Mitt Romney’s appearance in Hobbs on Thursday (Aug. 23) has some Republicans thinking things will be much more competitive for the GOP presidential candidate than they were four years ago.
Back in 2008, Barack Obama swamped Republican nominee John McCain, winning the state in a blowout — by 15.1 points in a state that prior to that year had been way too close to call.
While a lot of political observers think Obama is the decided favorite to win in New Mexico, things appear to be tightening.
After racking up leads of as much as 15 points in some polls, Public Policy Polling — which is long affiliated with the Democratic Party — showed Obama’s lead on Romney shrinking to 5 points in a survey taken in July.
And that was before Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate.
So, is New Mexico back in play?
We asked a few political types in conservative Lea County after Romney appeared before a crowd, talking energy and making his case for the White House:
Romney will have an uphill struggle in New Mexico since Democrats have a 48-32 lead on Republicans in registered voters.
National election outfits have almost uniformly placed New Mexico into the “leans Obama” category.
Update: As it so happens, Rasmussen Reports just came out with a poll of New Mexico showing Obama up by a solid 14 points — 52-38 with 9 points for “some other candidate,” which one would presume would make up a lot of Gary Johnson supporters.
Rasmussen also has Democrat Martin Heinrich up by 7 — 48-41 — on Heather Wilson in their bitter race for the US Senate, with 7 percent undecided.
The margins of error for both polls is plus or minus 4.5 percent.
Tip of the hat to Steve Terrell.