October 31, 2017

Martinez’s approval rating plummets in new poll

Laura Paskus

Gov. Susana Martinez in June 2016 addressing local residents affected by the Dog Head Fire

Gov. Susana Martinez’s approval ratings have continued to drop and she is now among the least-popular governors in the nation.

Those numbers come from a Morning Consult poll of registered voters that showed the approval ratings of New Mexico’s two U.S. Senators dropping as well, though not as much as Martinez’s.

The poll found 37 percent of voters approved of Martinez’s job performance compared to 52 percent who disapproved. Ten percent of voters had no opinion (numbers in poll results sometimes do not add up to 100 percent because of rounding).

The 37 percent approval rating represented the seventh-lowest among all governors. The 52 percent disapproval rating is the sixth-highest.

In a poll of the second quarter of the year, Martinez had an approval rating of 44 percent, compared to 45 percent who disapproved. At the time, she was the tenth-least popular governor among home-state voters.

Martinez is term-limited and cannot run for reelection in 2018. So far, four Democrats and one Republican have announced they will seek the position.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (l) and Martin Heinrich (r)

Sen. Tom Udall no longer has a majority of New Mexico voters who approve of his job performance, though still more approve (46 percent) than disapprove (31 percent).

Twenty-four  percent had no opinion.

Martin Heinrich, who is up for reelection in 2018, had almost identical numbers: 45 percent approval, 31 percent disapproval and 24 percent undecided.

Morning Consult noted that “approval ratings for nearly all senators went down in their home states during the third quarter.”

In the previous poll released in July, Udall had an approval rating of 53 percent, compared to 27 disapproval. Heinrich had an approval rating of 48 percent and 30 percent disapproval.

Bernie Sanders remains the most popular senator in his home state, with 71 percent of Vermont voters approving of the independent while just 22 percent disapproved. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept the dubious title of least popular senator, with 55 percent disapproving of the Republican’s job performance and just 33 percent approving.

While Martinez’s approval ratings plunged, she still is far from the least-popular governor; only 18 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Chris Christie while 77 percent disapprove. Christie, like Martinez, is a Republican.

Nine of the ten most popular governors are Republicans, including the top spot, Kay Ivey of Alabama. She has an approval rating of 62 percent while just 12 percent disapprove.

The poll has a 3 percent margin of error in New Mexico.

The poll, conducted between July 1 and Sept. 30 using an online system, polled registered 255,000 voters throughout the country. Out of those in New Mexico, there is a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Correction: This piece previously said Sen. Martin Heinrich’s approval rating in the July poll was 28 percent. It was 48 percent.