NM-Sen: Domenici Continues Precipitous Drop in the Polls
by Jonathan Singer, Thu May 24, 2007 at 07:07:02 PM EDT
Ever since he was implicated in the prosecutor purge scandal nearly three months ago, New Mexico's Republican Senator Pete Domenici, who is up for reelection this cycle, has seen his approval rating drop like a rock as his disapproval rating has shot up. As of this month's polling from SurveyUSA just 52 percent of New Mexicans approve of the job he is doing as Senator while 42 percent disapprove -- not terrible numbers in and of themselves but remarkably horrible when the trend lines are taken into account. Take a look:
Three months ago, before most people had heard of David Iglesias or the efforts by the Bush administration and some of their allies on Capitol Hill to try to turn the Justice Department into little more than another arm of the Republican Party, Pete Domenici seemed to be on track to win reelection. Though there were some, myself included, who have long advocated that the Democrats at least take a look at challenging Domenici, particularly after he was seen walking around Senate in pajama bottoms (or "hunting pants", as he calls them), there was an understanding that Domenici would be extremely difficult for the Democrats to defeat in 2008.
But the game has since changed. In the last three months -- the last 90 days -- Domenici has fallen from a 64/27 approval spread to a 52/42 approval spread, or a net drop of 27 points. It's difficult for me to recall any political figure dropping so noticeably and so quickly.
So while Domenici might not have been terribly weak just a few weeks ago, he is very beatable today. Already at least one potentially strong Democratic challenger -- former United States Attorney for New Mexico John Kelly -- has voiced an interest in the race, and others still might be willing to be coaxed into running. This just could turn out to be one of the premier Senate contests of 2008.
By the way... The Senate 2008 Guru is really the place to be watching the race for the Senate in 2008.