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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Big Bill: Poised For a Win, But Not A Blow-Out? We Have New, Exclusive Poll Numbers, Plus: My New Mexico Bottom Lines For This Spring Wednesday 

Seven months out from election day Big Bill has few worries about retaining the New Mexican governorship for another four years, but whether he will be able to reach the mystical and magical 60% mark is highly questionable. That's the conclusion drawn by political insiders and Alligators assessing the numbers floating around from the most recent poll conducted by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner group, longtime national Dem pollsters who are surveying for Big Bill and Senator Bingaman this year.

Big Bill's approval rating stands at 56% in the poll. A New Mexico Governor couldn't ask for much more after nearly four years in office, perhaps a Governor running for President could. But first things first. What are your neighbors saying about the Guv?

"They have fully absorbed his personality. The good and the bad is well-known. On the down side, they are critical of him for being pompous and sometimes a bully, but they approve of him because they see him as getting things done and moving the state forward," explained an insider who has seen the numbers.

The poll was apparently conducted a few weeks ago. It is important because it is not a "push" poll designed to deliver certain results, nor an automatic phone poll like the USA Survey that you see quoted on the Net and on the tube. This is the real deal, the real numbers the top strategists must have to keep and maintain their grip on power and run effective multi-million dollar campaigns.

THEN AND NOW


The ABQ Journal poll last year gave Governor Richardson an anemic 52% approval rating, but it was quickly pointed out that the survey was of registered voters, not likely ones. When I blogged that the Guv was "leaking oil" because of that poll, Big Bill chief of staff Dave Contarino was quick to head to the blog spin room and tell us their own surveys had his boss in the low 60's.

But that was then and this is now. The low 60's appear to be history as the GOP base appears to be solidifying as the campaign nears and as the news headlines have stopped being friendly toward the Fourth Floor.

If the political scuttlebutt is right and the Guv will near the $10 million mark in campaign spending--an incredible sum--he could see his numbers head a bit north. But a well-known incumbent does not have much wiggle room and this poll, coming as it does before the heat of the campaign, has the insiders saying it pretty much reflects his top number and where most of them see him headed in November.

The poll also shows the Guv getting mid 60's approval from Democratic women. The insiders think he has a shot to bump those numbers up come November as he strives for the 60% mark in the overall tally. (In 02' he received 55% to R John Sanchez's 39%. The Green's David Bacon polled 5%)

Some Guv critics are insistent that if he does not top the 60% mark his Prez campaign will suffer deflation. But would a mid-50's or better win really be remembered months down the road? Maybe, maybe not.

Still, when analysts and others are wondering what margin you will win by and not whether you will win, you have hit the sweet spot of La Politica.

MY BOTTOM LINES


That same poll shows Dem Senator Bingaman with a 62% approval rating, setting up a snoozer of a re-election campaign....

A self-described "retired Alligator" reports in with this news: "I just completed my analysis of voter registration from the Secretary of State's last registration report. Roosevelt County has just become the 10th county with majority Republican registration, Dems--4,614--41% GOP--4652--42%. Harding County is tied with 48% for both parties."

And I remember the 70's when there was just two R havens--Los Alamos and Lincoln counties. By the way Gator, you never retire from this game, they carry you out....

Republican Manuel Lujan is long gone from the U.S. House, but he still has a connection there--on the Democratic side of all places. NM Dem Rep. Tom Udall's new press secretary is Santa Fe's Marissa Padilla who counts Manuel as a great-uncle.....

"Joe, you flout the law, not flaunt it," corrects a reader on an English blunder from Tuesday's blog. So noted. They point out that you do flaunt your tattoos depending, of course, on where you have em'.

BOTTOM, BOTTOM LINE

And is this photo on the left of the Clinton's combined what Big Bill sees when he has a bad dream? If it does pop up in his mind's eye, perhaps he checks his New Mexico polling numbers for reassurance because Hillary remains atop all the national surveys for the Dem Prez prize. GOP Realtor Tony Olmi sent the pic in with the cutline: "Scary, isn't it?" It would seem Tony and the Democratic Guv have common ground on at least that point.

Your political news, gossip, corrections are welcome. Drop us an e-mail from the top right of the page and help keep the politics coming.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2006
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