The 2018 election in New Mexico will go down as a “blue wave.” Democrats won all 12 statewide races including races for governor, US senate, and numerous other races including for the judiciary.
In virtually every close race the Democrat won and, while it is too close to call as I write this, Congressional District 2 could potentially flip to the Democrats.
It is always tough for GOP governors to get elected and no GOP candidate has been elected following another Republican since at least 1930. That said, Steve Pearce’s efforts to run as a moderate seems to have backfired.
The Legislature shifted dramatically to the left relative to where it has been recently both due to GOP losses and due to “progressive” wins in Democrat primaries. Statistically, at least, the likely 46-24 split in the Legislature is hardly new (see chart below).
What is new is that Stepahnie Garcia-Richard is the first New Mexico Land Commissioner in recent memory (and likely in State history) who generally opposes the industry she will be managing. It will be interesting to see if she acts on her impulse to block the oil & gas industry or if the desire to keep the money flowing will trump her campaign rhetoric.
Finally, as RGF as noted before, New Mexico’s policy environment has been put in place by decades of Democrat rule. For the first time in eight years, Democrats will again have ALL the levers of power, but single-party rule has been the norm, not the exception for New Mexico’s history. Surprisingly this was not a point made by Gov. Martinez during her time in office or Steve Pearce as candidate.