It was a sea of red hats, tee-shirts, and flags at dawn for the Trump rally in Rio Rancho, NM. Black, white, Hispanic, Native American, and LGBTQ – it was quite the diverse crowd awaiting the arrival of its president on a Trump campaign rally stop. You know folks are in high spirits when a guy in a brick suit throws his arm around another guy sporting a rainbow tee-shirt and high heels.
And protesters? What protesters? After days of speculation that Antifa would be on hand to intimidate and create problems for the rally-goers, only a handful showed up to express their First Amendment rights. The day and the night belonged to New Mexican Republicans on a quest to turn the tide on the blue state.
When President Trump announced plans for a campaign rally stop in New Mexico, pundits, talking heads, Democratic candidates, and strategists pricked their ears and attentions toward the Land of Enchantment. This would be a litmus test for the powerful Hispanic voting bloc for 2020 in the southwest, and the president has not been shy about turning the blue state red.
Antifa made noises, counter-protesters planned disruptions across social media, and the New Mexico Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse-Oliver, who is being sued by New Mexico Patriots Advocacy Coalition, erected a disrespectful billboard. As Democratic politicians go, Trump’s visit became a useful tool for campaign fundraising as a flurry of “let’s show Trump our state is blue” emails requesting last-minute desperate donations abounded.
In part, the strategy to take the wind out of Trump’s sails involved hosting Transgender 101 Training and a New Mexico For All event at Tiguex Park in Albuquerque.
The president’s rally won hands-down. The Star Center, which holds 7,500, was filled to capacity with an overflow crowd in the thousands outside. Conversely, 30 minutes south at Tiguex, a hundred or so folks showed up at the park for the Democrat-sponsored counter-event.
New Mexico is experiencing the pains of a Democratic super-majority apparently bent on taking away the rural lifestyle, decimating the oil and gas industry, and torching the Second Amendment. In a few short months, New Mexico’s usual attitude of apathy at the polls changed into an organized effort to turn the state around. Its efforts have not gone unnoticed by the president. Trump hit the high points in his rallying speech:
“Crude oil production has more than doubled, and it’s going up higher, quickly. And your state’s energy revenues are up by nearly two-thirds. Think of that.”
Chants of “four more years!” rocked the stadium. Trump also reminded the crowd of how he sees the new Democratic Party, “They want to make your whole state a sanctuary state. Your naive politicians, they don’t want ICE to come in, they don’t want to take these criminals out … The Democratic Party has never been farther outside the mainstream.”
The crowd was filled with Hispanics and Native Americans, and Trump pounded a message home that was not unexpected:
“The unemployment for Hispanic Americans is right now at the lowest level in the history of our country. Hispanic American poverty reached a brand-new all-time low in history. And after years of stagnation that you know very well, wages for Hispanic Americans are rising really fast, up nearly 8% since my election. Those are unheard-of numbers. And median income for Hispanic Americans surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever. That’s not bad.”
Eye on the Prize
With a Hispanic population of 40%, the state is in play for 2020 and will certainly not be ignored by this president. And if this rally is any indication, there is a shift towards turning New Mexico’s five electoral votes toward the incumbent.
And that’s yuge.
Dana Bearden was in the crowd, amazed at the positive energy: “Lots of Trump supporters, many couldn’t get in, so many people. Hard to say, but not sure why, New Mexico is blue.”
Trump supporter Melissa Fryzel was almost moved to tears by how the supporters of this president treated law enforcement. “Every time a large group of law enforcement passed through, the Trump supporters of all backgrounds were cheering them on and clapping,” she said. “Very heartwarming. And these white men the progressives have bashed without remorse were assisting the disabled and seniors and truly showing what humanity is all about.”
New Mexicans celebrated Trump with no violence, only a handful of peaceful protesters, and a diversity of attendees that the legacy media will not publish. But rest assured, it exists. Will Trump turn the state red in 2020? As Trump supporter Mike Culver from Farmington said, “The energy and the people that I talked to who are Democrats voting for Trump makes me believe President Trump can turn this state red.”