February 14th, 2008
05:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton wins New Mexico Democratic caucuses

(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton has won the February 5 Democratic presidential caucuses in New Mexico, the state party chairman announced Thursday after a count delayed by a large number of provisional ballots.

Clinton, the senator from New York and former first lady, edged out Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by about 2,000 votes out of the nearly 150,000 cast, New Mexico Democratic Chairman Brian Colon announced nine days after the contest.

The final tally was given as 73,105, or about 49 percent, for Clinton and 71,396, or 48 percent, for Obama.

"With these two Democratic candidates, we had in New Mexico the largest voter turnout in decades," Colon said.

New Mexico is the last of two dozen states that held primaries or caucuses on "Super Tuesday" to complete its count. Colon said the results were delayed as election officials sorted through 17,000 provisional ballots cast during the contest to determine which ones were valid.

Provisional ballots were cast by people whose names did not appear on lists of eligible voters. More than 200 volunteers slogged through the stack of ballots, about half of which were eventually certified, Colon said.

(updated 6 p.m. ET with additional information)

Filed under: New Mexico
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. frank

    Finally! Although I am an Obama supporter, I hope Hillary realizes the importance of us "so-called" small states. Congrats to the Senator and former first lady. Best of luck to both candidates.

    February 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Jaena from Boston

    This race becomes even more interesting with the new revelation that half the ballots from Rio Arriba County spent the night at a state legislators home that had endorsed Senator Clinton. From New Mexico Politics:

    The New Mexico Democratic Party caucus may be tainted by three ballot boxes that spent the night in the home of the Rio Arriba County party chair or the homes of other local election officials instead of being reported to the state party.

    Those ballots still haven’t been counted, but they have been retrieved by the state party.

    Several sources told me the ballot boxes spent the night at the home of Rio Arriba County Democratic Party Chair Theresa Martinez, whose state-lawmaker husband, Sen. Richard Martinez, endorsed Hillary Clinton. But Richard Martinez told Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Kate Nash that the boxes actually spent the night in the homes of three polling-place managers. He gave Nash no explanation for why the results from those ballots weren’t reported to the state party last night and why they were instead kept overnight in officials’ homes.

    Would it be too much for me to question whether Ms. Martinez might've taken a sneak peak at some of those ballots? It gets worse.

    The three ballot boxes from Rio Arriba County and a fourth from Sandoval County account for the 2 percent of precincts that haven’t yet reported results from Tuesday’s caucus. With about 200 votes separating Clinton and Barack Obama, that’s huge. We’re talking about the ballots from half the polling places in Rio Arriba County.

    I want to make sure this point is emphasized: Roughly half the votes from Rio Arriba County spent the night in the privacy of the home or homes of one or more election officials in boxes those officials may have had the ability to open. All the county party chair had to do last night to report the results was make a phone call. That never happened.

    This process has apparently sparked both the Obama and Clinton campaigns to send lawyers in to resolve the debate.

    Now I guess the only question is which Clinton endorsee gets to store ballots in their home in Ohio.

    February 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. John

    At last some good news for Clinton. Congratulations Hillary...

    But, Yes We Can!

    Obama 2008

    February 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Lee

    This should be ALLLLL over the news tonight.

    New Mexico is one we need to win in November and HILLARY won it.

    She is winning the states that have to be won in November – who cares about North Daktoa and many others as they will go republican.

    Texas is going to give Hillary a Texas size win and people in Ohio are too smart and will see through the fluffy speeches of Obama.

    Even tonight on TV, they said Obama wont debate because Hillary will beat him. Wow that is really going to hold up when he is talking to Foreign Leaders – um I dont wanna talk to him hes too strong and might beat me.

    He is just like the Koolaid drinkers voting for him. The intelligent people of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania will get it right and vote for Hillary – just like New Mexico did – She is a vote for solutions not fluffy speeches.

    February 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Phyllis/ PA

    Every one counts. Take it and keep going. Sorry that you were "forced " to start bursting Obama's balloon because the media has been so bias. However, I will say, today, the media,for the first time, has been more fair. Hope this continues.

    February 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. SH

    Obama was leading. What happened? I think Bill and Bill had something to do with this.

    February 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. kris_democrat

    There's NO stopping now my dear PRESIDENT...Let us all Go our way to the White House...it is our NEW BEGINNING and it is THEIR END...We love you Hillary...God Bless You...God Bless Us...God Bless America...HRC '08

    February 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Dominique

    Senator Clinton will have to regretfully decline her victory in NM. After all she does not believe that caucuses count. Right?

