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Rasmussen poll: Obama has big lead in NM, Susana has strong support, Senate race neck-and-neck

By   /   February 22, 2012  /   No Comments

Three weeks ago, we wrote about a poll showing some weaknesses for President Obama here in the swing-state of New Mexico but a Rasmussen poll just came out showing that the president currently enjoys a big lead over Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. There’s also some interesting numbers about Gov. Susana Martinez and the US Senate race.

Let’s start with the presidential race.

In a phone survey of 500 likely voters in the state conducted on Feb. 14 shows Obama leading Romney in New Mexico, 55 percent to 36 percent, and leading Santorum, 55-37. (Hat tip to Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican.)


As for Gov. Martinez, her numbers are impressive, with 33 percent of the likely voters saying they strongly approve of her job performance and another 33 percent saying they “somewhat approve,” giving the Republican a 66 percent overall approval rating.

We called the Rasmussen folks on Wednesday (Feb. 22) and received some of the details of the poll, which turned up some interesting numbers. Here’s the breakdown on the governor:

Total Gender Age
LV’s Male Female 18-39 40-64 65+
Strongly approve 33% 38% 28% 21% 40% 47%
Somewhat approve 33% 32% 34% 38% 29% 25%
Somewhat disapprove 12% 9% 14% 9% 12% 17%
Strongly disapprove 21% 19% 22% 27% 18% 10%
Not sure 2% 2% 2% 4% 0% 1%
Race Party
White Hispanic Other Republican Democrat Other
Strongly approve 33% 33% 35% 61% 21% 21%
Somewhat approve 37% 25% 37% 33% 33% 32%
Somewhat disapprove 15% 9% 6% 2% 20% 10%
Strongly disapprove 12% 33% 22% 2% 26% 32%
Not sure 4% 0% 0% 1% 0% 5%
Under $20K $20K-$40K $40K-$60K $60K-$75K $75K-$100K $100K+
Strongly approve 40% 29% 32% 47% 28% 24%
Somewhat approve 29% 36% 32% 25% 48% 32%
Somewhat disapprove 8% 9% 13% 13% 7% 14%
Strongly disapprove 18% 26% 24% 16% 18% 23%
Not sure 4% 0% 0% 0% 0% 7%


Here are some of the numbers that jump out:

Gov. Susana Martinez

First, Martinez even has a 54 percent approval rating among Democrats.

Second, she’s really popular among men in New Mexico, with 70 percent of those surveyed either strongly or somewhat approving of her. Martinez’s numbers are good with women too, with 62 percent approving strongly or somewhat of her job performance.

And Susana’s numbers are strong across the board for Hispanics and Anglos — with 70 percent of whites approving of her performance and 58 percent of Hispanics (although 33 percent of Hispanics strongly disapprove, which may be due to Martinez’s outspoken support for rescinding the state’s driver’s license bill).

But on the other hand, some of Martinez’s best numbers come from the poorest New Mexicans, as 40 percent of those who earn less than $20,000 a year strongly approving and 29 percent somewhat approving thus giving her a 69 percent approval mark among those making less than 20K.

Conversely, some of the richest New Mexicans aren’t crazy about Susana — 23 percent of those making more than $100,000 a year strongly disapprove and 14 percent somewhat disapprove of her, resulting in a 37 percent net disapproval rating. (Did the poll phone a lot of Santa Fe liberals?)


Rasmussen also polled voters about the race for the US Senate seat that will be vacated by the retiring Jeff Bingaman.

In a head-to-head matchup between Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Heather Wilson, Heinrich leads 45-43 — which is well within the poll’s 4.5 percent margin of error. Should the race in November match Wilson with the other Democratic contender, Hector Balderas, Rasmussen reports a 44-44 tie.

The Rasmussen poll did not include the other Republican in the race, Greg Sowards of Las Cruces.

Click here to look at the Rasmussen poll. (Sorry, subscription required to get the details and breakdowns by age, sex, ethnicity, political affiliation and income.)



Rob is the National Energy Correspondent for Watchdog.org. Rob is an Emmy-winning news anchor who has held many prominent positions in the journalism field for over 10 years working for MSNBC, Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and several local television stations. He served as the bureau chief for New Mexico Watchdog and Capitol Report New Mexico for four years. Rob can be reached on Twitter at @NMWatchdog or by email at rnikolewski@watchdog.org