Donald Trump got 70% of republican votes in yesterday’s primary race, but as the only active candidate and presumed nominee of the party, why wasn’t that number higher?
The Donald didn’t win a single New Mexico county by higher than 82% (Sierra County) but only secured 50% of republican support in Los Alamos County. Given that he’s the presumed front runner, what does it say about Republicans willing to lodge protest votes in such high numbers?
But there’s something more important at play here than just looking at the percentages. You need to look at the real numbers to understand how desperate Trump’s victory in the state really was. In Catron County where Trump pulled in 80% of the vote, out of 625 voters, 104 of them voted for someone else besides Trump. And they did so deliberately.
There were not many contested Republican races around the state this year so voters who came out had every intention of letting their party know that they do not want Trump as their nominee. Sure, winning 4-1 in some counties is a decided victory, but having nearly 30% of all voters coming out just to vote Trump down has to be discouraging.
Also discouraging is looking at who that 30% of protest Republican voters did turn too. In most cases it was Ted Cruz, although John Kasich did reasonably well in larger counties, and even beat Cruz in Los Alamos.
Cruz is a hardcore Tea Party backed Republican who has openly backed the ludicrous notion of selling off public lands to the highest bidder. However there is an outspoken minority of folks here in New Mexico who’ve backed the idea of so-called “public land transfers” to state control. Is it possible that single issue voters are still looking to Cruz as the guy who can push the anti-federal government agenda?
Kasich is one of the worst perpetrators of limiting women’s access to healthcare in terms of state level government. He’s overseen and signed off on at least 16 separate bills that cut funding to women’s clinics, stopped abortion services outright, and put Ohio on the map of states where it’s incredibly difficult to secure safe and legal abortions.
So, what do we know? We know that at least almost a third of New Mexico Republicans don’t support Trump. We know that they do seem to support candidates with troubling platforms in their own right. We DON’T know what our governor’s stance is considering her unwillingness to speak with the press about the ongoing feud between her and Trump.
Something else we know is that we have a clear path forward this year to get New Mexico back on track. ProgressNow New Mexico helped get some amazing progressive champions over their first hurdles to help take key seats all around the state in November. With your help and support, we can make it happen.