The first public polling since the political earthquake set off by the retirement announcement of NM GOP US Senator Pete Domenici shows that GOP southern NM Congressman Steve Pearce and Democratic Governor Bill Richardson would be the strongest US Senate candidates for their respective parties. On the other hand, the SurveyUSA poll conducted over the weekend using automatic phone calls to New Mexico households, shows GOP ABQ Congresswoman Heather Wilson defeating Chavez, but losing by a landslide if Big Bill were the Dem nominee.
In a mock match-up, ABQ Mayor Chavez, who will enter the Dem Senate race tomorrow, is defeated by Rep. Wilson 48% to 44%. Wilson, the polls says, would lose the Senate seat 62% to 35% if Big Bill were her Dem opponent. Steve Pearce beats Chavez 56% to 35%, outperforming fellow Republican Wilson. Richardson beats Pearce 60% to 36% in the poll.
Rep. Tom Udall who is not seeking the Domenici senate seat would defeat Wilson 56% to 38%, according to the poll of 514 registered voters.
Former Attorney General Patricia Madrid would run in a near tie with Wilson, said the survey, with Wilson getting 46% and Madrid 45%.
The survey did not include Dem Light Guv Diane Denish who is likely to run for Governor, but is being enticed by the open Domenici seat.
The mock poll match-ups were of registered voters, but adults. SurveyUSA says the margin of error is plus or minus 4.4%
I will have more analysis of the poll tonight on KOB-TV, Channel 4 at 6 and 10 p.m with reporter Stuart Dyson and more on this blog as the story develops.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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