins Jim Webb, Kent Conrad, and Joe Lieberman among Senate Democrats taking a pass on another term. The chances of Democrats keeping this seat are probably better than in Virginia and North Dakota, but worse than in Connecticut. Still, some mainstream accounts are calling the news a “body blow” to “the odds of Democrats hanging onto the Senate.”

Democrats may not have to look too far for a promising challenger; second-term congressman Martin Heinrich says he’s considering running for the seat. Of course, that would create an open-seat race where Republican Jon Barela took 48 percent last time around, setting up a decent shot for the GOP to pick up that House seat.

State auditor Hector Balderas is apparently in.

On the Republican side, former governor Gary Johnson is a “no.” Former congresswoman Heather Wilson and Pearce are “maybe”s.

Tags: Heather Wilson , Jeff Bingaman , Jon Barela , Martin Heinrich , Steve Pearce

Some of These Poll Numbers Are Low, Not Lobos



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New Mexico is one of those states that are never easy for Republican candidates, but the chances for Susana Martinez look pretty good in the governor’s race, and the GOP’s Steve Pearce is very narrowly ahead of incumbent Rep. Harry Teague. In the neighboring district, Jon Barela still trails outside the margin of error.

Tags: Jon Barela , Steve Pearce , Susana Martinez

I’ll Bet the New Mexico GOP Hopes Bill Richardson Attends a Lot of Rallies



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Looking at some new polls out of New Mexico… if Republican Suzanna Martinez leads the gubernatorial race over Democrat Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, 45 percent to 39 percent, then neither Rep. Martin Heinrich nor Rep. Harry Teague should feel all that great about narrow leads (6 points and 3 points, respectively) over their GOP challengers.

The poll finds Gov. Bill Richardson’s approval rating at… 33 percent.

Tags: Diane Denish , Harry Teague , Jon Barela , Martin Heinrich , Steve Pearce , Suzana Martinez

If the NRCC Didn’t Buy Ad Time in Your District, There’s Probably a Reason



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Over at the Club for Growth, David Keating notices the NRCC “Young Guns” who aren’t getting any TV ads from the committee, at least not in the first wave.

At first glance, most of these candidates look like they’re in okay shape and aren’t in dire need of NRCC ads in their district.

AR-2, Tim Griffin: Leads early polling, has a cash advantage on his Democratic rival.

FL-22, Allen West: Phenomenal fund-raiser as is. He’ll need every dime he can get against well-funded Ron Klein, but in the end, West just needs enough to ensure he isn’t blown away in the advertising war.

IL-14, Randy Hultgren: Perhaps he’s one of the more surprising omissions, but it’s a suburban Chicago seat and that means an expensive television market.

NJ-3, Jon Runyan: Former NFL star shouldn’t have a hard time raising additional funds; he’s already given $300,000 to his own campaign.

NM-1, John Barela: He’s sitting on $537,000 in cash, according to his most recent filing.

NY-29, Tom Reed: This seat is deemed one of the seats most likely to flip in November; the NRCC probably concluded Tom Reed is doing fine, at least for now.

OH-13, Tom Ganley: This Republican is just going to have to get by on the $3 million or so he’s given his campaign so far.

PA-8, Michael Fitzpatrick: Pretty expensive media market (Philadelphia). In his last report, Fitzpatrick had more than $660,000 in the bank, so he’s actually well-stocked, even though rival Patrick Murphy has much more.

VA-11, Keith Fimian: Expensive media market (Washington, D.C.). Fimian’s behind in the most recent cash-on-hand numbers, but he’s raised more than $1 million over the course of his campaign.

VA-9, Morgan Griffith: Perhaps a bit surprising, but rival Rick Boucher is already running from Obama, and Griffith is probably going to be outspent no matter how well he raises money. This race will probably come down to whether a deeply conservative district (R+11) wants to keep sending a Democrat to Congress.

UPDATE: Interesting. I am informed that the NRCC did make a late addition to their list, reserving air time for the race in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district to help out Jon Runyan.

Tags: Allen West , Jon Barela , Jon Runyon , Keith Fimian , Michael Fitzpatrick , Morgan Griffith , Randy Hultgren , Tim Griffin , Tom Ganley , Tom Reed

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