The Situation Has Improved Significantly….but It Has Not Been the Night We Had Expected

Nationally and in NM, we didn’t do nearly as well as we thought and hoped, but at 8:16 am, it does look like Biden will win this, but it is so close that by the time you read this, things may have changed. Stay tuned.

From what I can glean from the news, it doesn’t seem too likely that a coup is in the offing. nonetheless, things could change. So here is a link to “Make It Count: Post Election Updates & Action Steps. tonight’s 6 pm WFP zoom about post election actions to protect the vote.

In part because we are so disappointed in the results in three NM State Senate races for candidates who were going to be on our zoom tomorrow, but also due to the uncertainty in the national race and the possibility of competing Zooms directing people on how to protect the vote, we are cancelling the zoom for tomorrow. Honestly, we were hoping for a bit of a euphoric moment and the results, even if Biden does win, it simply doesn’t feel terribly euphoric just now. We are planning a zoom with a selection of legislators for sometime in November and we have the zoom with Speaker Egolf and Senator Wirth on December 1.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 6:30 – 8 pm. Election Debrief and 2021 Legislative Agenda Review with Senate Floor Leader Peter Wirth and Speaker of the House Brian Egolf. We will discuss how the primaries and the general election have altered the Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate and what those changes mean for getting transformational legislation passed in 2021. We will also discuss the national election and what may have been a pretty chaotic November.

Click to register for this Zoominar.

Election Report

So while things looked beyond bleak at midnight, at 6 AM it looks llike Joe Biden will win election by garnering either 270 electoral votes or with 290. Biden just took the lead in Michigan, holds a narrow lead in Wisconsin, and leads narrowly in Nevada and more widely in Arizona. But in all four of these states the remaining votes are vote by mail votes or votes in heavily Democratic counties that trended strongly for Biden. In other words, if Biden holds Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, Biden reaches 270 and even Fox News is saying that this is likely. Yes, Roxanne and I are watching Fox, just to take their temperature and we are finding that after two hours of watching, their reporting has not been anything outrageous at all. On to Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, it looked utterly hopeless when we went to bed, with Trump holding a 700,000 vote margin. But 24% of the votes remained to be counted (1.4 million votes) with the vast majority of those votes coming from mail-in ballots and the city of Philadelphia. Nate Cohn from the NY Times, projects that if the remaining ballots follow the pattern of the votes counted from those two sources, Biden would make up that margin and win Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes with a 51-49% margin. That would yield a Biden electoral total of 290.

Lastly, Georgia remains in play, but barely, as Trump leads by 102,000 votes with only 6% of the vote to be counted. But no media is giving Georgia to Trump just yet, as most of those votes are coming from Atlanta or from mail-in ballots. But Biden doesn’t need Georgia.

Bottom line, it appears that Biden will win with either 270 or 290 electoral votes with my greatest concern being the possibility of losing Nevada. If that were to happen, Biden would need to win Pennsylvania. Confused?

The Courts

While Trump is threatening lawsuits, …Even on Fox, they are not seeing a winnable legal battle. I am sure this will get nasty; Trump has declared that he has won and that the Democrats have committed fraud. On Fox, they are saying that there will be lawsuits, but Fox seems to think that this will focus on Pennsylvania. And Biden doesn’t need Pennsylvania unless Nevada flips.

While we’ve only been watching Fox for a couple hours, so far, their rhetoric seems pretty reasonable and those they’ve interviewed, Democrats and Republicans, are uniformly criticizing the President for his outrageous claim to have won.

I have no idea what kinds of legal tricks the GOP will pull, but from what I’ve heard this morning, it doesn’t seem that even Republicans feel it can be successful. But I certainly wouldn’t bank on it.

The US Senate

At this minute This is not looking very promising. Unless some very sudden and unexpected shifts occur, control of the Senate will depend upon one or two runoff elections in Georgia and a Ranked Choice Voting process that may come into play in Maine. The upshot is that there is a path to Democrats having a 51-49 hold of the Senate. Read on!

  • In Colorado and Arizona, Democratic challengers won their races, bumping the Democrat total Senate seats to 49. but
  • In Alabama, they lost a seat, as was expected, bringing that total back down to 48.
  • In Michigan, Democrat incumbent has surged into the lead (he was trailing when we got up) and with 96% of the vote counted, he is highly likely to win this race, a critical one to any hope of the Dems gaining control of the Senate. Since Peters is an incumbent, this keeps the Dems at 48. But most of the rest of the news is bad.
  • In Iowa and Montana, incumbent Republicans kept their seats;
  • In Maine, Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins is leading the Democratic challenger, Sara Gideon by 65,000 votes with 85% of the vote counted, a steep climb for Gideon, however if Collins doesn’t get 50% then Maine employs Ranked Choice Voting and the third candidate in that race had been asking her supporters to put Gideon in second if voting for her. Right now Collins has only 49.8%, so this is still possible.
  • In North Carolina, the Republican is leading by 97,000 votes with 94% of the vote counted, an even steeper climb;
  • In Georgia, David Purdue is leading Jon Ossoff by 180,000 votes with 92% of the vote counted, an impossible climb and while it is highly unlikely that Ossoff can make up that margin, there are two others in this race and Purdue only has 50.8% of the vote. If that percent drops to 49.9% then there will be a runoff in January in this Georgia race; and
  • The other Georgia seat will certainly be a runoff; and so….

If Maine flips and Collins loses and both Georgia races go to runoffs, then the Senate would stand at 49-49 with two runoffs in Georgia in January.

When we went to bed last night, things looked beyond bleak. On balance, I’ll take a Biden presidency, but without a Democratic Senate hopes of any kind of substantive change are largely throttled, unless the GOP Senate changes its modus operandi. Since that is not likely, a whole lot of attention will be on Georgia for the next two months. Stay tuned.

