Luján leads Ronchetti by 10 points in open U.S. Senate race

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján maintained a double-digit lead in the race for an open U.S. Senate seat according to a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report. The poll showed that Luján led Republican Mark Ronchetti 51 percent to 41 percent, with 3 percent saying they would vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Walsh. Six percent said they were not sure. Related: Biden with leads Trump by 14 points in NM

The open U.S. Senate race came after Tom Udall said he would not seek a third term. Udall was initially elected in 2008 and easily won reelection in 2014.

Poll: Biden, Luján lead in New Mexico after primaries

A new poll, commissioned by NM Political Report and conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that Democrats lead in the races for U.S. Senate and president in the state and that voters in the state approve of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic more than they do of President Donald Trump’s. Trump’s campaign has said they will target New Mexico as a potential pickup in his reelection effort, but polling across the country in recent weeks has shown presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a lead over the incumbent in key swing states. The poll found that Biden leads Trump 53 percent to 39 percent in New Mexico, with 8 percent unsure. Biden leads among Democrats, 80 percent to 14 percent, while Trump leads among Republicans, 85 percent to 12 percent. But Biden has a large lead among independents, 52 percent to Trump’s 30 percent, with 18 percent not sure. 

Biden has a large lead among Hispanic or Latino voters, 68 percent to 22 percent, while Trump leads among white voters, 53 percent to 41 percent.

Poll: Most New Mexicans approve of Lujan Grisham’s COVID-19 response

A new poll showed that a majority of New Mexicans approve of the way Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is handling the COVID-19 crisis. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling for The Majority Institute, a progressive organization, showed that 62 percent of New Mexicans approve of how she is handling the  pandemic, compared to 26 percent who disapprove. 

The approval is much higher than that of President Donald Trump; the poll found that 40 percent of New Mexicans approved of how he is handling the COVID-19 crisis, compared to 55 percent who disapprove. Lujan Grisham took action earlier than many governors, and aggressively sought to expand testing capacity in the state. The New York Times wrote a profile about New Mexico’s response and how it has avoided overwhelming the health care system in the state. Still, Republicans have criticized the stay-at-home order.

Both state parties say their nominee won the debate

The first presidential debate of the general election is over after more than an hour and a half of sometimes heated back-and-forths between the two candidates. The debate featured Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump facing off as polls show an extremely close race. In New Mexico, not surprisingly, both state parties said that their nominee was the winner of the debate, in press releases that came just minutes apart. Democratic Party of New Mexico chairwoman Deb Haaland said that Clinton “focused on the issues, gave substantive answers and reiterated that we’re stronger together.”

“In stark contrast, Donald Trump was unprepared, didn’t give any specifics, and once again showed that he doesn’t have the temperament to lead our country,” she continued. “This debate made the choice very clear, and I feel more confident than ever that New Mexicans will vote for Hillary Clinton this November.

Gary Johnson radio ads hit seven states

Gary Johnson is putting some money behind ads to boost his campaign in a handful states, including his home state of New Mexico. The Libertarian Party presidential nominee, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, is airing radio ads in seven states, according to Politico. The Washington D.C.-based news organization cited “a media buying source” who said Johnson is spending over $800,000 in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. When Johnson ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in 2012, he performed best in New Mexico, taking nearly 4 percent of the overall vote. Nationwide, Johnson received just under 1 percent of the vote.

Full results of NM Political Report’s poll

We commissioned a poll from Public Policy Polling this week to answer some questions we—and apparently many others—had been wondering about. We wrote about each of the questions we commission from the company throughout the week; but there still is a lot of information to dig into, so we decided to release the full toplines and crosstabs as well for readers to dig through. Here are the previous posts on the poll, and the full results are available at the bottom of this post. Poll: NM voters support bringing back the death penalty
Poll: Clinton leads Trump in NM, Toulouse Oliver leads SOS race
Martinez approval rating hits new low
Poll: Here’s how voters want lawmakers to fix the budget deficit
FiveThirtyEight looks at NM Political Report’s poll

The pollster surveyed 80 percent of respondents by landline phone and 20 percent via internet panels, aimed a cell phone-only voters. Public Policy Polling conducted the poll based on questions submitted by NM Political Report.

Poll: Here’s how voters want lawmakers to fix the budget deficit

Delaying or freezing corporate income tax cuts and across-the-board budget cuts are two of the most popular proposals for bridging the state’s large budget deficit. That comes from a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report. Respondents were asked to choose from a list of five options for balancing the budget. The options were “Delaying or freezing corporate income tax cuts,” “bringing back taxes on food and medicine,” “increasing the state gasoline tax,” “cutting education spending” and “enacting across-the-board spending cuts.”

After choosing their top choice, respondents were also asked to choose a second-best option from the same list. In both cases, respondents saw delaying incoming corporate income tax cuts delay and enacting across-the-board spending cuts as the two most popular choices.

FiveThirtyEight looks at NM Political Report’s poll

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.

Martinez approval rating hits new low

Gov. Susana Martinez’s approval rating now sits at 43 percent, down from a May poll which found her approval rating at 47 percent. Both polls were conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report. The latest poll shows Martinez’s lowest approval rating in a public poll since first taking office in 2011. And now just as many registered voters don’t approve of her job performance as those who approve. Martinez’s disapproval rating barely changed, from 42 percent in May to 43 percent in August, but her approval rating dropped four percent in the last three months.

Poll: Clinton leads Trump in NM, Toulouse Oliver leads SOS race

The Democrats running for president and Secretary of State continue to lead in their races, though a third party candidate on the presidential ballot who is familiar to New Mexicans is getting a lot of support. A poll commissioned by NM Political Report and conducted by Public Policy Polling finds Hillary Clinton leading in a four-way race for president with 40 percent support among New Mexico registered voters. Republican candidate Donald Trump trails Clinton with 31 percent of support while Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson gets 16 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 4 percent. Related: Poll: NM voters support bringing back the death penalty

Only 9 percent of registered voters remain undecided in the presidential race, according to the poll. Johnson is a former two-term governor of New Mexico.