Damon Martinez Has Congressional Race Momentum

There are 6 Democrats running for the First Congressional District being vacated by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and they are:

Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis
Former Democratic Party Chair Debra Haaland
Former UNM Law School Associate Dean Antonette Sedillo Lopez
Immigration and tax attorney Damian Lara
Former United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico Damon Martinez
Albuquerque businessman Paul Moya


A poll was conducted the weekend of Friday, April 13, 2018 to Sunday, April 15, 2018 and consisted of contacting 508 registered democrats with the poll having a margin of error of 4.4%.

It was Pat Davis that commissioned an “auto-phone” opinion poll with Public Policy Poll (PPP) with the link to the full poll here:


According to the poll, Debra Haaland and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez were tied with 15%.

Pat Davis polled at 11% and Damon Martinez polled at 7%.

Paul Moya and Damian Lara polled in single digits at 4% each.

43% of those polled in mid-April were undecided.

Since the mid April poll, the three candidates that have spent the most money on television advertising have gone up in the polls and the race is now too close to call between the top three, with one candidate having the clear momentum.


A poll commissioned by VoteVets was conducted on May 13 and 14 by Lake Research in Washington, DC.

The firm that did the poll has been around for some time and has a good track record.

The organization that commissioned the poll is promoting Damon Martinez.

Notwithstanding who paid for the poll, it should be considered highly reliable.

The poll was of 390 “likely” Democratic voters and the poll used professional phone interviews as opposed to the “auto-phone” poll conducted by PPP and commissioned by Pat Davis.

Professional phone interview polls are considered more reliable and far more expensive than “robo-call” polls.

The poll shows an extremely tight race between three candidates with “undecided” voters still winning.

The margin of error for the poll was 5%.

The poll found that Antoinette Sedillo Lopez came in first with 25%, Damon Martinez came in a close second 23% and Deb Haaland came in with 20%.

27% of those polled said they were still undecided.

Pat Davis, Damian Laura and Paul Moya each garnered only 5 percent of the vote.


It is clear comparing the two polls that the media expenditures by the three top candidates have had a major impact on the race.

Damon Martinez appears to be the one that has had the best return on his investment and now has significant momentum.

Damon Martinez in the PPP poll was a distant fourth with 7% and now he is a close second in the Vote-Vets commissioned poll with 23%, more than three times his original PPP poll number.

Martinez has improved his poll standing by an impressive 15% in just one months time.

In the PPP poll Debra Haaland and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez were tied each with 15% and have spent significant amounts of money on media.

Sedillo Lopez improved her poll numbers by 10% and Haaland improved her poll numbers by 9%.

The one candidate that has had the biggest set back is Pat Davis who dropped by 6% despite his use of vulgar language in a TV commercial to attack the National Rifle Association.

Both polls also reflect that Debra Halaand and Antonette Sedillo Lopez are splitting the more progressive and woman’s vote and that Damon Martinez is benefitting from that.

Notwithstanding the polls, there are still three weeks left before the primary, and at this point it is more likely than not that either Damon Martinez, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez or Debora Haaland will be the Democratic nominee.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.