Now that the line has been drawn, will Martinez hold it, straddle it, or fall in behind it? Precisely how she answers that question will make for one of the more intriguing subplots to the narrative of Republican unification, especially as the rest of the GOP quickly comes to heel.
With several news reports Wednesday predicting a nearing Trump endorsement from House Speaker Paul Ryan (which Ryan later denied), Martinez is swiftly finding herself on a depopulating island of elected Republican holdouts. Seven of the 10 governors who form the Republican Governor's Association's executive committee, which Martinez chairs, have now said they will support Trump. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a prominent Latino GOP officeholder who had been highly critical of Trump, came around earlier this month. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been one of Martinez's key allies, immediately endorsed Trump after dropping out of the presidential race in February.
It's an interesting and important time for Martinez, who has, until now, been able to climb the national ladder without getting into the national muck. Her state, New Mexico, has largely avoided the tea party-versus-establishment sectarianism that has seized other states, like neighboring Arizona and Texas, and the governor has shown a strong preference for any local photo op over a cable news joust.
This is not the first time Martinez has gotten crosswise with a member of her own party: Much of her tenure as governor has been marked by turf battles with follow Republicans. (Martinez and her spokesman did not respond to email requests for comment from CNBC.com.)
As this reporter wrote in 2013 for National Journal, Martinez has won a long list of party detractors, including a number of people who once held great promise for her. Harvey Yates, one of the major donors to Martinez's first gubernatorial campaign; Andrea Goff, one of her former fundraisers; and Anissa Ford, a former close aide, have all since turned against her. Jamie Estrada, the governor's former campaign manager, went to prison for stealing and leaking her emails to the Democratic opposition.