June 5, 2017

GOP poll shows Lujan Grisham with slight lead over Pearce in race for governor

A poll by a Republican pollster finds that Democratic candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham leads Steve Pearce in a hypothetical matchup—but also that there are still a large number of undecided voters.

The poll, conducted by The Tarrance Group in late May, found that when the two U.S. Representatives are matched up against each other, Lujan Grisham leads Pearce 47 percent to 43 percent with 10 percent undecided.

The Tarrance Group lists Pearce as a former client on its website, though the polling memo does not indicate who paid for the poll. Notably, the firm polled for the Republican in 2010, when he successfully ran against Harry Teague to retake the 2nd Congressional District seat. Pearce left the seat in 2008 to run for U.S. Senate.

The results of the Pearce-Lujan Grisham poll are within the margin of error.

Lujan Grisham officially announced her candidacy for governor in December, while Pearce has yet to announce his intentions for 2018. Pearce did, however, recently tour areas of New Mexico that aren’t part of the 2nd Congressional District which he represents.

Two other Democrats have announced their intentions to run, former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca, the son of former Governor Jerry Apodaca, and alcohol-tax increase activist Peter DeBenedittis.

No Republican has announced a candidacy yet, though Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is reportedly considering a run.

It isn’t clear if any other questions were asked but the results not included in the polling memo.

The Republican roots of the poll were clear from the polling memo. The memo showed that 54 percent disapprove of the job Democrats are doing in the state Legislature, while 37 percent approve. The memo did not reveal if a similar question was asked about Republicans in the Legislature or Susana Martinez, the term-limited Republican governor.

The polling memo did reveal that the poll found President Donald Trump has a 41 percent approval rating in New Mexico, with 55 percent disapproving of his job performance. This is near the national average of approval ratings for the Republican president.

New Mexico voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton over Trump in November, 48 percent to 40 percent.

The poll questioned, by telephone, 605 likely New Mexico voters who are registered to vote between May 20 and 23. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.1 percent.