We’re No. 49! New Mexico falters badly in survey of best-run states

By Rob Nikolewski on November 25, 2013
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NEXT TO LAST: New Mexico finishes 49th in a survey by 24/7 Wall St. of the best and worst-run states in the nation.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

Another national study, another dismal finish for New Mexico.

This time, it’s from the financial news and commentary website ., which released its annual survey of the best and worst-run states in the country, and put New Mexico in .

“The state was among the worst 10 nationwide for violent crime, high school graduation rates among adults and health insurance coverage,” . “More than one in five residents lived below the poverty line in 2012, worse than all states but Mississippi. Last year, state GDP grew by just 0.2 percent, worse than all but a handful of states.”

On the positive side, New Mexico did score well on a couple of fiscal measures.

“The state’s debt load relative to its size was average, and its budget shortfall of 8.3 percent for going into fiscal 2012 was better than many states,” the survey reported.

And, hey, at least we did better than California, which finished , and has the worst credit rating in the nation next to Illinois, which finished 48th.

For years, New Mexico has consistently finished No. 48 or No. 49 in education rankings and finished 50th earlier this year in a study of childhood welfare.

While survey results are almost uniformly bad, it’s safe to say both ends of the political spectrum will blame the other for the state’s crummy performances.

Critics of can point to the 24/7 Wall St. results and say she’s not turning things around and voters should turn her out of office next year.

Martinez defenders will point out Democrats have held the reins of power in state government for decades (the state House of Representatives hasn’t had a Republican majority and , the state Senate has had Democrats in the majority since 1933) and that while some of her reform measures have been implemented, many have been blocked by the Legislature.

Feeling down, New Mexico? Well, recalls writing a story this past summer in which the Land of Enchantment finished very high:

According to the Annual Highway Report, New Mexico had the fourth-best roads in the nation.

That’s pretty good for a state where people have to do a lot of driving over big stretches.

As for the 24/7 Wall St survey, here’s the list of the Bottom 10 states:


And the 10 best-run states:

Just as in New Mexico, the national figures have something both parties can latch on to.

Republicans can point out that over Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race.

Democrats can point to the bottom 10 states and say that six of them have Republican governors (although in 2012).

as well as .

to see the survey in its entirety.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

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One Comment For This Post So Far

  1. Dan Secrist
    5:34 pm on November 26th, 2013

    Consider the source. Doing so, it looks to me like we are the 2nd best run State.
    All a matter of perspective, and self-serving statistical manipulation.

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