This week, a national polling company released findings showing that Governor Susana Martinez, already the two-time recipient of “worst run state” award, is now also the 6th LEAST popular governor in the country. This after her approval rating has dropped a full ten points since the beginning of this year.
As Martinez moves into the final year of her governorship, it’s really not hard to look back over the last seven years and find a litany of blunders, bad policy, and downright criminal behavior. Not to mention the infamous Pizza Party that brought worldwide attention, unfortunately, to Martinez and the state.
But what is it about this year that has New Mexicans fully pulling their support from the two-term Republican even as her party has taken the highest seats in government? Or, is the question also the answer?
Martinez has consistently utilized fear as a tool to try and push her agenda. Fear of “crime” in general is her favorite fallback and the state has seen consistent calls from her office to “get tough on crime.” But the overwhelming majority of New Mexicans have rejected that narrative and clearly are tired of her blaming crime on anything other than what really drives crime. Economics.
While crime is on the rise in New Mexico, statistics cited by the poll indicate that those increases correspond with the ongoing economic slump seen in the state under the Martinez administration. Specifically, she seems oddly obsessed with dealing only with crime on the back end through trying to increase jail times (because private prisons are funding her campaigns) or calling for reinstating the death penalty, rather than addressing the economy. Indeed, she’s so hand’s off with the economy that she literally just vetoed the entire budget earlier this year.
Study after study links crime with poverty and education. And in a state that has been consistently last in both categories over the last seven years, is it really any wonder that crime would be on the rise? But we’ve already seen the governor making motions to make “crime” a major focus of her last legislative session in January so it will be up to New Mexicans like you to keep the pressure up on their legislators in the Roundhouse to push back against that (repeatedly) failed agenda.
Next year’s election will be a key pivot point in the history of New Mexico. ProgressNow NM is dedicated to continuing our work of bringing transparency to the governor’s office as we have been and to alerting you to the MASSIVE attempts by right-wing PACs trying to sway local elections in New Mexico. If you live in Las Cruces or Albuquerque, there are local elections happening NOW and you can click HERE to find out more about them.