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Monday, September 06, 2004

Small Bush Lead in NM

Posted by DavidNYC

We have a second poll which straddles the first part of the GOP convention, this time from the Albuquerque Journal (conducted by Research and Polling, a New Mexican polling outfit). Here are the results (registered voters, no trendlines):

Kerry: 42
Bush: 45
Undecided: 8
Other: 5
(MoE: ��3%)

The "Other" category includes a point each for Nader, Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik, who some think might actually hurt Bush in neighboring Arizona. You should definitely click on the ABQ Journal story link above - it contains much more internal information about the poll.

Ordinarily, I'd say that the high undecideds (8%) look good for our team. But Bush actually clocks in well ahead of Kerry in the favorability department: 48-42 for Bush vs. 42-47 for Kerry. So if this poll is anything to go by, it may be a pretty big challenge to bring those undecideds home to us.

On the flipside, the pollster (Brian Sanderoff) himself points out that Bush likely benefitted in this survey because of (a) the Republican convention (of course) and (b) the fact that Bush made three stops in NM the day before the poll-taking began. According to the Journal, there was extensive media coverage of these trips. (John Edwards was also in town at the same time.)

The Hispanic vote here is also interesting - 12% are undecided (whereas only 5% of Anglo voters are), which is good news for us. However, 32% said they would vote for Bush. This is below Rove's magical 35% threshold (if Bush gets over that mark among Latinos, the GOP apparently believes he has the election in the bag), but is still pretty high.

Sanderoff has an observation about these numbers which I'm in no position to either confirm or dispute: He says that for a Republican to win in NM, he has to get "at least a quarter of the Democrats and a quarter of the Hispanics." Assuming this is true, then this poll is, in fact, good news for Bush (he's getting 24% of Dems as well). But note Sanderoff said "at least" - that means these factors are necessary but not sufficient. I don't know what else Bush would need to do to win here, but it seems that 25% inroads amongst Dems and Hispanics alone won't do it.

Lastly, I should point out that Kerry leads among independents, 43-31. This survey also covered NM's Congressional races - check out this companion story in today's paper if you are interested in the results. Of interest: Incumbent GOP Rep. Heather Wilson leads challenger Richard Romero 49-43 in the 1st CD. Our Congress lists it as one of the top house races in the country.

Posted at 12:46 PM in New Mexico | Technorati


Oy. NM is Kerry's best shot at winning at least one of the Rocky Mountain States. It's disconcerting that his lead here dropped so quickly, considering he had been leading there all summer long. Kerry's coming to my state, NC, tomorrow. I wish he were going to NM or WI instead, because he's unfortunately not going to win NC this time around. Pardon me if that sounds cynical, but it's a reality, folks: Bush has a far better chance of winning those two states than Kerry does of NC.

Posted by: Pepe at September 6, 2004 01:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't see how you can say Kerry's lead has "dropped" in NM without any trendlines for this poll. You can't compare one organization's poll to another's. Plus, this poll was taken at a bad time (bad in the sense that the sample wasn't pure due to the RNC) - something which the pollster himself acknowledged.

Posted by: DavidNYC at September 6, 2004 01:50 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What I mean is that I haven't seen any polls over the entire summer showing NM anywhere but leaning Kerry or in the Kerry column. This is the first poll that shows the Land of Enchantment leaning Bush. I'm still very confident that if Kerry and Edwards spend time and effort in NM, it will remain blue come November. It's a state they really cannot afford to overlook, for in the last election Gore won it by fewer votes than Bush won FL. Granted, FL is a much more populous state, but even so several hundred votes in NM could really make the difference.

Posted by: Pepe at September 6, 2004 02:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Gallup poll just released showing the race as follows:

Bush 52
Kerry 45
Nader 1

Posted by: David at September 6, 2004 05:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Those numbers are for likely voters. Registered voters show a one-point lead for Bush.

Posted by: DavidNYC at September 6, 2004 06:12 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Why not tell the whole story? From dKos:

USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll results
Among RV:

Bush 49 (47)

Kerry 48 (48)

Among LV:

Bush 52 (50)

Kerry 45 (47)

Story from USA Today is here.

SO... it's a seven point Bush lead using Gallup's suspect likely voter model, and 1 point using their registered voter data.

