NM Elections Roundup: Two debates, while focus is on 2nd CD

Every Tuesday, NM Political Report sends out an elections roundup email. Here’s a portion of this week’s email. To sign up for the full version, sign up here. It’s almost October, which means the election is just around the corner. Which means you’re seeing a lot of TV ads featuring smiling candidates.

NM Elections Roundup: Polls, ad wars and straight-ticket voting goes down

Every Tuesday, NM Political Report sends out an elections roundup email. Here’s a portion of this week’s email. To sign up for the full version, sign up here. The Albuquerque Journal released its first round of polling on some big races. The short story: Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich leads by a lot in the U.S. Senate race (Gary Johnson is in third), while Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham leads Republican Steve Pearce by 7 percentage points in the race for governor.

Pollsters look at NM congressional races as election approaches

From Albuquerque to New York City, pollsters are watching New Mexico. And, as part of the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives, both national parties are pouring money into television ads for their candidates. An Albuquerque Journal poll shows Democrat Deb Haaland leads in the race to replace Michelle Lujan Grisham in the 1st Congressional District, while Republican Yvette Herrell is leading the race in southern New Mexico  to replace Steve Pearce in the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold that Democrats are targeting this year in an attempt to retake the U.S. House of Representatives. The Journal poll showed Herrell, a state representative, leading 48 percent to 41 percent over Democrat Xochitl Torres Small, a water lawyer.

Poll: Dems lead in two key statewide races

Democrats are ahead in two of New Mexico’s most important races, according to an Albuquerque Journal poll. The poll’s results, released Sunday, showed 50 percent of likely voters would support Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and 43 percent for Republican Steve Pearce. The two are looking to replace Susana Martinez, a Republican who is term-limited and cannot run for a third consecutive term. Both Lujan Grisham and Pearce are U.S. representatives, leaving their positions for the statewide run. Pollster Brian Sanderoff told the Albuquerque Journal that Pearce needs more support in the Albuquerque metro area, which holds a large percentage of the state’s population, if he wants to close the gap.

Trump approval rating in NM falls again

President Donald Trump’s approval rating keeps dropping in New Mexico.. The pollster Morning Consult found that in August just 40 percent of registered voters approved of his job performance, while 56 percent disapproved. That’s down a couple of points from July, when 42 percent of New Mexico registered voters said they approved of Trump’s job performance and 55 percent said they disapproved. The last time Trump’s approval rating in New Mexico was at or below 40 percent in the Morning Consult poll was in January. Nationwide, the president’s approval rating is 42 percent, while his disapproval is 53 percent.

Report: NM lags in wage growth

New Mexico is still behind almost every other state when it comes to wage growth since the Great Recession—and it’s even lower than last year, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. The organization studied wage growth by state from the beginning of the recession in the last part of 2007 to the latest available data, the beginning of 2018. In that time, New Mexico saw an annual growth of just 0.9 percent in wages, compared to the national average of 1.6 percent growth. Only seven states had lower wage growth over that period. In 2016, New Mexico’s was even lower, at just 0.1 percent wage growth compared to the national average of 1.7 percent.

NM Elections Roundup: Straight-ticket voting, campaign finance reports and more…

Every week from now until the Nov. 6 election, we’ll recap the big election stories each week. The full version of this recap comes out every Tuesday morning—if you aren’t signed up yet, you can do so here. On to the recap! Straight-ticket party voting is a major campaign issue, since Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced late last month that she would put the option back on ballots for 2018.

The first campaign finance reports of general election are in for governor, other races

Campaign finance reports filed Monday showed positives for both gubernatorial candidates, with the Republican showing a lead with money left, but the Democrat raised, and spent, more money. Republican nominee Steve Pearce finished the campaign finance period—which lasted from July 1 to Sept. 3—with nearly $1.9 million cash-on-hand for the final two months of the race. This was well ahead of the $1.2 million cash-on-hand for his opponent, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham. Lujan Grisham, however, raised $1.9 million in the period and spent almost $1.5 million.

Lujan Grisham internal poll shows 8 point lead over Pearce

An internal poll conducted for the Michelle Lujan Grisham campaign shows she leads Steve Pearce in the gubernatorial race by eight percentage points. The poll, by Democratic firm Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research, shows Lujan Grisham, the Democratic nominee, currently leads 52 percent to 44 percent. The polling memo says this is an increase from a five-point lead in June, after the primary. The memo says Lujan Grisham “is well positioned to be New Mexico’s next Governor.”

The Pearce campaign called it an “invented poll…designed to calm the panic.”

Pearce campaign spokesman Kevin Sheridan also referred to an outside ad, not from the Lujan Grisham campaign that KOAT-TV pulled down for being false, and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver reinstating straight-ticket voting. Republicans and Libertarians filed a lawsuit to stop her from making the change.

Longtime Republican legislator Larrañaga ends reelection run

Longtime Republican State Rep. Larry Larrañaga dropped out of his reelection bid. The influential voice on the state budget made the surprise announcement in a statement Tuesday afternoon after more than two decades in office. “During the past few weeks, my family and I have experienced some new challenges,” the Albuquerque legislator said in a statement. “After much reflection and discussion with my family, I have made the difficult decision to withdraw my name from this year’s ballot and retire from the House.” Since House District 27, which Larrañaga has represented since 1994, is completely within Bernalillo County.