October 29, 2016 10:20 PM
This weekend, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will hold his second campaign event in New Mexico.
Trump will host a 7 P.M. rally Sunday, Oct. 30 at Atlantic Aviation, which is right off the Sunport. He'll also hold campaign events Saturday in Golden, Colorado and Phoenix and Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The news comes on the same day as The Washington Post published a story suggesting that the presidential race for New Mexico’s five electoral votes could be closer than some think. A New Mexico-based polling agency also says Trump is narrowing the gap on Hillary Clinton.
The Post story quotes Jason Miller, a communications adviser for Trump campaign, saying the Republican presidential candidate is in a “dead heat” in both New Mexico and Michigan.
“Watch those states very closely,” Miller said in the Post story. “Watch where Mr. Trump is traveling and where we start focusing some additional attention. But there are states — for all of the talk of Hillary Clinton supposedly going on offense with red states, she's campaigning in blue states, and we're making a play for blue states.”
KOB’s news partners at the Santa Fe New Mexican report Trump cut into Clinton’s lead in the state. Citing ZiaPoll – which surveyed 1,899 likely voters – the New Mexican says 45 percent will pick Clinton while 40 percent favor Trump. Clinton previously held a 10 percentage point advantage in the group’s poll on Oct. 11.
Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, running at the Libertarian candidate, is polling at 9 percent. His numbers also dropped from 16 percent, according to the New Mexican. Two percent support Green Party nominee Jill Stein while 4 percent are undecided.
“Contrary to some polls, ZiaPoll found Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton among voters who are between 18 and 34 years old,” the group said in the New Mexican story. “This trend has held steady over the last three New Mexico statewide polls.”
New Mexico typically hasn’t drawn much attention from national political analysts. For one, the Land of Enchantment carries only five electoral votes – the two granted to each state and the three based on New Mexico’s three Congressional districts. Much larger states with larger populations have more votes in the Electoral College.
Also, New Mexico has carried the Democratic candidate in five out of the last six elections – Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, Al Gore in 2000, and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Only George W. Bush claimed New Mexico during that span, in 2004.
The state did go Republican for the 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1988 presidential elections.
Lastly, as the Washington Post article points out, polling doesn’t come cheap. Oftentimes national polling is centered on so-called “battleground states” like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Ohio.
After Trump became the presumptive nominee during this summer’s contention primary race, he held a rally in late May at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Supporters turned out to hear Trump discuss topics like immigration.
Trump’s appearance also drew several protests. Demonstrations outside the convention center started out peaceful but steadily became more disruptive. Some protesters broke through police barricades, burned Trump merchandise and even threw rocks at mounted APD units. Police eventually used smoke grenades to clear the crowd.
Several anti-Trump protesters were removed from the convention center
The Republican nominee also took shots at New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who has repeatedly said she could not support Trump. She told reporters she would not attend the event because she was “really busy.”
"Since 2000, the number of people on food stamps has tripled. We have to get your governor to get going,” Trump said at the May rally. “She’s gotta do a better job, OK? Your governor has got to do a better job. She's not doing the job," Trump said as the crowd cheered. "Hey, maybe I'll run for governor of New Mexico, that will get this place going. She's not doing the job, we gotta get her moving. Come on, let's go, governor.”
Martinez did not become governor of New Mexico until Jan. 2010.
The governor had dodged questions during the primary and early in the general election campaign whether or not she would endorse Trump. When the controversial “Access Hollywood” video came out where Trump discussed inappropriate sexual advances toward women, Martinez said she won’t support him.
“What Trump brags about is appalling and completely unacceptable,” Martinez said earlier this month. “No woman should ever be treated the way he claims he treated women. Unfortunately, there is a pattern of disturbing conduct and offensive rhetoric that raises serious questions about his fitness to be President. That’s why I have withheld my support from the very beginning, and will not support him now.”
Neither Clinton nor her Democratic running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, have stopped in New Mexico. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned in New Mexico for his wife during the primary and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been in the state twice – once as a primary candidate himself and once on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.
As of Thursday, more than 200,000 registered voters have cast their ballots – 53 percent of them Democrats, 34 percent Republicans, 13 percent other – according to figures from the secretary of state’s office.
“The early vote seems to indicate the state is going toward Clinton,” political blogger Joe Monahan said. “So for all the political junkies out there, the thing to watch is not where Trump is going but where is Hillary going? Is she coming to New Mexico? If you see her coming, then you really know that this state is in play.”
Updated: October 29, 2016 10:20 PM
Created: October 28, 2016 04:27 PM
Copyright 2016 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved