SANTA FE, NM — Politics seems too crass a subject to discuss amid New Mexico’s red-clay hills and magnificent mountains. The quaint adobe houses of Santa Fe should not be adorned with campaign ads, and the excessively polite people should not have to discuss topics as heated as who should be senator or president.
New Mexico held its primary elections on Tuesday, and, other than campaign workers, few people noticed. Turnout was light across the state, barely topping 20 percent.
There were no real surprises — Mitt Romney won more than 70 percent of the Republican vote, adding at least 16 delegates to his total, which is already above the 1,144 needed for the presidential nomination.
Barack Obama, of course, won the Democratic race.
Independent voters were barred from the primary though — in New Mexico, one has to be a registered voter of one of the two major parties in order to qualify to vote.
This does not sit well with some voters.
“I do not want to give up my independent status, so I do not have a say,” said Amy Bobrick, who runs a small inn on the outskirts of Santa Fe. “I will have to wait until November.”
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In all, five states held elections on Tuesday: New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota and California. Coming this late in the season, the vote was largely symbolic, and attracted little attention. Even giant California did not make much of a splash, although it added 169 delegates to Romney’s tally on Tuesday.