Bill Richardson’s Star is Falling with a BIG THUD (Not on VP Shortlist, State Legislators FED UP with Him)

Bill Richardson’s poll numbers have dropped from their high, settling back to what they were before he ran for President. And now that NBC’s Chuck Todd and Domenica Montanaro have reported that Richardson is NOT on the short list for VP, who knows where his numbers will end up? One thing is for sure, the attitude of state legislators is not very enthusiastic for ol’ Bill.

Heath Haussamen writes on June 10 that “Dropping Approval Rating a is Sign of Guv’s Struggles”:

There were signs when Gov. Bill Richardson returned to New Mexico after a failed presidential campaign that his power had diminished. A dropping approval rating appears to be another indicator of his lessening influence in the Land of Enchantment.

His rating in a May poll was 56 percent — still healthy but down 18 points from a year earlier, when Richardson’s presidential campaign was at its height and he was climbing in the Democratic presidential primary polls largely because of clever television advertisements.

Richardson’s campaign petered out after that. And his gubernatorial approval rating in the monthly SurveyUSA poll conducted for KOB-TV in Albuquerque started dropping.

Last month’s poll of 600 adults in New Mexico had a margin of error of 4 percentage points. It was the third consecutive month that Richardson’s approval rating hovered in the 50s. In April, it was 53 percent. In March, it was 58 percent.

Apparently, many in the state feel that Richardson’s attention has always been elsewhere.

Because of his popularity, he was able to ram numerous big-dollar proposals through the Legislature. No more. In January, after dropping out of the presidential race, Richardson returned to a cold shoulder from many lawmakers, and he and the Senate are currently playing a high-stakes game of chess with issues including the state budget, universal health care and domestic-partner benefits.

The lieutenant governor has openly disagreed with Richardson more frequently since he returned to New Mexico in defeat. And, though several candidates Richardson backed in last week’s primary were victorious, three state lawmakers he openly supported and to whom he gave money suffered embarrassing primary defeats at the hands of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Many elected leaders in Santa Fe believe Richardson’s tenure has been about his own career, not the needs of New Mexicans, and they’re fed up with him.

The waning numbers and the attitude of state party members may be a reason why Richardson isn’t being considered for the VP spot. As Haussamen explains:

Richardson’s approval rating is still at a healthy level, but the fact that it is dropping isn’t going to give lawmakers any incentive to compromise. It also isn’t going to reinforce the arguments of those who want Obama to make Richardson his running mate.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Richardson’s machinations and disloyalty has hit people hard. Down here in southern NM, his effort to push a boondoggle of a spaceport, replete with higher sales taxes that clobber an already poor area and an event which closed out the public, has left a sour taste in many mouths.

Perhaps these developments will result in Richardson shaving off his beard soon. After all, it’s darned hot here now and he probably won’t be called on to try to entice Hispanic voters to the ticket.