October 11, 2022

Democrats continue to lead in AG, SOS races

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Democrats lead in the key statewide races for attorney general and secretary of state according to a NM Political Report poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.

The closer of the two races is the open race for attorney general.

The poll find Democrat Raúl Torrez, the current 2nd Judicial District Attorney, leads former  special assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Gay, a Republican, 45 percent to 37 percent, with 18 percent who said they are not sure.

This is almost identical to the results of a June NM Political Report poll, when Torrez led 44 percent to 37 percent.

The seat is open because incumbent Democrat Hector Balderas is term-limited and cannot run for a third consecutive term.

Democrats have held the attorney general position for all but three times in state history, most recently when Republican Harold Stratton held the seat from 1987 to 1990.

Torrez leads among Hispanic or Latino voters 52 percent to 30 percent, with 18 percent who say they are not sure. But Gay leads among white voters 44 percent to 42 pecrcent, with 14 percent who say they are not sure. Other ethnicities support Torrez 38 percent to 24 percent over Gay, with 39 percent who say they are not sure. 

Races for attorney general nationwide have received extra attention since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Abortion is legal in New Mexico.

In another key statewide race, incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver leads in her race for a second full term.

Toulouse Oliver has the support of 45 percent of voters, compared to 34 percent for Republican Audrey Trujillo and 6 percent for Libertarian Mayna Myers. Another 16 percent say they are not sure.

The race is closer than in the June poll, which showed Toulouse Oliver leading 46 percent to 28 percent over Trujillo, with 10 percent who said they backed Myers.

Toulouse Oliver first won election to Secretary of State in a special election in 2016, after Republican Dianna Duran resigned after pleading guilty to criminal charges related to funneling campaign funds to personal bank accounts. Duran was the only Republican elected to Secretary of State in state history. She was replaced by then-Gov. Susana Martinez by Brad Winter, who did not seek election.

Trujillo has faced criticism for extremist positions like posting anti-Semitic memes on social media and embracing various conspiracy theories, including those saying the Joe Biden did not win the 2020 elections.

Toulouse Oliver has a wide lead among those who said they voted for Joe Biden in 2020, 81 percent to 4 percent for Trujillo and 3 percent for Myers. Trujillo, meanwhile, leads among those who said they voted for Trump, 72 percent to 8 percent for Toulouse Oliver and 5 percent for Myers.

The poll of 806 likely voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling on Oct. 6 and 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points. Public Policy Polling called landlines and text messaged those without landlines. Not all percentages on questions add up to 100 percent because of rounding.

Correction: This poll said in the methodology section that it was of voters. It should have said this poll was of likely voters.