Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our Exclusive Poll: Martinez Holds Ample Lead Over King; Duran And Oliver In Tight Battle For Secretary Of State, Keller Leads Aragon In State Auditor Contest; The Numbers And The Analysis On Your Wednesday Blog 

The race for the governorship of New Mexico remains static with Republican Governor Susana Martinez continuing to hold an ample lead over Democratic challenger Gary King, according to a poll conducted for New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan Tuesday night (Oct. 21).

Martinez garnered 56.2% to King's 37.4% with 6.4% undecided.

In the ABQ Journal poll of Sept. 9-11 Martinez polled 54% to King's 36%.

Our poll, conducted by BWD Global led by Bruce Donisthorpe, was taken with just two weeks before election day Nov. 4 but already over 50,000 New Mexicans have opted to cast ballots at early voting sites and by absentee ballot. Over half the total vote is expected to be cast early, leaving King little time to reverse the course of the contest.

Martinez has run a relentless negative TV and mail campaign against cash starved Attorney General King who only recently came on TV with a single ad after an absence of over a month. That barrage of ads and the lack of any major news coming out the campaigns has played to Martinez's benefit who won election in 2010 with 53.29% of the vote.

The poll was taken on the heels of Sunday's televised gubernatorial debate but it appeared to have no measurable impact on the contest. BWD Global president and pollster Donisthorpe says:

King's inability to respond to the Governor's negative attack is key. The public is seeing a very one-sided  campaign and our survey reflects that. Martinez continues to trend toward re-election.

In Bernalillo County, the state's largest, Martinez leads King 57% to 35%. A glimmer of good news for King is that the undecided should break mainly his way, getting him over the 40% level, but still leaving much ground to cover.

Of the 1,077 likely voters BWD Global surveyed by automatic phone calls in the governor's race, 205 of them said they had already voted. Also, unlike some automatic phone polls, we do not randomly dial voters and ask them if they are registered to vote. We use the phone numbers of a list of confirmed likely voters--those who have cast ballots in both the 2010 and 2012 elections.

The margin of error in our Tuesday night polling is plus or minus three percent.


Duran & Oliver
The race for secretary of state will keep you interested. Our poll of 1,027 likely voters shows Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran holding a 47.6% to 45.0% lead over her Democratic challenger Maggie Toulouse Oliver. 7.4% are undecided.

Analyzed Donisthorpe:

Duran is getting more Democratic support than you might expect, but that could change as the race enters its most intense phase and Oliver's TV takes hold. Duran has to be concerned that as the incumbent she is not at the 50% mark yet and much of the undecided vote is Democratic and independent. This is going to be a race to watch.

Oliver is the two-term Bernalillo County Clerk. She leads Duran here 50% to 43%. She will work to up that margin here in order to overtake Duran. Third party TV money is playing in both sides of the race.

In 2010 Duran became the first Republican elected secretary of state since the 30's.


In another closely watched down ballot race Democrat Tim Keller has opened up a 51% to 42% lead over Republican challenger Robert Aragon. 7% are undecided in the poll of 1,007 likely voters. Keller, an ABQ state senator, recently unveiled a TV ad in which he goes negative on attorney Aragon. Donisthorpe said:

Keller is over the magic 50% mark. Aragon's support among Republicans is not what it needs to be and that's probably due to Keller's TV ad which Aragon has not responded to. Keller is beating Aragon 55% to 37% in Bernalillo County so his ad is paying big dividends here. Also, it's been nearly 50 years since New Mexico elected a Republican state auditor. That history helps Keller.

The polling memo and complete crosstabs for all the races is here.

Donisthorpe has successfully polled for us since 2008. This cycle he has also polled for a number of Republican and Democratic candidates. He has done no polling for any of the candidates for Governor, secretary of state or state auditor which are featured in today's report.


There has been controversy this cycle over the partisan composition of the electorate that is used in state polling. Our poll by BWD Global is comprised of 50% Democrats, 38% Republicans and 12% independents. This is based on the results of the 2010 election, the last off-year election. Our weighting is very similar to the polls being conducted this year by the ABQ Journal.

The early voting trend confirms this weighting model. Of 39,000 votes cast at early voting sites as of last night 47.2% had been cast by Democrats, 42.1% were Republican, 8.2% independents and 2.3% from other parties, If anything, Democratic performance--at least in the early going--is lagging the ultimate performance number we see them achieving--50% of the electorate.

Some Democratic consultants and pollsters are arguing that Dem turnout will comprise more of the electorate this year because in 2010 fervor for the conservative Tea Party movement was at its zenith. But pollsters Donisthorpe and Sanderoff point out there are fewer competitive contests to drive voters to the polls compared to 2010. The governor's race being the prime example.

As for the Tea Party voters, Donisthorpe points out they haven't gone away. Anti-Obama sentiment is getting them into the voting booths.

In a presidential election year, the polling models do reflect a higher Democratic turnout--about 53% of the electorate in 2012. This, of course, is not a presidential election year.

Also, unlike some automatic phone polls ours does not randomly dial phone numbers and ask the person who answers if they are registered to vote. We use phone numbers from a list of confirmed likely voters--those who have cast ballots in both the 2010 and 2012 elections.


The King campaign has been unable to muster the funds to answer Gov. Martinez's relentless TV and mail attack campaign so his supporters have turned to social media. They land some solid blows in this 2 minute video that uses Martinez's 2010 campaign rhetoric against her. In it she says if you like New Mexico being 49th in a variety of categories, you should vote for Democrat Diane Denish. Four years later the state is 49th or 50th in more categories than when she took over. . .


A local news producer responds to criticism from reader Hal Gershenson that the media did not cover a large teacher rally over the weekend. Gershenson wrote:

Albuquerque teachers were not surprised by the media black-out of their massive rally on Saturday, but not to get a mention from you....that hurts.

The media responds: 

Failure to alert the media to your event does not constitute failure on our part but a failure on the planners' part.  As someone who was working Saturday, there was nothing in our planner about this event. And EVERYTHING goes into the planner regardless if we plan on going to it or not.


The NYT came with one that caught our eye:

Political analysts keep urging the Republican Party to do more to appeal to Hispanic voters. Yet the party’s congressional leaders show little sign of doing so, blocking an immigration overhaul and harshly criticizing President Obama for his plan to defer deportation for undocumented migrants. There’s a simple reason that congressional Republicans are willing to risk alienating Hispanics: They don’t need their votes, at least not this year. Republicans would probably hold the House — and still have a real chance to retake the Senate — if they lost every single Hispanic voter in the country, according to an analysis by The Upshot. Such a thing would never happen, of course, but the fact that the Republicans may not need a single Hispanic vote in 2014 says a good deal about American politics today.


The Indian gaming casinos are hanging in there during the long economic stagnation, but it isn't what it used to be. Take a look:

Buffalo Thunder Development Authority, the economic arm of the Pueblo of Pojoaque, is offering holders of current notes an exchange for some due in 2022 with a higher interest rate. According to a news release, the authority has begun a private exchange offer to holders of its outstanding 9⅜ percent senior secured notes due in 2014 to exchange those notes for its newly issued 11 percent senior secured notes due in 2022.

The state reports gambling revenue at the Indian casinos has been basically flat for several years. Pojoaque is battling with the state over a new gambling compact. The pueblo wants to serve liquor to gamblers and lower the gambling age to 18 from 21.

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