Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It Don't Mean A Thing If NM Loses That Swing

New Mexico is no longer a swing state in the presidential contest.

Obama in Santa Fe 2008
Photo by Anton Terrell
That's the conclusion of the latest Public Policy polling survey of New Mexico voters. According to the PPP news release:

Barack Obama defeated John McCain by 15 points there in 2008, and the polling so far suggests a similar outcome is likely this fall. PPP's newest poll finds Obama ahead of Mitt Romney 54-40 in the state. That's changed little from when we polled the state in December and found Obama up 53-38.

And even though our GOP governor Susana Martinez is one of the nation's most popular governors,"A Romney/Martinez slate still trails Obama/Biden by a 53-42 margin," PPP says. (Martinez has repeatedly said she's not interested in the nomination.)

But, to take the poll, by the Democratic Party affiliated PPP with a little Republican salt,  a spokeswoman for GOP Senate candidate Heather Wilson told me yesterday that the company underpolled Republicans in the state.

Of the registered voters interviewed for this poll, 32 percent were Republicans. But Republicans accounted for 37 percent of the turnout in New Mexico's general election in 2010, and 34 percent in 2008.

However, saying that difference accounts for  Obama's 14-percent-point lead here would be a harder argument to make than in the Senate race, where PPP showed Wilson trailing Democrat Martin Heinrich by only five percentage points.

When Libertarian Gary Johnson -- a former New Mexico governor -- is included, Obama receives 48 percent to Romney's 35 percent. Johnson would receive 15 percent of the vote, the poll indicates.

Obama's good statistics are due to high support among women, Hispanics and young people, PPP says. Also his approval rating has gone up among Democrats since December. Then only 72 percent of Democrats approved of the job he was doing. That's risen to 83 percent now, the poll says. Among all NEw Mexico voters, 53 percent approve of Obama's performance while 44 percent disapprove.

PPP calls Gov. Martinez's approval number's impressive. Fifty four percent of those interviewed said they approved of her performance while 38 percent disapproved. This makes her the 9th most popular governor in the nation out of the 40 governors the company has polled, PPP says.

PPP interviewed 526 registered New Mexico voters between April 19 and 22. The margin of error is 4.3 percent.