SurveyUSA gov’s poll shows MLG building strong advantage

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The morning after KOB hosted the first debate of the 2022 governor’s race, the polling crew at SurveyUSA went to work gauging where New Mexico voters’ allegiances lie and what’s motivating them as they consider how to cast their ballot.

Polling of 570 likely voters shows Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham with a 16-point lead. The incumbent leads Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti 53-37%, with 3% going to Libertarian Karen Bedonie and 7% of those polled undecided as voting begins Tuesday for the Nov. 8 election.

  • The same poll just after Labor Day showed the governor with a 12-point advantage.
  • Poll breakdown by party identification: 46% Democratic, 34% Republican, 16% independent
  • New Mexico official voter registration data: 44% Democratic, 31% Republican, 23% no party

The poll shows likely voters are strongly motivated by abortion.

  • 17% said it’s the issue that will most influence their vote
    • MLG polled 86% among that crowd
  • That’s behind 22% who picked the economy as the most-influential issue, but ahead of all others
  • Digging deeper, 76% percent of likely voters told SurveyUSA that abortion will be at least somewhat of a factor in their vote.
    • While support for MLG fades/Ronchetti increases depending on how passionate voters say they are about abortion, she still holds a 35 percentage point lead in this group — again 3 out of every 4 likely voters polled.

New Mexico opinions on abortion seem similar to national numbers. Survey USA asked which position on abortion was closest to the one respondents held.

  • 31% said it should only be allowed to save the mother’s life or in cases of abortion or incest
  • 20% said it should be allowed up to 15 weeks and banned after, with the same exceptions
  • 7% said it should be banned in the third trimester of a pregnancy
  • 27% said there should be no restrictions
  • 15% were unsure (a percentage that likely includes those who favor a total ban)

Ronchetti performs strongest among voters who are concerned about inflation and the economy.

  • Inflation-focused voters prefer the Republican challenger by 12 percentage points
  • Voters who say the economy is their biggest issue favor Ronchetti by 18 percentage points
  • Those margins have grown since the last KOB/SurveyUSA poll