Polls show Gov. Martinez riding high with New Mexico voters
Posted at: 07/18/2012 6:06 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
Gov. Susana Martinez
Governor Susana Martinez is still riding high with New Mexico voters, and a new poll shows she will be hard to beat in the 2014 election.
That may seem a long way away, but Democrats are already stacking up to oppose the Republican governor, so Public Policy Polling decided to see which way the wind is blowing.
Turns out it has Gov. Martinez sailing along with a high approval rating and a substantial lead over two likely democratic opponents.
The poll of 724 New Mexico voters finds Martinez with 56 percent approving of her performance and 34 percent disapproving. She won the 2010 election with 54 percent of the vote, so it appears that she is building on that foundation.
Politics blogger Joe Monahan of joemonahan.com, a frequent critic of the Martinez team, is not surprised at her strength.
"The administration is relatively new," Monahan points out. "This is a unique governor, the first Hispanic woman governor in the nation, and she is getting more Hispanic support than a Republican governor would normally get."
The poll finds her approval rating at 51 percent among Hispanic voters. Among Democrats, she's nearly breaking even, with 44 percent approving and 45 percent disapproving.
"Not a lot has happened in Santa Fe," Monahan said. "Unlike some new Republican governors elsewhere there has not been World War Three over union issues and other problems. There have been some controversies but nothing that has really been major."
The poll shows her ahead of Democratic Attorney General Gary King by 51 percent to 39 percent. King has announced his candidacy. State Auditor Hector Balderas has not, but is known to be considering the race. Martinez leads him by 50 percent to 37 percent.
The same Public Policy poll finds President Obama with a five-point lead over Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 44 percent, way down from the 14-point lead he had in New Mexico back in April.