Incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham continues to lead the gubernatorial race, with the support of just under 50 percent of likely voters.
That’s according to a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report.
The poll found that Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, leads Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti 48 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, with Libertarian candidate Karen Bedonie getting the support of 7 percent. Another 6 percent are undecided.
This is an increase in the gap between the two top contenders from a June NM Political Report poll which showed Lujan Grisham leading with 45 percent of supporters to 42 percent for Ronchetti and 9 percent for Bedonie.
The poll is slightly higher than the average of polls at Real Clear Politics which shows Lujan Grisham leading by 6.7 points.
Lujan Grisham is seeking a second term after winning the election in 2018, easily defeating Steve Pearce, now the chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico. Ronchetti is a former meteorologist and former Republican U.S. Senate candidate. Bedonie is a former Republican congressional candidate.
As has been the case in previous polls, Lujan Grisham’s lead is buoyed by support among women. Of those polled, 52 percent of women say they will vote for Lujan Grisham, while 36 percent say they will vote for Ronchetti and 6 percent for Bedonie. Men very slightly favor Ronchetti, 43 percent to 42 percent over Lujan Grisham with 8 percent backing Bedonie.
Lujan Grisham has also done a better job locking down her party, with 81 percent of Democrats backing the incumbent, while 14 percent back Ronchetti and 1 percent support Bedonie.
Ronchetti gets the support of 74 percent of Republicans, while Lujan Grisham has the support of 11 percent and Bedonie 9 percent. Ronchetti has a slight lead among other parties and independents, with 39 percent backing the challenger, to 36 percent for Lujan Grisham and 14 percent for Bedonie.
Lujan Grisham also continues leading among Hispanic or Latino voters, 55 percent of whom support her, while 31 percent support Ronchetti and 10 percent support Bedonie. Ronchetti leads among white voters, with 47 percent of support compared to 43 percent for Lujan Grisham and 5 percent for Bedonie. Among other races and ethnicities, Lujan Grisham leads 49 percent to 27 percent over Ronchetti, with 7 percent supporting Bedonie.
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.