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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Governor, Polling, Senate » PPP poll: King leads Dem primary, Martinez leads general election, Udall leads big

PPP poll: King leads Dem primary, Martinez leads general election, Udall leads big

PPP Poll logoA poll shows that Gary King is leading the Democratic primary field while Susana Martinez leads the general election, but by less than many had expected.

The poll also shows Tom Udall has a large lead over both David Clements and Allen Weh in the U.S. Senate race.

The poll was by Public Policy Polling was of registered voters, not likely voters, and is the first polling not associated with a candidate in the race. Public Policy Polling is a polling firm that does work for Democratic groups and allies, but is not associated with any of the candidates in the race.

In the poll, King leads the Democratic primary and trails Martinez 47-42 in the general election.

So far, no Democratic organizations — including the Democratic Governor’s Association — has indicated that they believe the race is close and has committed any money to the race.

The poll shows King is the early favorite to win June’s primary election. The poll shows King leads the Democratic primary by nearly 20 percent — 35 percent to Howie Morales’ 15 percent, 13 percent to Linda Lopez, 7 percent for Lawrence Rael and 5 percent for Alan Webber.

PPP finds larger leads for Martinez over the rest of the Democrats in the field. The poll finds that Martinez leads Rael 47-36, Lopez 50-36, Morales 48-34 and Webber 48-32.

In the U.S. Senate race, the poll shows that Tom Udall leads Allen Weh 53-33 and David Clements 55-33. Udall was easily elected in 2008 over Steve Pearce and this is Udall’s first reelection bid.

The poll did not look at the primary between Clements and Weh.

The poll showed that name recognition was not high for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates. King was the most well-known and 36 percent were not sure if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion about him. All other candidates were between 61 percent and 69 percent.

It was the same for Republican challengers — 64 percent showed that they had no opinion of Weh while 78 percent had no opinion of Clements.

Martinez and Udall, both incumbents, each had 52 percent approval ratings when asked about their job performance. There were 40 percent who disapproved of Martinez while 33 percent disapproved of Udall.

Both were much more popular than Barack Obama, who had just a 44 percent approval rating to 48 percent disapproval in the poll

Republicans quickly moved to denounce the poll because of a small Republican sample and other issues they typically have with PPP.

“In releasing the poll, PPP revealed that it had grossly distorted the numbers by polling just 28 percent of Republicans in the state,” a press release from the Republican Party of New Mexico said. “In 2010, 38 percent of New Mexicans who voted were Republicans.”

Republicans also criticized PPP for leaning Democratic, noting the founder of the company donated money to Democrats in the past and described herself as a “proud Democrat.”

It seems PPP anticipated this criticism. In a blog post annoucing the results, pollster Tom Jensen wrote:

A PPP poll in December 2011, which found party ID at 52% Democrats and 29% Republicans, found Martin Heinrich leading Heather Wilson by 7 points. That poll was thoroughly attacked by the Republican Party, Heinrich won the race by a similar margin.

Heinrich won that race 51 percent to 45 percent over Wilson.

PPP polled 674 registered voters from March 13 to 16. The poll has a margin of error of 3.8 percent and polled 80 percent using auto-dial while 20 percent were interviewed over the internet.


Added clarifying language about Public Policy Polling.


Fixed results of Martinez vs. Lopez and Martinez vs. Morales.

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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