A new poll shows Hillary Clinton with more than 50 percent support in New Mexico in a two-way race but, perhaps more interesting, Gary Johnson with nearly equal the support of Donald Trump in a four-way race. The results of the Washington Post-SurveyMonkey poll found Clinton, the Democratic nominee, leads Trump, the Republican nominee, 51 percent to 37 percent in a two-way race. But when you add Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Clinton falls to 37 percent, Trump falls to 29 percent, but Johnson picks up 25 percent support and Stein picks up 5 percent. The poll itself, however, has a non-traditional methodology which could cast doubts on the results. Following the poll, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight noted that Johnson’s odds of winning New Mexico went up to two percent in their polls-only forecast (Johnson is at just 0.7 percent in the polls-plus forecast, which includes information on the economy as well as historical voting trends from the state).
Thursday, FiveThirtyEight cited the most recent NM Political Report poll as an example of a rare poll being done in a relatively Democratic, or blue, state. Nate Silver, the founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, wrote an analysis about the “blue state polling abyss.” He write polls in traditionally Democratic states, including the poll commissioned by NM Political Report for Public Policy Polling, give valuable data for the presidential election. Meanwhile, pollsters have been polling some traditionally Republican states, citing South Carolina and Missouri, writing, “Pollsters seem to think it’s more fun to poll” these states than traditional Democratic states. He does note “those states have been tight in recent surveys.”
These states, Silver says, are unlikely to be important in the grand scheme of things this November. In any election in which she wins South Carolina, for example, Clinton will almost certainly have already won North Carolina and probably also Georgia, meaning that she’ll be on track for 300-plus electoral votes with or without the Palmetto State.