DGA head sour on spending in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Republican Governor Susana Martinez may have just received some very good news from a fellow governor, a Democrat.

Tuesday morning, Vermont governor Peter Shumlin spoke to reporters at an event hosted by Third Way, a Washington D.C. think tank.

Shumlin, head of the Democratic Governors Association, was asked to assess which races his party’s candidates could win in November.

According to Real Clear Politics, Shumlin told reporters he didn’t expect a Democratic win in New Mexico.

I wish that we could spend money for Democrats in all 50 states,” Shumlin said. “My job is not to promote governors’ races in states where we can’t win.”

That’s no small blow to the five candidates hoping to unseat Martinez in November.

The DGA, like its Republican counterpart, has millions it can spend on ads to try to influence races in various states. Those dollars could be vital.

“It’s sending a signal to every other donor out there if the party itself doesn’t see this as an investment how would I look at it as an individual donor,” said Gabe Sanchez, a UNM political science professor. “I think that obviously is not a great sign for the Democratic candidates.”

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Sam Bregman, New Mexico Democratic Party chair in a phone interview. “I’m not surprised.”

Bregman says he believes Shumlin’s assessment is premature and based on out of date information.

“I gather they’re basing that decision on polls that are old and showing Governor Martinez at high poll ratings,” Bregman said. “But I think now and certainly once we get a nominee that they may be reconsidering that decision.”

National decisions along these lines can make a big difference in campaign dollars.

Two years ago, the National Republican Senatorial Committee elected to take $3 million earmarked on ads for Senate candidate Heather Wilson and spend it elsewhere.

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