Monday, May 16, 2016

Polling Martinez: Three Surveys Show Her Below Key 50% Level; Drop In Dem Support Drives Her Polling Plunge, Plus: Yates Vs. Rogers In Final Stretch  

Blog readers recently learned exclusively that the approval rating of Gov. Martinez had dropped below the key 50% mark. A poll conducted for a political action committee had her near 46%. Another poll conducted for an elected official had Martinez's approval rating at 47 percent. And now the first public poll of this year is out and confirms Martinez sinking below 50 percent, garnering approval from just 48% of those surveyed:

A Morning Consult survey of more than 66,000 voters in all 50 states was taken from January until early May...The data was weighed using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. Sample sizes varied from state to state based on their population. . . Morning Consult is a media and technology company at the intersection of politics, policy, Wall Street and business strategy. . . Our journalism seeks out the stories and news that are shaping industry and government.

The PAC poll that has Martinez at 45% becomes 46% when rounded up and that's what it is circulating. The margin of error in that survey is plus or minus 2 percent, signaling the many voters interviewed. The MOE in the elected official's poll is plus or minus 4 percent. Morning Consult did not assign an MOE to its poll.

And, yes, we can hear the moaning that we are not releasing the name of the PAC or the elected official. We received the polling info on the pledge of anonymity but our track record in reporting polling speaks for itself. Also, the mainstream media rarely polls the Governor. It is left to us to ferret out where a sitting governor stands with the public.

Given that the upcoming campaigns will be crafted with Martinez in mind and that her policies have always been heavily influenced by polling data, it is essential to know where she stands in order to understand the state of New Mexico politics. Adding to the significance is the fact that this is the first round of polling that has put Martinez below 50% since she became governor in 2011.

That the infamous December holiday pizza party would lead to a decline in Martinez's numbers was first reported here in a blog titled "The Masquerade is Over"
in which we called it a defining moment of her tenure. It turns out it was. She was re-elected in 2014 in an an historic near landslide for a Republican, getting over 57% of the vote. She appears to have slid ten points from that high water mark or a drop of about 17 percent in overall support.

So just where is Martinez losing support? Again, we can report exclusively that it is with Democrats. Martinez has been kept in the mid 50's in approval by Democrats supporting a Republican governor. In the cross tabs we've seen she has taken a big hit with them in recent months. She also drops with independents and even takes a smaller hit with fellow Republicans.

Again, her behavior stemming form the ill-fated pizza party altered positive perceptions of Martinez. That,  combined with continued bad economic news, would seem to be the root cause of her increased unpopularity.

Getting significant support from the opposition party--as Martinez has done-- is no easy task. Winning them back won't be easy, either. At this point Martinez's best bet is probably to just stop the bleeding and avoid a further polling plunge.


The squabbling in her Republican party isn't helping Martinez repair her polling damage as the GOP seem quite divided as we enter the final week of campaigning for the position of GOP national committeeman.

Former NM GOP Chairman Harvey Yates is challenging two term incumbent Pat Rogers. The letters and literature have been bombarding the 500 plus state convention delegates who will decide the matter this Saturday in ABQ. Shown here is one of Rogers' latest efforts.

Yates is pushing back against the endorsements of Rogers by several state House committee chairmen. His own chair endorsements in this letter to the delegates from the chairs:

. . . There is no lack of folks who are willing to take credit for Republicans’ recent success in New Mexico elections. It would be very difficult, however to find anyone more deserving of credit than Harvey Yates. Our winning streak began in 2010. . . Congressman Pearce was able to win back his House seat, Susana Martinez and John Sanchez became Governor and Lt. Governor and. . . we were able to win the Secretary of State’s race. That would have been a spectacular achievement without including the eight house seats gained by Republicans that year - and Harvey Yates led the effort as Chairman of the GOP.

Here are the committee chairs endorsing Yates in the letter:

Yvette Herrell – Chairman / Regulatory and Public Affairs
James Strickler – Chairman / Energy, Environment and Natural Resources
Cathrynn Brown – Chairman / Transportation and Public Works
Paul Bandy – Chairman / House Rules and Vice-Chairman / Appropriations and Finance
Candy Ezzell – Chairman / Agriculture, Water and Wildlife

Each delegate to the GOP convention Saturday must pay an $85 registration fee. At least with the Yates-Rogers battle going full strength, they'll get their money's worth.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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