The mood's been somber in the Marriott hotel ballroom since Obama’s win was flashed on the big screens looming in each corner. Lieutenant Gov. John Sanchez tried to console a woman who looked on the verge of tears, saying that this loss could serve to rally and galvanize conservatives to work even harder as they go forward.
"But what if the country goes completely bankrupt in the meantime?" replied an older man with an "I voted" sticker on his lapel. "It could happen."
"I'm feeling a little flabbergasted that people in this country and this state don't realize what's going on," said Bob (he didn't want to share his last name). A retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, Bob said individuals need to take more responsibility for their own actions and not rely on government to take care of things for them.
"When are they going to wake up and realize that the country is in a malaise that, to a large extent, is caused by government?"
Take the passage of Albuquerque's minimum wage ordinance, for instance, said Bob. It's a sign that people are caught in a cycle of government dependence: Instead of getting more education or working harder, they legislate themselves a raise.
There’s a clear segment of the country that favors the policies of Romney, Bob continued. The fact that their candidate didn't win does not bode well for the overall economic health of the country, he added.
“I think we’re going to see that there’s an overwhelming number of counties that vote Republican, and it’s only the cities that vote Democrat,” he said. “You have an influx of people into cities who are dependent on government, and people who are not dependent on government leave the cities. And of course what’s happening now? Cities are going bankrupt.”
Mayor Richard Berry and Westside City Councilor Dan Lewis were both pleased that the Paseo/I-25 bond measure passed resoundingly.
"I'm excited because it'll alleviate enormous traffic problems and improve air quality," said Berry. "Plus, the Mid-Region Council of Government estimates that it could create up to $2 billion in economic activity."
Berry said he had misgivings about the minimum wage increase initiative, particularly the effect it could have on organizations that provide home healthcare services to the elderly and disabled. Still, he said "our bosses—the voters—have spoken, and I wouldn't be doing what I did if I didn't believe in the will of the people."
“I’m excited,” said Monica Youngblood of her race’s outcome for state House district 68. “My constituents want legislators who can help the governor reform New Mexico in a good way, and my seat is good pick up in the right direction.”