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New Mexico

TNR Super Sunday Primer

Only the Democrats are holding their New Mexico caucus (AKA, primary--see below) on Super Tuesday, as the New Mexico Republicans must wait till June 3 to vote. There have not been any public polls in New Mexico for “months and months,” says University of New Mexico professor F. Chris Garcia, and so it’s going to be a tough one to call.

Delegates: Democrats: 38 (26 pledged; 12 super-delegates).

Format: The New Mexico Democratic “caucus” more closely resembles a closed primary, as only registered Democrats vote for the candidate of their choice at polling stations, and then--as the New Mexico Democrats caucus FAQ explains--“leave, much like voting in a regular election.” After the votes tabulated, the Democratic Party holds a caucus, where the results of the election are finalized and delegates are allocated proportionally.

Democratic Fundraising: Obama: $99,554; Clinton: $89,412.

Demographics: New Mexico’s large Hispanic population--hovering around 43 percent--will likely go for Clinton, according to Garcia. Somewhat challenging this argument, it is worth noting that Obama did receive the endorsement of La Opinión--the leading Spanish daily paper in the country--this past Saturday (2/2). This may signify a shift in Hispanic support away from Clinton and toward for Obama, rewarding him for his stance in favor of drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants.

Endorsements: Both Clinton and Obama have picked up one super-=delegate each: Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish for Clinton and former-DNC Chair Fred Harris for Obama. The biggest endorsement, that of former candidate and current New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, does not appear to be forthcoming--even if he did take in the Superbowl with Bill Clinton. Obama has picked up the endorsement of four New Mexican papers in the past two weeks, while Clinton has yet to receive one.

Analysis: Evidence on the ground suggests both candidates believe that the state is in play. On Jan. 31, Bill Clinton was in New Mexico attending a fundraiser and other rallies in support of his wife, while Ted Kennedy was also in the state campaigning for Obama. On Feb. 1, Obama attended events in Albuquerque and Sante Fe.

Get a rundown of other states at play at TNR's Super Tuesday Primer, updated with new states every day leading up to February 5.

By Adam Blinick