If anyone needs reminding about why we shouldn't be using likely voter numbers so far out from the election, check out Ruy Teixeira.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at September 6, 2004 06:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Just for the record, my "tell the whole story" remark was addressed to David's post, and not to DavidNYC's that immediately preceded mine (which I hadn't seen when I was preparing my post).

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at September 6, 2004 06:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This is a serious question-

What is the differnce here in the registered and likely and which is more important and why???

I'd like some info on this.

Posted by: Steve at September 6, 2004 07:43 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

A registered voter (RV) is just that - someone who is registered to vote in the current election.

A "likely voter" is an entirely different creature. An LV is an RV whom the pollster, for whatever reason, believes is likely to vote in the current election. Different pollsters use different ways to determine this, but as you might suspect, this is an extremely inexact science.

Ruy Teixeira has more on the topic. I strongly urge you to read that link, as Ruy knows this subject better than anyone.

Posted by: DavidNYC at September 6, 2004 08:04 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As important as the raw numbers, Gallup's newest survey indicates only a two-point bounce, regardless of whether you look at RVs or LVs.

Posted by: DavidNYC at September 6, 2004 08:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I would be very surprised if my state of NM went to Bush. This state is huge in size with a small population. Our entire state population is the same as the city of Phoenix! It is poor and 2/3 rural. We have nothing to gain from the Republicans. We have lost 6 men & women in Iraq plus one civilian worker. We have a strong Democrat Governor in Bill Richardson. I doubt this state will go Republican in November.

Posted by: Zia at September 7, 2004 09:35 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Some bounce. Based on Rasmussen, they're now dead even again (over the 3-day weekend) at 47.3%.


Posted by: Jason at September 7, 2004 12:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Now if you consider that Rasmussen sample slightly more republicans than zogby does, you can easily argue that Kerry is ahead by 1 or 2 points.

Posted by: Ed at September 7, 2004 12:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, Zia, your state of NM almost went to Bush in 2000. Gore only carried it by a couple hundred votes as I recall. Kerry needs to spend a lot of time and money there to ensure that he prevents it from going to Bush this year.

Posted by: Pepe at September 7, 2004 01:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

If New Mexico ends up going Bush, it probably means a reverse momentum for Kerry that led to landslide national defeat. If the election is close nationally, NM should be a decisive Kerry victory. Ideally, Bush's arrogance will lead him to take the last weekend of the campaign off as he did in 2000, allowing Kerry to get the "last word" of the campaign as Gore was able to.

Posted by: Mark at September 7, 2004 02:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As a Libertarian, I'm interested in the comments that Badnarick may do pretty well. Does anyone really think he could be a big factor? I'd be delighted to see him get a million votes or more, but I rather doubt that will happen. (BTW, I'm uncertain that he draws more votes from Bush. He could get a chunk of the anti-war vote.)

Posted by: Mark D. Fulwiler at September 7, 2004 02:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Only libertarian-leaning voters utterly repelled by both Bush and Kerry will end up voting Badnarick in an election this close...unless one of the two pulls decidedly ahead and compels libertarians to vote their conscience. The most likely scenario is that whichever of the two main candidates that libertarians (a very diverse group that don't always care about the same issues) have the most common ground with will get their vote more so than Badnarick

Posted by: Mark at September 7, 2004 03:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not feeling pessimistic about this election.

Guys, Bush's inroads are pure convention fluff. We will see what happens in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, my mom thinks we'll keep all the Gore states and pick up not only NH, but TN also. I definitely think TN and AR are in play...even NC is. By the way, Carville and Begala are going to be helping us out it sounds like. This can't hurt.

I think when people's minds clear from the convention, we'll see how things are really looking. For now, I don't want us to give up on swingy states in the South...most notably TN and AR. These states rejected Gore because of Lewinsky and Bush being a fresh face with a homey personality. But now, we have the most charismatic Southerner since Clinton on our ticket.

Also remember that almost all of these doom-and-gloom polls use likely voter models, which are based on voting history in past elections...but MoveOn, ACT and Democracy for America have been registering a lot of new voters.

TN, AR, OH and FL are still possibilities...never give up.

Posted by: Nathaniel at September 7, 2004 06:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment