Wednesday, June 29, 2011
PPP Poll: Obama's NM Approval at 50%, "Dark Horse" Gary Johnson Fares Best Among GOP Possibles
Like the Senate race, the presidential contest in New Mexico has gotten closer since PPP last polled this nominal swing state in February, but only two of the potential Republican nominees make it a single-digit race—the frontrunner and a favorite son dark horse.
As for Obama's approval ratings here
50% of voters in the state approve of the job Obama's doing to 44% who disapprove. When PPP polled New Mexico in February Obama was at a 55/40 spread. Since then he's seen a significant decline in his standing with independents, from 60% giving him good marks to just 49%. And he's also seen a more modest drop with Democrats, from 77% pleased with his performance to 72%.
Regarding the President's "serious" GOP rivals:
Obama's still a strong favorite against any of the serious Republican candidates for President though. Only Mitt Romney fares significantly better than John McCain did in 2008 when he lost the state by 15 points. He trails the President by 7 points at 49-42. Obama blows away the rest of the field- he leads Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty by 15 points each at 52-37 and 51-36 respectively, has a 16 point advantage over Herman Cain at 52-36, and trounces Sarah Palin by 20 points at 56-36.
New Mexico's former governor Gary Johnson actually does better against Obama than Romney, but he's not considered a "serious" contender by PPP:
... one GOP candidate who is an asterisk in national polling actually comes closer to Obama than he [Romney] does- the state's former Governor Gary Johnson who trails by only 3 points at 46-43. Although Obama leads the rest of the Republican candidates by 16-26 points with independents, Johnson actually tops the President with that voter group at 46-37. He also picks up more than 20% of the Democratic vote.
... Johnson's unusually popular for a Republican...with voters who aren't Republicans...his problem is the primary voters who hold the key to the nomination. Numbers we'll release tomorrow show he's not doing terribly well on that front even in his home state.
PPP notes that:
While independents gave the President leads of 25-51 points in the previous survey, and voted for him by 15 over McCain (according to exit polls), he now leads by only 16-26 against the more prominent candidates and trails Johnson by nine with unaffiliated voters. The president has also slipped a little with his own party, which makes up more than half of voters. While he was pulling 73-86% of Democrats in February and losing only 12-19% of them to the Republicans, he now locks up only 70-80% of his partisans and erodes 13-21%.
But there is more crossover support on both sides; both Obama and McCain won 91% of their respective parties, and the president has bumped up from a 10% to a 16% approval rating with Republicans since February, and jumped from 7-12% of their vote to 10-18%.
PPP's bottom line:
Out of the Bush 2004/Obama 2008 states New Mexico seems the least likely to flip back to the Republicans in 2012.
PPP used automated phone calls to survey 732 New Mexico voters from June 23th to 26th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.6%.
Photo by M.E. Broderick.
What your poll shows is that Johnson does have the best chance against Obama when voters get to know him and his record.
His issue is winning the primary, but if the media starts covering him as the candidate that can beat Obama, then Republican voters will start paying attention and voting for him.
Posted by: Hardy | Jun 29, 2011 8:58:49 PM
WRT Gary Johnson, all this shows is that he has more name recognition in NM than the others. Cheers! on Palin's getting trounced. NM voters do have good sense.
Posted by: Ellen Wedum | Jun 30, 2011 8:42:27 AM
Gary Johnson is the real deal against Obama.
Posted by: Rui | Jun 30, 2011 2:55:14 PM