I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

Search This Blog

Friday, February 18, 2011

Senator Jeff Bingaman's Retirement Creates Competition in a Safe Seat

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) is unexpectedly retiring in 2012. Bingaman is the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and member of both the Armed Services and HELP Committees. He has been a low-key legislator who has won the respect of senators on both sides of the aisle. He is very popular in New Mexico (he won reelection in 2006 with 71 percent of the vote).

Bingaman's departure from the Senate puts a seat that would have been safely Democratic up in the air for 2012. Personally, I have always thought that my House Rep. Martin Heinrich was the next in line for the Senate. From the time that he was on Albuquerque's City Council, I have predicted that he would continue to rise politically. His impressive reelection campaign this past election cycle in a competitive district that many thought would fall under the national Republican wave showed that he has significant political skill. Other potential Democratic suitors for the seat are New Mexico's other Democratic House Representative Ben Ray Lujan and former Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish. I doubt that former Governor Bill Richardson would have any interest in the Senate seat.

The Republicans will likely run former House member Heather Wilson, who held Heinrich's House seat before a failed Senate run in 2008. She failed to win in the primary, losing to the more conservative Rep. Steve Pearce from southern New Mexico. Nevertheless, her moderate record may make her an appealing candidate for a general election. After losing badly in a Senate race in 2008, it is unlikely that Pearce will give up his House seat again to risk another defeat.

New Mexico is a very competitive state that often switches back and forth between party allegiance in statewide elections. The state voted for Gore in 2000, Bush in 2004, and Obama in 2008. THe state looked to be turning blue after Obama won the state by 15 points and the state elected an entirely Democratic Congressional Delegation in 2008. 2010 was a different story, however, as Republican Susana Martinez convincingly won the race for Governor.

The race for Bingaman's Senate seat will likely be a tossup until every vote is counted.

No comments:

Blog Archive