In the New Mexico State Senate. It could have been better but despite three painful losses, on balance, we have significantly improved the composition of the NM State Senate:

  • Senate District 6: Leo Jaramillo (D) won
  • Senate District 9: Brenda McKenna (D) won
  • Senate District 10: Katy Duhigg (D) defeated Candace Gould (R), a surprise and very good;
  • Senate District 19: Greg Schmedes (R) defeated Claudia Risner (D), a race we really hoped to win
  • Senate District 20: Morton Hickey (D) pulled an upset and defeated John Morton (R)
  • Senate District 23: Harold Pope (D) won a huge victory, a Working Family Party member and now the first African American to be elected to the NM State Senate;
  • In Senate District 28: Siah Correa Hemphill (D) won by just 353 votes;
  • In Senate District 30: Pam Cordova (D) lost her race, a big blow for progressives;
  • In Senate District 35: Neomi Martinez Parra lost convincingly (58-42%) to Crystal Diamond…we knew this race would be a tough one to win, but are surprised by the margin….tons of gas and oil money involved in both District 30 and 35.
  • In Senate District 38: Carrie Hamblin (D) easily won her Senate race

Bottom, line while we did not win two races we very badly wanted to win (Dist 30 and 35), with Duhigg, Hickey and Pope all winning their races, the net was a gain of one seat for the Democrats and with Jaramillo, Correa Hemphill, Hamblin and McKenna winning and replacing DINOs, that is seven Senators who are far more progressive than the Senators they will be replacing. As a result, the Senate chemistry will be much improved in 2021. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Neomi and Pam. They knocked off two of the most powerful DINOs in the state and that is a game changer in the Senate.

In the NM State House

  • House District 12: Brittney Barreras will defeat Art de la Cruz whose write in votes must be counted by hand, but he will not likely be able to get even 40% of the vote, so this is a nice win, as de la Cruz is a DINO to be sure;
  • House District 38: Rebecca Dow (R) defeated Karen Whitlock (D), a race we had hoped to win;
  • House District 39: Rudy Martinez (D) lost his House seat, a surprise and a blow
  • House District 40: Roger Montoya (D) won election to the House
  • House District 42: Kristina Ortiz (D) won;
  • House District 53: Willie Madrid (D) lost by just 7 votes… a recount is pending
  • House District Billie Helean (D) lost narrowly in her race against Brian Harper (R)

Bottom line: we lost two seats but maintain a solid House majority.

That’s it for now. We are toast and may not be writing for a few days. I don’t know about you, but we are ready for a few days of hikes and novels and rest. And it was wonderful not having political ads non-stop while watching the news.

Finally, thanks to all of you who worked so hard these last few months. Imagine what a stew we would be in if you hadn’t done the work.

In solidarity and hope,

Paul & Roxanne



Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics

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7 replies

  1. We cannot forget what an incredible win it was that we all will be benefitting from, that Neomi Martinez-Parra knocked JAS out of the picture–he was a power that had its grip on all business done by the legislature, and he is gone. Crystal Diamond does not replace him. Same with Pam Cordova knocking out Clemente Sanchez. Now, no more wolves in sheep clothing. And there is no net loss of Dems in the NM Senate with the Harold Pope and Katy Duhigg wins over incumbent Republican Senators. Many thanks and kudos to Neomi and Pam, and trust that they will be back, after putting themselves through the wringer for the rest of us.

  2. Personally, i did not expect Biden to win. However, I was hoping he would and did all I was capable of to make it happen.
    On another note there is much talk about the poles being wrong. I know this sounds weird but I think if someone could do some digging they would find there is an organized effort to answer poles and lie. Afterall democrats attended Trump rallies….just sayin’. I do not have the ability to research my theory I am hoping someone can look in to it.
    Thank you for all that you do.

  3. I want to point out that people working on the ground for Democrat campaigns in southern New Mexico have literally put their lives on the line. There have been threats, and harassment. I respect and salute you, southern NM Democrats.

  4. Thanks for all your hard work on this, Paul and Roxanne. And to Neomi and Pam for taking a year out of their lives to make a difference for all New Mexicans! Great Job!!!
    Now we wait…..

  5. I just feel so sad right now, it’s hard to know what to say! I know that there is still some hope that Biden/Harris might just pull it off, but I still feel so despondent. I think my soul has been bruised. It’s that deep. I aligned with the Democratic campaign that this election was a fight for the soul of our country. Our values of integrity and compassion have been compromised and are at stake in this election. And yet, after four years of almost mind-numbing incompetence and criminal behavior that have put our nations health and well-being at peril, this referendum on Trump basically came back saying so many people want four more years of the same! In the 2016 election, I felt completed blind-sided by Trump’s victory/Clinton’s loss. This election was a little different. I knew not to depend on polling data and so I always had a sense that things could “go south”. However, I did have a semblance of hope that there would be a small shift in people’s consciences, that four more years of what we’ve had is not going in the right direction for our democracy and what we value. And yet………..my soul hurts. Soon, I’ll be able to find ways to channel my outrage and seek taking an active role in make this world, or at least Santa Fe, a better place. I’m sure I’ll find a way to heal. But for now, I grieve.

  6. Here in Las Cruces we are heartbroken that Rep. Xochitl Torres Small was defeated despite a solid record of working for especially rural NM & for counties which did not realize all she had done on their behalf. This is a great loss to NM’s representation in Congress & the southern half of the state.

  7. Redistricting is in the Democratic state legislature’s hands next year. Gerrymander CD2 into a winnable Democratic district. The Supreme Court said districts based on political parties is LEGAL. Let’s go for it and make ALL of NM BLUE again.

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