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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Polling, Senate » Heinrich internal poll shows he leads Wilson 51%-44%

Heinrich internal poll shows he leads Wilson 51%-44%

The campaign of U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich announced an internal poll that shows him leading 51 percent to 44 percent over former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson.

The Heinrich campaign had a conference call to announce the poll results from GBA Strategies. The campaign credited Heinrich’s votes on the middle class as well as an inability by the Wilson campaign and her allies to bring Wilson’s favorable ratings up.

On the conference call, two themes came out — that Heinrich’s voters were to protect the middle class and that voters were coming to learn more about the records of the two candidates as the campaign moved on.

A big bloc of votes that pushes Heinrich to the lead is among Hispanic voters. Heinrich leads among Hispanic voters 64 percent to 32 percent — particularly significant in New Mexico because New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics in its population of any state in the nation.

Michael Bocian, a founding partner of GBA Strategies, said that the poll was the latest in a trend of Heinrich leading in polls.

“Every single poll by every pollster that has been released this year shows Martin Heinrich leading this race,” Bocian said. Bocian also noted that the more recent polls, that is, those done in July and August, have shown a significantly higher lead for Heinrich. Four of the five polls in this time frame showed Heinrich’s lead between 7 percent and 9 percent.

“Despite being outspent and despite them moving from one strategy to the next to drop the original gap, Martin’s lead has actually increased over time,” Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on the call.

An interesting tidbit is that Bocian says 6 percent believe that Wilson is more likely to be characterized as extreme than Heinrich, despite the Wilson campaign running ads that literally call Heinrich “too extreme for New Mexico.” Whether this shows that Wilson’s image as a moderate is fading or that the Republican brand has become so toxic that voters don’t give Republican candidates the benefit of the doubt is unclear.

The poll says that Wilson has a -10 favorability rating and that 32 percent of voters say what they have heard in ads over the last few weeks have given them a less favorable impression of Wilson, while 20 percent say what they have heard in ads has given them a more favorable impression. This is likely largely attributed to ads by environmental groups going after Wilson. These groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads and it shows no sign of letting up.

This doesn’t mean that Wilson is resting on her laurels. The Heinrich campaign noted that Wilson has increased her television buy as polls show her further and further behind. The polling memo, available below, by GBA strategies says this is unsustainable, as Wilson had less cash-on-hand than Heinrich in the last FEC report (albeit by a small margin).

The polling memo ends on a bold note.

“Wilson’s campaign is flailing andthis is her last stand,” the memo reads. “Every strategy they have employed has failed to move her numbers.Playing a weak hand, Wilson is going all-in 11 weeks from the election.”

The poll by GBA Strategies of 500 likely voters between August 14 and 19. The margin of error was described as about 4 percent.

Update:

The margin of error is 4 percent.

Also, Heinrich leads among women 55 percent to 41 percent in the poll.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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