    February 14, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Ellery

    Now Hillary's winning streak starts again!!!

    February 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Sandy, KS

    Finally some win for my dear Hillary. You go Girl!!

    February 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Sean Chong

    Finally, a positive comment from CNN. Why now after causing all the mess to her campaign and accusing her of the wrong thing?

    February 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Catherine R. Cairns

    Obama keeps talking about CHANGE, but he doesn't say what he's going to change except getting troops out of Iraq and a health care plan. I don't hear any specifics.
    I don't like his health care plan. The uninsured will still clog up the ERs instead of going to a primary doctor.
    Wish he would be asked about specific changes when they debate next Thursday.

    February 14, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Nick

    Mexicans are keeping Hillary alive, California, New York, New Mexico, now she needs them for Texas and Ohio. If she gets elected she will have a huge IOU to the Mexicans and that means nothing gets done on immigration. She had 8 years for Healthcare and nothing got done. She supported the trade agreements so nothing will get done on trade, she supported the war so she is lying when she says she will leave iraq. Republicans in congress will purposely sabatoge anything she does just to please conservatives who want her to fail, she will get nothing done.

    February 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. Emma


    February 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. sam

    great job hillary you will be president i need your experience and so does the rest of america mabey the rest of the voters will get smart .whate we dont need is four more years of the rebublicans in office if the voters arent careful we will get them back in office obama talks a good talk but what has he really done to prove he is capable to run this country he has no experience he is still to young and wet behind the ears. john mccain will chew him up in a debate never served in the military no account of any accomplishments concerning national security and the list will go on and on. democrats you better think about this . good job new mexico thank you you join us in oklahoma. hillary is the best choice the onley choice

    February 14, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. MR CEE

    Hey, Hillary! Si, se puede!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. NM Native

    I volunteered as a poll observer that day and IT WAS A MESS!!! I am ashamed for NM! People were so confused and many didn't even know where they were suppose to vote. And somehow there were more votes casted then there were those who were registered at my location and it was in favor of Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have made my complaints to the NM STATE DEMS OFFICE!

    February 14, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. William G.

    I live in California -New Mexico finally goes to Hillary Clinton Latinos have been dedicated supporters of Hillary it showed in California,New York,Florida and now New Mexico, and as will Texas will and Ohio. Hillary is and will win Texas,Ohio and Pensylvania or at least 2 out of 3 , I liked to see more positive things about Hillary the Media appears to be in favor or Obama, Please be fair as both are great in there own ways. I stand by Hillary because she will have every American have Medical Care which it should be a MORAL thing talks and will delivery RESOLVE Experience CHANGE. Will bring back jobs , economy will bounce back quickly once in office she is more likely to be ready from day 1 to make changes. Thank You for allowing me to blog..

    February 14, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. John McClinton

    Colon, I'm withholding any comment on the name, finally announces the winner of New Mexico's caucus after a speech that was remanescent of a drunken kareokee singner, whew! Give someone a microphone and watch them live out their 15 minutes of fame. Was it only 15 minutes?

    February 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. Michael Dunn

    Funny that Hillary doesn't so much as acknowledge the previous 8 states where she's lost but in a win she's all over a press release thanking the voters of New Mexico....Congratulations Hillary needed some good news that's for sure!

    I'll be interested to see how her new attacks come across....


    February 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. Ronald, American living abroad

    This is only a win if Mrs Clinton will embrace the people who voted for her instead of insisting that all caucus goers are zealots and not reflective of the general electorate. Because she is prone to do and say anything to get elected, I will not hold my breath in waiting for her to admit that her slam against the caucus goers of Nevada and New Mexico (who voted for her) were somehow less important than the voters in Michigan and Florida who, it seems to Mrs Clinton, hold more weight.
    Integrity from the Queen of Spin? I doubt it.

    February 14, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Amy in Iowa

    And Hillary still can't be trusted. None of the Clintons can be trusted. Why not release the tax records Hillary?

    February 14, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Oddy

    ....Ok, Out of all the places for Prez Bill to view the Super Bowl!!!!!!! Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm, he just so happens to spend it with the Gov in New Mexico, and now Hiliary has just been declared the winner of that state, her only win. If this is the Clinton machine at work, and if she is successful, we should hear the Gov's name again!!!

    Let's not forget how Gov Jeb delivered for George W, in direct contrast to the exit polls.

    February 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. John

    Finally she won something.....took a while there.

    February 14, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Waleska

    New Mexico did NOT drink the kool-aid!

    Go Hillary!

    February 14, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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