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New Mexico

Since I’ve been talking about Obama’s problems in some eastern states, it’s only fair that I acknowledge that he is now polling considerably better in my home state.  There he leads 50-41, which marks a six-point improvement for him and a three-point drop for McCain since February.  Most of the movement in the last three months has come from uncommitted Democrats and a few McCain-supporting Democrats coming back to Obama.  McCain used to receive the backing of 25% of Democrats, and now has just 21%, and he has seen his advantage among married voters shrink from 10 points to a one-point deficit.  McCain has made some inroads with unmarried voters, but not enough to offset his other losses.  McCain can’t be counted out here, thanks to the large military and defense industry presence (I doubt there is much of a benefit to coming from Arizona) that tends to bolster Republican candidates, and Obama may lose a larger share of the Hispanic vote to McCain.  New Mexico is one of the essential swing states where Obama has to do well, and right now he is, probably aided by the general disarray of local Republicans and a strong Democratic Senate candidate in Tom Udall, who leads both his potential GOP opponents by embarrassingly wide margins.  These margins may narrow after the June 3 primary, but not enough to overcome Udall’s almost 20-point lead.  Barring some disaster, we can assume New Mexico is all but in the bag for the Democrats.  We could be looking at a Democratic sweep of the Congressional delegation.  Instead of coattails aiding Democrats in House and Senate races, Democratic strength in the Congressional races may be boosting the presidential ticket.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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