New Mexico Polling Released
by fbihop, Sun Sep 03, 2006 at 12:11:16 AM EDT
The first independent polls of the campaign have been released; the Sanderoff-Journal polls are generally very accurate, and Sanderoff is a respective New Mexico pollster.
If you have read my blog before, you can guess which Congressional race is in play -- yup, the Patricia Madrid - Heather Wilson matchup in the First Congressional District. Let's take a look at that race and its poll first.
Brian Sanderoff had his poll 45-42, with Wilson in the lead. Ten percent are undecided, and the rest (three percent) say they aren't going to vote for either; the margin of error is 4.8 percent. This is in line with the Dem poll taken a couple weeks back.
Sanderoff said he believes the advertising crossfire likely played a role in the less-than-rosy job approval ratings for both candidates.Pretty much everything that was said after the Dems released their internal poll still holds; the race will be close in November and Madrid and Wilson will continue to fling mud at eachother like children after a rainstorm.
One thing to look at, again from Brian Sanderoff.
Wilson, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has been a longtime backer of the U.S. military involvement in Iraq while Madrid has called for a quick-turnaround exit plan. And Sanderoff said what takes place in Iraq in the coming two months -- along with the rise or fall of Bush's approval ratings -- could have a big impact on the outcome of the Wilson-Madrid contest.Iraq is getting steadily worse (the only time bad news from Iraq seemed to be out of the news is when it was pushed out by the Israel-Hezballah war). President Bush's approval ratings are stagnant, still stuck below 40 percent; and perhaps more tellingly, the media is starting to realize that Bush is no longer the ultra-popular President he was in the weeks after 9/11. He is closer to the Nixon Line than he is to that 90 percent approval rating Pres of five years ago.
In fact, Bush's ratings in New Mexico are in line with national numbers; only 38 percent approve, while 51 percent have a negative rating of his job as President. Eleven percent are undecided. Of course, he is doing better than Congress in the eyes of likely voters; only 34 percent think the incumbents in Congress are doing a good job.
If Madrid is successful in tying Wilson and her voting record of being a voting buddy for Bush (which will be hard for Wilson to hide, since it is publicly searchable), that three percent can easily slide away.
Expect both camps to spin the poll their way; Wilson will emphasize that she is indeed ahead. Madrid's camp will point out that Wilson is below 50 percent approval rating as an incumbent, and the negative feelings in Bernalillo County towards Bush.
Meanwhile, we have three more elections here in New Mexico. One Republican is up for reelection: Congressman Steve Pearce, who is ahead of Democratic challenger Al Kissling by a 54-29 margin. It should be noted that the poll has a very high MOE (8.4 percent). Of course, Kissling still isn't near Pearce even with that MOE; Pearce even has more than a third of the Democratic vote in NM-02.
Kissling just has never really gotten on track; he just doesn't have the money that Pearce has. According to opensecrets.org, Pearce has over $500,000 cash on hand; Kissling has just $20,000.
You can help narrow the gap at Kissling's site.
Things look better for Democrats in the other two Congressional races this year. In the Third Congressional District, Tom Udall (my Congressman) holds a 71-18 advantage. This race was basically over before it began. Udall is one of the best Representatives out there (at least in my opinion). He is so popular that he even edges Republican challenger Ron Dolin in Republican support.
he poll found 86 percent of Democrats favored Udall, while 7 percent supported Dolin. On the Republican side, 46 percent chose Udall and 38 percent picked Dolin.New Mexico's race for Senator is similarly good news for Democrats; Jeff Bingaman holds a 62-23 advantage in the poll (MOE 5%).
Dolin has said he never belonged to a political party until deciding to run against Udall as a Republican.
Republican challenger Allen McCulloch wasted most of his momentum and money on the Republican primary.
While McCulloch had brought in more than $315,000 in campaign contributions as of June 30, the primary battle left him tapped. He had less than $2,500 remaining in his war chest at the end of June.That's compared to Bingaman who was $1.7 million cash on hand. Don't expect any sort of comeback for the Republican challenger here.
So what's the overall news from these polls? Well, nothing new. We knew that Wilson would hold a slight edge from being an incumbent. We also knew that the other three races would basically be window dressing to the Madrid-Wilson race. But it sets a benchmark for the next two months in our humble little Congressional races.