October 31, 2022

Polls: Lujan Grisham leads by high single digits in reelection campaign; Dems lead in other key races

Two polls in the final days of the gubernatorial campaign show incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham with a lead over her Republican challenger, Mark Ronchetti.

The Albuquerque Journal’s poll, conducted by Research & Polling, Inc. and long considered the best public polling in New Mexico, showed a lead of 8 points for Lujan Grisham. The poll showed Lujan Grisham with 50 percent, Ronchetti with 42 percent and Libertarian candidate Karen Bedonie with 3 percent. Another 4 percent were undecided in the final days of the election.

Meanwhile, a poll for KOB-TV, conducted by SurveyUSA, found a 7 point lead for Lujan Grisham. That poll found Lujan Grisham leading 46 percent to 39 percent for Ronchetti and 5 percent for Bedonie, with 9 percent undecided.

Both polls surveyed those who were likely to vote or who had already voted.

The two polls are similar to most other recent polls, including NM Political Report’s poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, earlier this month that showed Lujan Grisham with an eight point lead.

A poll by Republican firm Trafalgar Group released last week showed Ronchetti with a one-point lead.

The KOB poll, however, is a significant departure from its previous poll in early October, which found Lujan Grisham with a 16-point lead. The president of SurveyUSA told the TV station that it showed momentum for the Republican challenger, but he still trails.

The Albuquerque Journal poll found that Lujan Grisham had the support of 87 percent of Democrats, compared to 9 percent for Ronchetti. Comparatively, Ronchetti had the support of 88 percent of Republicans, to just 5 percent for Lujan Grisham. Among independent voters, Lujan Grisham led 42 percent to 37 percent, with 7 percent backing Bedonie. Democrats outnumber Republicans according to voter registration data.

The other major different is by gender. The poll found that 55 percent of women backed Lujan Grisham to 38 percent who backed Ronchetti. Men, who tend to vote more conservative than women, were equally split, 46 percent for each of the top two candidates.

The Albuquerque Journal poll’s margin was similar to the August poll that showed Lujan Grisham with a 7 point lead. 

Other races

The Albuquerque Journal also polled all three congressional races, with leads of varying sizes for Democrats. The closest race is the swing 2nd Congressional District, in which Democrat Gabe Vasquez holds a narrow 47 percent to 45 percent lead over incumbent U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell. Another 8 percent said they were undecided.

Herrell, a Republican, narrowly lost the race for the seat in 2018, before winning by a wide margin in 2020. But redistricting made the district more competitive and it has been a target of national attention from both parties and other outside groups.

The next closest race is the 1st Congressional District race in while Democratic incumbent Melanie Stansbury leads Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes 48 percent to 42 percent with 9 percent undecided.

And in the 3rd Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Teresa Leger Fernandez leads Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson 53 percent to 35 percent with 10 percent undecided.

The KOB poll also showed leads for Democrats in two other key statewide races, with incumbent Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver leading Republican Audrey Trujillo 43 percent to 36 percent in the race for the state’s top elections post and Democrat Raúl Torrez leading Republican Jeremy Gay 47 percent to 37 percent in the open race for state Attorney General.

The Albuquerque Journal poll of 1,254 likely voters and those who already voted was conducted from Oct. 19 to 27 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. The poll, conducted by Research & Polling, Inc., was conducted by live interviewers and called both landlines and cell phones. This means any topline result can be off by 2.8 points either way. The 1st and 2nd congressional district questions surveyed 410 likely voters each with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points, while the 3rd Congressional District question surveyed 434 likely voters with a 4.7 percentage point margin of error.

The KOB poll of 650 likely voters and those who already voted was conducted from Oct. 21-26 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. Its methodology is available on the firm’s website.