A Punch To The Gut Ending Two Candidacies

The Albuquerque Journal has now released its first and long anticipated poll in the Democratic primary for New Mexico Governor.

The Albuquerque Journal poll is only poll taken and published by the newspaper

The biggest reason the Albuquerque Journal poll is so important is that it was released two weeks before the election.

You can read the full Albuquerque Journal article on the poll here:


The results of the poll are as follows
Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Gisham: 57%
Las Cruces State Senator Joe Cervantes: 9%
Albuquerque Businessman Jeff Apodaca: 15%


The poll was conducted May 20-24 and was a statewide sample of 444 registered Democratic voters who cast ballots in the 2014 and/or 2016 primary elections.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.


What is very impressive is that Lujan Grisham outpaced both Apodaca and Cervantes in virtually all parts of the state.

Congresswoman Lujan Grisham was especially strong in the Albuquerque area.

Lujan Grisham secured 65% of voters surveyed in Albuquerque compared to 10% for Apodaca and 9% for Cervantes.

Lujan Grisham’s support in Albuquerque is not surprising given that she represents the city in congress and she is a former Bernalillo County Commissioner and is very popular.

Cervantes is a State Senator from Las Cruces while Apodaca is originally from Las Cruces being the son of former Governor Jerry Apodaca who was a State Senator from Las Cruces.

Cervantes was strongest in Las Cruces and southwestern New Mexico where 19 percent of Democratic voters polled said they would support him.

According to the poll, male Democratic voters surveyed said they were twice as likely to vote for Apodaca than female voters.

20% of men survey said they would vote for Apodaca compared with 11 percent of women surveyed.

Not surprising, Apodaca had more support among Hispanic voters than among Anglo voters, but Lujan Grisham still held a sizable edge among both groups.

Both Cervantes and Apodaca have gone negative on Lujan Grisham in both debates and television ads, but it has had no effect on her popularity.


Brian Sanderoff and Research & Polling has an impressive 98% track record of accurately predicting political races in New Mexico for over 40 years.

Research and Polling conducts polls exclusively for the Albuquerque Journal and no longer does polling for political candidates.

Polls tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies and this one is a blowout.

When published two weeks in advance of any election, the polls have an enormous impact on a candidate’s viability and their ability to raise money.

The impact that the Journal poll will have on the governor’s race will be swift and immediate.

This is what you call a “political blowout” brewing in two weeks.

The poll will probably effectively end the candidacies of Joe Cervantes and Jeff Apodaca when it comes to fund raising.

The poll will add to the enormous and commanding lead Michelle Lujan Grisham has against both Apodaca and Cervantes.

The poll will increase her ability to raise and spend more campaign funds to counter punch the negative ads now being employed by her opponents.


After seeing the Albuquerque Journal poll, I have no doubt that both Cervantes and Apodaca had the political equivalent to being punched in the gut that is probably a knockout punch for both.

I have been there and done that four years ago.

When such polls such as this come out, it is more excruciating than anyone cares to admit.

Polls like this tend to be extremely discouraging to candidates and their supporters.

Such polls make it difficult to focus let alone carry on with a smile on your face.

Notwithstanding, Apodaca and Cervantes must and will carry on with their campaigns and need to be respected for their efforts.

I do not envy Republican nominee Steve Pearce, and his loss will probably be even bigger come November.

Loosing in a major landslide is no way to end a political career.

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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.