Road to 60: Draft Udall a Success in New Mexico

CNN has called the New Mexico Senate race for Tom Udall, the fourth pick-up so far for Senate Democrats. Big props to the MyDD community for its role in the Draft Udall effort, helping to raise close to $5k to cajole the Congressman to enter the race after he had previously said no.

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NM-Sen: Tom Udall Up 25 Points on Either GOP Competitor

For those 138 people who contributed nearly $5,000 in the fall to draft Tom Udall to run for the United States Senate in New Mexico should feel good that their investment is paying off. Take a look at these numbers from SurveyUSA:

General Election: Democrat Udall Beats Either Republican and Flips Domenici's Seat From Red to Blue: In a hypothetical General Election for U.S. Senator from New Mexico today, 25 weeks to the vote, Democrat Tom Udall defeats either Republican Pearce or Republican Wilson by a nearly identical margin. Today, against Pearce, Udall wins 60% to 36%. Against Wilson, Udall wins 61% to 35%. Udall leads among both men and women, young and old, white and Hispanic, regardless of opponent. 1 in 4 Republicans cross over and vote Democrat; 1 in 10 Democrats cross over to vote Republican.

It's never a good thing to count ones chickens before they have hatched. There's still a long time between now and November, and anything can happen. Moreover, there's a lot of work to do. Yet it's very clear that Udall is as strong a candidate for the Senate as anyone could hope for from New Mexico, leading two established incumbent members of Congress by remarkably wide margins. What's more, Udall is a solid progressive who would be an important voice for change in the upper chamber of Congress is elected. If you want to help ensure that we get more and better Udalls in the Senate this year, head over to Act Blue today and make your voice heard.

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NM-Sen: Tom Udall Continues to Look Great

Congressman Tom Udall, whom so many worked so diligently to try to draft to run for the Senate in New Mexico last year, has consistently looked great in head-to-head polling against either of his potential Republican opponents, Congressman Steve Pearce and Congresswoman Heather Wilson. The latest numbers on the race from Rasmussen Reports look little different.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in New Mexico shows that Democratic Congressman Tom Udall has widened his lead over potential Republican opponents in the race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat.

Udall now leads Republicans Steve Pearce 54% to 40% and Heather Wilson 56% to 36%.

Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, Udall has a twelve-point advantage over Pearce. Udall leads Wilson 52% to 33% in that category.

Last month, Udall had an eight-point lead over Pearce and a seven-point lead over Wilson.

[...]

In New Mexico, Udall is now viewed favorably by 62% and unfavorably by just 29%. Wilson's numbers are 53% favorable, 52% unfavorable. Pearce is viewed favorably by 49% and unfavorably by 40%.

It's really great to see this race sitting as the Democrats second best Senate pick-up opportunity (behind Virginia). Although it looked for a while as though Udall would not run and instead Marty Chavez, who is not well liked throughout the state and who is extremely centrist, would be the leading Democratic candidate in the race. But as a result of a strong push, both from the grassroots inside the state and the netroots in the state and around the country, Udall reconsidered his decision not to run, now putting this race in the leans Democratic category. And lest you think that support should be given to Udall just because he has a good shot at winning (which he does), go back and take a look at his interview on this site to see that he would really be a strong progressive voice in the Senate. Very exciting stuff.

More over at NMFBIHOP...

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MyDD Interview with Tom Udall

Bumped -- Jonathan... This is a really important race, and I just wanted to bump up this interview so that folks could make sure to be able to hear it and see it. And if you want to get involved, you can still head to DraftUdall.com and the Netroots for Tom Udall Act Blue page. Also, Tuesday morning I'll be posting my interview with Congressman Mark Udall from Colorado, who's also running for the Senate, so stay tuned.

On Thursday, as a part of what became known in some circles as "More and Better Udalls in the Senate Day" because of the official announcement by Congressman Tom Udall that he would run for the Senate in New Mexico and the San Francisco fundraiser for Congressman Mark Udall (who's running for the Senate in Colorado), I had the opportunity to speak with both cousins about their campaigns. Tomorrow I'll be posting the audio and transcript of my interview with Mark, but first my interview with Tom, who agreed to be drafted to run this cycle.

You can download the interview as a large .mp3 file here, or listen to it through the player below. I have also included a rush transcript. And if you want to help out Tom's campaign, head over to the Netroots for Tom Udall page on Act Blue today.


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Jonathan Singer: Can you tell me how much a role the outgrowth of support you saw - in the Draft Udall, and also just people speaking out saying, "Run, Tom, Run" - how much that grassroots support played a role in your decision to reconsider and in fact run for the United States Senate?

Tom Udall: It played a major role in my decision to run for the United States Senate. There was within New Mexico and I think across the nation a very sincere Draft Udall movement. The blogosphere played an important part in that and I think got people involved and engaged and stirred up, and the result was that every time I was home in New Mexico people would come up to me very excited and say, "You've got to make this race."

I was at the central committee meeting, which had 200-300 Democratic activists. They had been involved and engaged and blogging. And they held up signs, "Run, Tom, Run!" Incredible enthusiasm. The way I would describe it, Jonathan, is that it played a major part in my decision.

The other significant part was about New Mexico and the nation and the role I could play in the United States Senate. This is what many of my constituents talk to me about. They say, "Tom, you've stood up on the issues, you've been a man of principle, you speak to us from the heart, we love you, and we want you to run so that you can make a difference in the Senate. We look at the Senate" - many of them told me this - "we look at the Senate as a place where legislation goes to die." And, as you know, the House has passed some pretty significant legislation on issues like the War in Iraq and ending it; healthcare for children, the SCHIP program; trying to do everything we can to get education in our schools for all of our children and improve the levels of schools just across the board; and energy, renewable energy. All of these things get out of the House and in some way seem to die in the Senate.

So that was another big part of my decision, which many of my constituents weighed in on, telling me, "You can make a difference for us, you can help empower us to fulfill our dreams, the things we want to see done in New Mexico and for the nation." And I think those were big, big factors for me in making the decision to make this race.  It was truly gratifying to see such a sincere effort out there.

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More and Better Udalls in the Senate Day

More and better Udalls in the Senate, indeed!

I'm sitting in the lobby of a hotel in San Francisco waiting to speak with Congressman Mark Udall, the presumptive Democratic nominee for Senate in Colorado, ahead of his grassroots fundraiser in the city later tonight. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to speak over the phone with Congressman Tom Udall, who acceded to a draft movement and officially launched his Senate campaign in the state of New Mexico.

In short, what a lot of us are looking for -- and the reason why we're celebrating today -- is that we'd like to see more and better Udalls in the United States Senate. Of course this is not an end in and of itself. The ultimate goal, naturally, is to elect more and better Democrats. Electing more and better Udalls is just one of the means of achieving this broader goal.

To give a bit of context, there is already one Udall in the Senate -- milquetoast moderate Gordon Smith of Oregon descends from the clan as well. But what we'd like to see is the election of cousins Mark in Colorado and Tom in New Mexico this fall, helping add to the list of solid progressives in the chamber and helping the Democrats get closer to the elusive 60-vote majority in the Senate (which is still quite possible, though not terribly likely).

So if you'd like to vicariously celebrate More and Better Udalls in the Senate day, head over to Act Blue to support Tom and Mark today.

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