Cross Posted at The Huffington Post
The Movement to Draft Tom Udall to run for the United States Senate from New Mexico is getting more and more attention everyday, including from the national press.
Shortly after Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) announced that he would not seek re-election, Congressman Udall too abruptly announced that he would not seek the seat in 2008. Most people attribute this move to his new seat on the House Appropriations committee, making him one of the most powerful Members in Congress.
The top-tier Democratic Candidate instead? A DINO! Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez might not even deserve to be called a Moderate. Matt Stoller over at Open Left has done two really great pieces on Marty and why he cannot be our Democratic Candidate from New Mexico. (Please, No Marty Chavez for Senate and New Mexico: Reactionary Democrats Can't Run Campaigns).
Chavez has not only endorsed Republicans in New Mexico before, but he seems to be running scared even of Tom Udall, who already took his name out of the race:
"Philosophically, he's so far to the left," Chávez said. "I'd rather not have him in the race, but that's a challenge I'd not shy away from."
This isn't what anyone wants to hear or see from a Democratic candidate for Senate. For someone who has said,
"I think I get a bad rap from progressives,"
mudslinging against other popular Dems in the state who aren't even running against you is a sure sign of insecurity and audacious.
But Tom Udall is a real progressive and is well respected across the state. Not only that, but a recent SurveyUSA poll has him destroying Republican opponents in the general election (see more below the fold, including his numbers compared with Martin Chavez's).
New Mexicans and people across the country are responding: since the beginning of the effort, we have been asking for small donations of $5 to show the Congressman broad support. Since then, the netroots have given over $1,100!
Four days ago, the Draft also featured about 400 petition signatures. That day, we changed the strategy, including a petition question asking people to pledge money for the Congressman's Senate campaign account; since then another $1,200 has been pledged! (Sign the petition here)
Yesterday, the Draft was featured on page A2 of the Washington Post in an article by Chris Cillizza. It makes sense why the Draft is getting so much attention. It's not because of our fancy html (it's really not) but because Tom Udall is a first rate choice to run for the Senate. As Cillizza writes,
Udall has held northern New Mexico's 3rd District seat since 1998 and has stockpiled an impressive cash reserve, $802,000, that could be directly transferred to a Senate bid. He carries a potent last name in Democratic politics: His father, Stewart L. Udall, represented Arizona in Congress and was secretary of the interior; uncle Morris K. Udall was another Arizona congressman and a presidential candidate; and cousin Mark Udall is a congressman from Colorado who also happens to be running for Senate in 2008.
The most encouraging piece of the article, however, was this:
The fact that Udall is not currently reconsidering the race does not mean he won't do just that in the coming weeks. Democratic insiders acknowledge as much in not-for-attribution conversations with The Sunday Fix.
Days before, The Draft Udall was given coverage in The Hill, a special newspaper circulated in Washington, DC to every office in Congress. None of this would be possible, of course, without the strong backing of the netroots since the start. See the Draft Udall Around the Web page to track the various articles and blog posts written about the movement over the past month.
Many supporters of the Draft sent emails applauding the efforts to collect $5 donations but lamented that they'd rather not contribute to his account unless he's really committed; now we're changing the strategy.
We're going to send an even stronger message! Sign the Petition and tell Congressman Udall how much you'll pledge if he runs for the US Senate ($2,300 is the Federal campaign limit). If you don't, NMFBIHOP points out, we might face the problem of having Martin Chavez as our Senator. Or even worse, Wilson or Pearce.
As promised, here are Congressman Udall and Mayor Martin Chavez's poll numbers versus Republicans in the general election:
Against Republican candidate Steven Pearce, Congressman from New Mexico's 2nd District:
- Pearce loses to Congressman Tom Udall by 18 points
- defeats Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez by 21 points
Against Republican candidate Heather Wilson, Congresswoman from New Mexico's 1st Congressional District:
- Wilson loses to Udall by 18 points (same as Pearce),
- defeats Chavez by 4 points (Wilson runs 17 points weaker than Pearce)