SUSA Poll: Dems Have Chance in NM-Sen, But Chavez Trails
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 05:07:27 PM EDT
Our Draft Tom Udall for New Mexico Senate effort was unfortunately futile, today brought news that another Democrat was joining Don Wiviott in the race for the Democratic Senate nomination in the state, Albuquerque mayor Martin Chavez. Chavez, however, isn't necessarily the strongest candidate in the world despite his higher name recognition, as evidenced by the poor showing of the city council candidates he backed in last week's elections and his somewhat underwhelming numbers in the latest polling (available from SurveyUSA via Joe Monahan).
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%.
I'm with Markos on this one: It would be nice to see Udall -- or possibly even Governor Bill Richardson -- reconsider his decision not to run. Interestingly, at least as far as MSNBC's First Read is concerned, Richardson issued "a non-denial denial" about running for Senate, which is possible given that, as Jennifer Duffy notes for The Cook Political Report (sub. req.), "The filing deadline is February 12, which would allow Richardson to play through the early presidential primaries and caucuses." What's more, Duffy writes that "it wouldn't be hard for him to pivot to the Senate race and become an instant frontrunner for the nomination and the general election." Anyway, we'll post more on this poll when it goes online.
Update [2007-10-8 21:27:36 by Jonathan Singer]: Let me be clear that I don't think Richardson should drop out of the presidential race now. If he is able to get the nomination, great. But if he isn't picking up delegates by the end of January, I hope he at least thinks about running for Senate as an alternative. That is, of course, unless Udall changes his mind and decides to run (Sherrod Brown reconsidered his decision to run for Senate last cycle and Ohioans didn't seem to mind much).
Update [2007-10-8 23:25:41 by Jonathan Singer]: The full numbers look like this (below the fold):