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NM: A Mystery State

By Ann Scott Tyson

Polls are open in New Mexico, with 6,000 early votes cast in the Democrats-only caucus. New Mexico is a bit of a mystery state because no reliable polls have been conducted.

In recent visits to the state, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) was estimated to draw a larger crowd than Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), who held her event in a high school. But Obama was matched in crowd estimates by former President Bill Clinton, who remains popular in the state, said Chris Garcia, professor emeritus of political science at the University of New Mexico.

"Where we are in New Mexico is speculating," said Garcia. Still, he is willing to venture a guess. "Clinton probably has a lead but Obama is coming up close."

By Washington Post Editor  |  February 5, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
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What's going on with the vote count?

And the provisional ballots?

I smell a rat..

alarico, go to today's for a complete description. That website is at the forefront of the election integrity movement.

Posted by: badam54r | February 6, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I am a life long Democrat fron norther NM, and a retired U.S. Ambassador. I spend the winters in Phoenix, and the summers in Albuquerque. I recently attended a Hillary townhall meeting in Phoenix with over 10,000 loud and enthusiatic supporters. She came across as a highly experienced, knowledgable and articulate Democratic candidate that can lead our party to a successful conclusion in November. She will end the Iraq war, improve or economy and enhance our image in the international community.

Posted by: jsweeney62 | February 6, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

What's going on with the vote count?

And the provisional ballots?

I smell a rat...

Posted by: alarico | February 6, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm a native New Mexican, now living in California.

I know the saying is that "As Maine goes, so goes the nation," but New Mexico is one of those states that has frequently voted for candidates who were the ultimate victors.

I think there are different reasons for this; I'd love to hear Chris Garcia expound on why this is so. A good cross-section with its tri-ethnic culture maybe? African Americans are a very small percentage in N.M., but the large Hispanic community leans Democratic. As in other places Hispanics are not monolithic. Many have their origins in Mexico; many like myself trace roots in the state as far back as the descendants of the Pilgrims do in New England, and many of us, to the chagrin of the "Mama Lucy" Democrats are moderate Republicans.

Is it he fact that its white citizens, including the considerable number employed in the laboratories and military bases, come from all over the country, and are good reflections of how the country votes?

Might the native Americans--The Apache Nation, The Navajo Nation (thank you Tony Hillerman for your incredible insights into the "Dine"), and the Pueblos inject a wisdom that like a divining rod points to a winner?

?Quien sabe?

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | February 6, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Why is it "treacherous" for the Kennedys to support Obama?

Hillary showed that she was ready to destroy the party if this could ensure her a victory. That's treacherous. Luckily for us, her dirty tactics backfired and she was forced to make nice with Obama, but not before turning a lot of people off-- Ted Kennedy included.

Besides, if Hillary wins the nomination, McCain will blow her out of the water. We don't need another Republican president.

Go Obama!!

Posted by: alarico | February 6, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I like New Mexico eventhough I live in California. I have been to the state several times and I am licensed in New Mexico in my profession. But I will say this, while Obama is popular in liberal white and black voters, Hillary seems to be popular among the ethnic lines. I personally believe she will have good consultation results from her husband as well. It is amazing how people like Kennedy who got benefited by Clintons, turned around in a treachrous way. Hillary is also well educated, liberal, and popular among all people with various colors in the USA.

Posted by: pacificxlife | February 6, 2008 4:57 AM | Report abuse

I live in Las Cruces and attended a rally last night on the campus of New Mexico State feature Michelle Obama. The place was packed and fired up. The Obama camp has had a presence in southern New Mexico for almost a month without a peep from Clinton. I just got back from the polls and the line literally ran throughout the polling place. I don't know what any of this means, but I think it's worth noting that the people I saw at the poll were young.

Posted by: coupland12 | February 5, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Don't rule out the strength of the Democratic party machine in New Mexico. More important than the Latino majority among party activists is the traditional of lockstep party loyalty -- and the padrones have picked Hillary.

Posted by: ViejitaDelOeste | February 5, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

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