Thursday, May 19, 2016

Peeling The Onion On The Latest State Polling; SOS Race Outlook, Trumps Troubles Here And Susana's Swoon, Plus: Heinrich's Inside-Outside Game 

Let's peel the onion on that PPP poll of NM conducted May 13-15. . .

In the race for Secretary of State Democratic hopeful and Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver bests Republican contender and Roswell State Rep. Nora Espinoza 43% to 36% with 21% undecided.

Oliver is a two term county clerk and unsuccessfully sought the secretary of state's office in 2014 so a 7 point lead is not seen as overwhelming by the Espinoza supporters. They argue the danger for the Dems is if Espinoza can start flipping Hispanics. And they also argue that Oliver is quite a distance from 50%, putting the race in play.

In the PPP poll Oliver leads Espinoza among Hispanics 53% to 29%. Espinoza takes White voters, 46  to 35.

The higher the presidential turnout the better for Oliver and Dems in general. That will be key as will what kind of TV ads come. So far, the candidates are about even in the cash on hand race.

Here's all the PPP crosstabs. . .


Now on to Governor Martinez's approval rating. As we blogged this week she is below the important 50% approval number in four separate surveys we've seen, including PPP which has her at 47%. One big reason? Her approval rating among Hispanics, according to the survey, is only 43% while her disapproval is 45%. Meanwhile, her favorability among Anglo voters (many of whom are Republican) is a sturdier 54%.

Hispanic Dems have been instrumental in getting a Republican Hispanic governor elected and re-elected. Martinez coming down among them is a major turning point in her tenure.

In diving into the polling on the presidential race we see no reason to change New Mexico from "likely Dem" for the November election. Here's why:

Just 21% of Hispanics gave Trump a favorable rating while 74 percent are negative toward him. They favor Clinton over Trump 56 to 19.

That means the presidential race here will again be under the radar with no candidate visits or TV buys. That could be worrisome for the Dems who want a big turnout so they can take back control of the state House. It appears the get-out-the-vote duties will fall on local shoulders as the presidential candidates fly over us.

Public Policy Polling is based in North Carolina and polls mainly for Dems. They interviewed 802 voters here and give the poll a MOE of plus or minus 3.5 percent.


We apologize for the bum list we blogged about regarding the state's super delegates to the Democratic national convention. It listed Fred Harris and Joni Gutierrez as "uncommitted" but both, previously uncommitted, are supporting Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination. The only uncommitted NM super delegates are Dem Party Chair Deb Haaland and Vice-Chair Juan Sanchez

Someone is gong to get ten lashes with the wet noodle for letting this one get by. . . probably us.


Sen. Heinrich
It's the old outside to inside game, say observers of Dem US Senator Martin Heinrich. He isn't up for re-election until 2018 but he is busy romancing rural conservatives outside of the big cities as he works to ward off strong opposition there.

In a Facebook post Heinrich boasts of the work he is doing in getting funding for defense and his support of a tough airport security measure that has drawn civil liberties opposition. He is also trying to dampen the partisan divide in the hinterland:

I am taking the power you have lent me to fight every day to solve the problems facing our state and our nation, and doing it by putting aside partisan differences and focusing on what matters to all of us.

Heinrich is too liberal for most of the voters in large swaths of rural NM but like Senator Udall and before him, Senator Bingaman, Heinrich is getting those voters to focus on what he has done for them locally and not so much on his actual voting record. It worked for Udall and Bingaman who were able to avoid landslides there while getting big victory margins in the cities.

One other note: With Gov. Martinez's slide in the polls, Heinrich's larger worry of a possible Martinez '18 challenge seems to be less worrisome.


One of the races we'll be watching when we convene our Election Night roundtable on KANW 89.1 FM is the contest for Bernalillo County Treasurer. Three Hispanic men--current treasurer Manny Ortiz, former treasurer Pat Padilla and treasurer's office employee Christoper Sanchez--are seeking the Dem nomination. The fourth candidate is health insurance professional Nancy Bearce. Could an ethnic split develop that could hand the nomination to Bearce? The office has been tangled in controversy under both Ortiz and Padilla.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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