June 27, 2017

Analyst says NM Guv race leans toward Dems



New Mexico’s gubernatorial race is trending blue according to a prominent news outlet that analyzes elections.

The Cook Political Report changed its ratings for eight gubernatorial elections Monday, moving New Mexico and four other states toward Democrats, two states closer to Republicans and one away from an independent.

New Mexico was moved from a toss up to “Lean D.” According to the outlet’s rating system, “lean” races “are considered competitive races but one party has an advantage” while toss ups “are the most competitive races; either party has a good chance of winning.”

New Mexico is one of two races with current Republican governors where the race is likely to tilt Democratic. New Jersey, with unpopular Gov. Chris Christie leaving, is considered “likely D,” which means it is not currently competitive but could become so at some point.

Gov. Susana Martinez is unable to run for a third consecutive term. She won by nearly 7 percent over Democrat Diane Denish, at the time the state’s lieutenant governor, in 2010 then won reelection by nearly 15 percent over then-Attorney General Gary King in 2014.

So far, three Democrats have announced their candidacies for governor: U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca and alcohol tax advocate Peter DeBenedittis. No Republican has announced an intention to run so far.

In all, the outlet says eight races are considered toss-ups. Two of the toss-up states are held by Democrats (Connecticut and Minnesota) one by an independent (Alaska) and five by Republicans (Florida, Illinois, Maine, Michigan and Nevada).

New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states where elections are held this year; another 36 states, including New Mexico, will hold gubernatorial elections in 2018.