October 2, 2016

Poll: Clinton leads Trump narrowly in NM, Johnson polling well

A new poll shows Hillary Clinton has a narrow lead over Donald Trump in New Mexico in the race for president—and that Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has an impressive showing.

FeaturedThe poll, conducted by Research and Polling, Inc. for the Albuquerque Journal, shows Democratic nominee Clinton holds a 35 percent to 31 percent lead over Republican nominee Trump among likely voters in New Mexico. Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, brings in 24 percent.

This appears to be the best showing by Johnson in any state poll so far. Green Party nominee Jill Stein, meanwhile, gets the support of just two percent of likely voters.

When the survey asked respondents only about a two-way race between Clinton and Trump, Clinton led Trump 44 percent to 34 percent.

The poll took place between September 27 and 29—after the first presidential race, which every national scientific poll has shown voters believe Clinton won.

According to pollster Brian Sanderoff, the main reason for the close race is largely due to Johnson’s appearance on the ballot and his support among Hispanics.

From the Albuquerque Journal:

“Johnson is picking up Hispanic support, and that is what is keeping Hillary Clinton down,” he said.

Still, Clinton holds a solid lead over Trump among Hispanics in New Mexico, according to the poll. Forty percent of Hispanics said they would vote for Clinton while 18 percent said they would vote for Trump. Stein polled at zero percent support among Hispanics in New Mexico.

New Mexico was once considered a swing state. In 2000, Democratic nominee Al Gore defeated Republican George W. Bush by just 366 votes. In 2004, New Mexico swung to Bush, who defeated Democrat John Kerry by just under 6,000 votes.

But New Mexico moved heavily to Barack Obama in his two races. He defeated Republican nominees John McCain by 15 percent in 2008 and Mitt Romney by 10 percent in 2012.

So far in the general election campaign, there has been no real presidential campaigning in New Mexico. Donald Trump’s campaign said last week they would begin airing ads in New Mexico, but per the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Ad Sleuth, there have been no presidential ads in New Mexico since before the primary, when Clinton and then-Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders aired ads.

For more details on the poll, including more numbers from subgroups, see the Albuquerque Journal story.

The poll of 501 likely New Mexico voters has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The voters were contacted by landline and cell phone by the pollster.