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Thursday, June 30, 2011

PPP Poll: Heinrich, Wilson Lead in Senate Primaries, Bachmann in GOP Prez Primary

Heinrich HeatherWilson Bachmann

According to results of more early Public Policy Polling (PPP) surveys released today, Congressman Martin Heinrich leads State Auditor Hector Balderas by a whopping 47-24 in the Dem primary for the Senate seat open due to the retirement of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). PPP opines that Heinrich is "bolstered by greater name recognition" and notes:

Although Heinrich is weaker among Hispanics, who make up 46% of the Democratic primary electorate, he still leads Balderas 39-36. However, since a majority of Democratic voters are still unwilling to give an opinion of Balderas, Balderas has more room to grow.

A total of 29% of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of Hector Balderas, with 19% unfavorable and a large number -- 51% -- not sure. In contrast, 50% of those polled see Martin Heinrich in a favorable light, with 20% unfavorable and 27% unsure. 

In the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, Heather Wilson holds the lead against all the other possibles mentioned, 43% to Gary Johnson’s 22%, John Sanchez’s 18%, Greg Sowards’ 4%, and Bill English’s 3%. Without Johnson, Wilson’s reaches majority support with margins of 52% to 24% for Sanchez, 8% for Sowards, and 4% for English. PPP comments that:

Wilson leads by strong margins across the Republican ideological spectrum. She leads Sanchez 48-19 among Moderates and 48-31 among very conservatives.

As for the GOP presidential primary: 

Michele Bachmann has surged to become Mitt Romney’s chief competitor in each state PPP has polled since the last Republican presidential debate, and New Mexico is no different. With Sarah Palin and Gary Johnson in the race, Bachmann leads the pack with 21% to Romney’s 18%, Johnson’s 13%, Palin’s 11%, Herman Cain’s 10%, Tim Pawlenty’s 7%, Newt Gingrich’s 6%, and Ron Paul’s 5%. It’s hard to see how Johnson can win the nomination if he’s stuck in third place in his home state.

Without Johnson, the race is tied with Bachmann and Romney each getting 22% of the vote. They are followed by Palin with 14%, Cain with 10%, Pawlenty and Paul with 7%, Gingrich with 4%, and Jon Huntsman with 3%. Without Palin or Johnson, Bachmann has the lead. She takes 27% to Romney’s 23%, Cain’s 12%, Paul’s 8%, Pawlenty’s 7%, Gingrich’s 6%, and Huntsman’s 4%. Bachmann’s advantage stems from her strength with very conservative voters where she leads Romney more than 2-1.

An article on PPP's blog expands on what the numbers mean in the GOP presidential primary, pointing out that:

Bachmann's lead in New Mexico is built on strong support from the far right. 28% of 'very conservative' voters say she's their top choice to 16% for Palin and 12% for Romney. Johnson has the upper hand with moderate voters- 21% to Romney's 18% and Bachmann's 14%. And Romney has the advantage with voters just to the right of center- 27% to Bachmann's 14% and Johnson's 13% with 'somewhat conservative' folks. But that 'very conservative' voter bloc is the largest part of the Republican electorate in New Mexico at 43% and that lead with them gives Bachmann the overall advantage.

Rather surprisingly:

Johnson has the weakest favorability numbers with his home state Republican primary voters at 47/40. Some of his unorthodox positions aren't playing well with the base, even if they do give him an unusual level of popularity across party lines with Democrats and independents.

Full results and crosstabs are here. PPP surveyed 400 usual New Mexico Republican primary voters and 400 usual Democratic primary voters, with a +/-4.9 margin of error, from June 23th to 26th.

See other recent posts on political polling in our archive.

June 30, 2011 at 03:21 PM in 2012 NM Senate Race, 2012 Presidential Race, Gary Johnson, Heather Wilson, Hector Balderas, Polling, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink

Comments

Very strong showing by both frontrunners Wilson and Heinrich. I also think it's good news for Balderas - he's where he should be, given the fact that his running against a sitting congressman with very high name ID and lots of money. With 51% not giving their opinion on Balderas, he has A LOT of room for growth over the next several months and if he can raise the money, we will have a formidable Dem primary.

As far as Bachman, well I dont even know what to say to that!

Posted by: Javier | Jun 30, 2011 8:01:26 PM

These early polls are almost worthless because they only show name recognition by a still very tuned out public but they are interesting anyway. Not surprising about Heinrich and Wilson and even Johnson. More people know their names.

Posted by: Jake | Jul 1, 2011 7:38:03 AM

As Jake mentioned, name recognition is important first step, but Martin has a record of accomplishments in ABQ's city council and congress that will bode well in a democratic primary and increase his support.

Posted by: True but.... | Jul 1, 2011 10:06:38 AM

I agree with True's comments, although I would add that Hector's strong record as State Rep and as Auditor will also increase his support among voters, especially once they get to know him.

Posted by: RA | Jul 1, 2011 10:48:37 AM

What did Balderas accomplish in the legislature? I don't remember anything.

Posted by: TK | Jul 1, 2011 11:22:32 AM