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Morning Word: Democrats Look to Take Over State House

November 7, 2016, 7:25 am
Control of State House Up in the Air
On election eve, it looks like New Mexico Democrats' chances to win outright control of the state house have diminished a bit and political handicappers suggest the lower chamber could end up in a 35-35 tie.
Just a few weeks ago it looked as though the three seats needed were lined up for their return to power, but late breaking events including the flare-up over Clinton's email problems dampened Dem enthusiasm, but more importantly it excited the R's to get out and vote. Then there were those relentless attack campaigns that the GOP PACS used to full effect.It's two to tie and three to win in the 70 member chamber, currently divided 37-33.
High Court Contest Down to the Wire
An Albuquerque Journal poll shows the New Mexico Supreme Court race is going to be a nail-biter between Judith Nakamura and Michael Vigil, who appear deadlocked with 45 percent support each.

Johnson’s Poll Numbers Slip
Meanwhile, it looks like support for Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson has slipped “significantly” in New Mexico. Support for the former New Mexico governor has dropped to 11 percent from 24 percent in late September.

Thousands Voted Early
Matthew Reichbach reports that 88,000 voters cast their ballots early and in-person, easily topping the numbers reported in 2008 and 2012. Absentee votes cast so far push that number even higher.
Democrats finished with a 64,727 vote advantage with early voting over Republicans, casting 229,208 early ballots compared to 164,481 for Republicans. Those not part of either major party cast 79,478 ballots early.
If you haven’t voted already, you’ll want to check out SFR’s candidate endorsements here.

Board Recommends Cannabis to Treat Opiate Use Disorders
On Friday, the New Mexico Cannabis Advisory Board voted 5-1 to recommend cannabis be approved to treat heroin and other opiate addictions. Their recommendation is nonbinding. Acting Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher will make the final decision on whether to add it to a list of qualified medical conditions. That, plus NORML has given Gov. Susana Martinez an F grade for her views on marijuana decriminalization and objection to hemp farming in New Mexico.

NurseAdvice Hotline Could be Shuttered
The state’s NurseAdvice telephone hotline, recognized for excellence by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just last last, is at risk of shutting down “because managed care companies that long supported the program have switched to lower-cost services, most of them based out of state.”


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