| Public Policy Polling (2/18-20, registered voters):
Martin Heinrich (D-inc): 45
Jon Barela (R): 36
Harry Teague (D-inc): 41
Steve Pearce (R): 43
Ben Lujan (D-inc): 40
Adam Kokesh (R): 32
Ben Lujan (D-inc): 42
Tom Mullins (R): 36
PPP's NM-Gov sample comes with an added bonus: results for each of the Land of Enchantment's three House races. The big ticket item here is NM-02, where Rep. Harry Teague is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents going into November. That's not so much because of the district's lean (it's R+6 and has a Hispanic plurality -- Walt Minnick and Bobby Bright would kill for R+6) but because Teague is facing off against ex-Rep. Steve Pearce, who held the district for a number of years until his ill-fated 2008 Senate run, and is still well-thought-of here (as seen by his 43/31 favorables). While I'd certainly prefer to see Teague leading, all things considered, the 43-41 lead for Pearce feels not-that-bad. Like Tom Perriello in VA-05, Teague seems to have been already written off as a casualty by mainstream media pundits, not only having won a superficially-fluky victory in a reddish district but also having voted for cap-and-trade instead of cowering with the Blue Dogs. And yet (just like Perriello) PPP finds him in a dead heat.
The race in the 1st -- between freshman Rep. Martin Heinrich and Jon Barela, the former head of Albuquerque's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce -- is one that, even before this poll, I'd have classified as "Likely D," given the district's lean (D+5) and Heinrich's convincing 2008 victory. The Republicans will have to make a serious dent in the currently "Likely D" seats in order to retake the majority, but it's looking like NM-01 isn't on track to be one of those seats where they do.
In fact, the Republicans actually come a little closer in the 3rd, which is the state's traditionally most Democratic-friendly district at D+7 (although this was briefly held by a Republican in the 1990s after a surprisingly strong Green Party performance in a special election). Part of the problem may lie with its Rep, Ben Lujan (the only one of the three to sport negative approvals, at 31/40 -- Teague, by comparison, is at 41/36), but I suspect the 3rd is also a very difficult district to poll. It's a rural, impoverished district where a sizable number of the Democratic base voters may not speak English or have landlines, which may give more weight to the district's Republicans clustered around Farmington.
RaceTracker Wiki: NM-01 | NM-02 | NM-03