November 1, 2020

ABQ Journal poll: Biden, Luján with healthy leads, while southern NM congressional race remains close

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The final Albuquerque Journal poll ahead of the elections showed large leads for Democrats in the race for president and U.S. Senate, as well as two of the three U.S. House races—but one House race is extremely close.

The poll, conducted by Research and Polling, found a lead of 12 percentage points for Democratic candidate Joe Biden over incumbent Republican Donald Trump for president, 54 percent to 42 percent among those who are likely to vote or who have already voted. Most analysts have listed New Mexico as a safely or likely Democratic state on the presidential level.

Democrats have won New Mexico’s five electoral votes in the last three presidential elections.

The Journal reported Biden had large leads among women, Hispanic voters and moderates in addition to liberals. Biden had a slight lead among men as well.

Trump was strongest among the Four Corners region and the eastern part of the state.

In a previous Journal poll conducted in September, Biden led 54 percent to 39 percent.

A NM Political Report poll conducted before voting started showed a 14-point lead for Biden.

In the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján also has a healthy lead, 52 percent to 44 percent, over Republican Mark Ronchetti, a former TV meteorologist. Libertarian Bob Walsh had the support of three percent of likely voters.

Both are seeking an open U.S. Senate seat, since incumbent Tom Udall, a Democrat, opted not to run for a third term. Democrats have held both U.S. Senate seats since Udall defeated Steve Pearce in the 2008 U.S. Senate race to replace a retiring Pete Domenici.

The lead for Luján was similar to the previous Journal poll, which showed a 9-point lead for the Democrat.

The NM Political Report poll showed Lujan with a ten point lead over Ronchetti.

The Journal also polled all three congressional races in the state.

The tightest race was in the 2nd Congressional District, which was also the only race polled by the Journal where a Republican led. Republican Yvette Herrell, a former state representative, led incumbent Democrat Xochitl Torres Small in the state’s most conservative district 48 percent to 46 percent—well within the poll’s margin of error. The race is a rematch of 2018 when Torres Small won by just 3,772 votes.

The race is considered by many to be one of the key congressional races to watch nationwide, and one of the top pickup opportunities for Republicans as they seek to eat into the Democratic majority.

The other two races were much less competitive.

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Deb Haaland led Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes 58 percent to 37 percent. 

And in the open 3rd Congressional District race, Democrat Teresa Leger Fernandez had a similar lead, 58 percent to 35 percent, over Republican Alexis Johnson.

The previous Journal poll showed similar large leads for Democrats in the 1st and 3rd Congressional District and Torres Small leading Herrell by two points.

Research and Polling, Inc. conducted the polls from Oct. 23 to Oct. 29, and were conducted by live interviewers.

The polls of the two statewide races were of 1,180 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. This means any option could be higher or lower by 2.9 points.

The 1st Congressional District poll surveyed 430 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 points, the 2nd Congressional District of 403 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 points, while the 3rd Congressional District poll of 347 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 point