September 7, 2016

WaPo/SurveyMonkey Poll: Clinton leads in NM

Hillary Clinton at the Winning Healthcare in 2009 forum in Denver. Photo Credit: WEBN-TV cc

A new poll shows Hillary Clinton with more than 50 percent support in New Mexico in a two-way race but, perhaps more interesting, Gary Johnson with nearly equal the support of Donald Trump in a four-way race.

Hillary Clinton at the Winning Healthcare in 2009 forum in Denver. Photo Credit: WEBN-TV cc

Hillary Clinton at the Winning Healthcare in 2009 forum in Denver. Photo Credit: WEBN-TV cc

The results of the Washington Post-SurveyMonkey poll found Clinton, the Democratic nominee, leads Trump, the Republican nominee, 51 percent to 37 percent in a two-way race. But when you add Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Clinton falls to 37 percent, Trump falls to 29 percent, but Johnson picks up 25 percent support and Stein picks up 5 percent.

The poll itself, however, has a non-traditional methodology which could cast doubts on the results.

Following the poll, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight noted that Johnson’s odds of winning New Mexico went up to two percent in their polls-only forecast (Johnson is at just 0.7 percent in the polls-plus forecast, which includes information on the economy as well as historical voting trends from the state).

The poll was part of a survey conducted in all 50 states and showed some counterintuitive results. For example, the poll found Clinton leading Trump 46 percent to 45 percent in Texas in a two-way race and tied at 40 percent in a four-way race in the Lone Star State.

The poll also shows Trump narrowly leading in Mississippi, another traditionally Republican state.

The pollster, SurveyMonkey, may give some pause. SurveyMonkey conducts all of its polling online. The aforementioned FiveThirtyEight gives the pollster a C- grade.

The Post explained the poll was conducted “based on random samples of cellular and landline phones.”


From Aug. 9 to Sept. 1, the survey asked the sample of 74,886 registered voters about their presidential support, including between 546 and 5,147 respondents in each state. The final sample was weighted to the latest Census Bureau benchmarks for the population of registered voters in each state.

The poll also does not have a margin of error since it is a non-probability sample where “the probability of any given voter being invited to a SurveyMonkey is unknown.”

Such polling is also much cheaper than traditional polling, as the Post acknowledged.

In New Mexico, SurveyMonkey polled 1,788 registered voters between Aug. 9 and Sept. 1.

The poll is separate from other polling conducted for the Post, including their polling along with partners ABC News.

Previously, NM Political Report commissioned a poll from Public Policy Polling. That poll used an internet panel to survey 20 percent of the respondents who were cell-phone only voters. The remaining 80 percent were found via auto-dial technology.

That Public Policy Polling survey found Clinton leading with 40 percent, Trump at 31 percent, Johnson at 16 percent and Stein at 4 percent among registered voters.