The second and final long anticipated Albuquerque Journal poll is in. It shows Democrat incumbent Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has a strong lead in the race and she is likely on her way to be elected to a second 4 year term on November 8. The Governors support amongst voters increase by 3% and her lead increased by 1% while Ronchetti’s support increased by 7% over the last Journal poll taken in August. The Governor has maintained her core support of Hispanics and woman despite her opponent spending millions on some of the most negative and nasty false ads.
The final results of the Albuquerque Journal poll are:
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham – 50%
Republican TV weatherman Mark Ronchetti – 42%
Undecided – 5%
Libertarian Karen Bedonie – 3%
The link to the final Albuquerque Journal poll article is here:
The poll was conducted from October 20 through October 27. The poll is based on a scientific, statewide sample of 1,254 voterswho cast ballots in the 2018 an/or the 2020general election and who said they are likely to vote in the 2022 election. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8% points.
The August Journal poll was essentially identical and those results were:
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham – 47%
Republican TV weatherman Mark Ronchetti – 40%
Undecided – 8%
Libertarian Karen Bedonie – 5%
The link to the August Albuquerque Journal poll article is here:
Among the political parties, Governor MLJ has 87% support of Democrats while Rochetti has support of 9% of Democrat. Among Republicans, Ronchetti has 88% support among Republicans and Gov. MLG has 5% support of Republicans. Amongst Independents, Gov. MLG has 42% support while Ronchetti has 37% support.
Among men, Gov. MLG has 46% support of men and Ronchetti has 46% support of men. Among woman, Gov. MLG has 55% support and Ronchetti has 38% support.
Among Hispanics, Governor MLG has 62% support and Ronchetti has 30% support. Among Anglos, Governor MLG has 43% support while Ronchetti has 49% support.
As was the case with the August Journal poll, Gov.Lujan Grisham’s lead is due to her broad support among female voters and Hispanic voters.
According to the latest Journal poll, Hispanic women supported Lujan Grisham by an overwhelming margin with 65% saying they planned to vote for Gov. MLG or had already done so, and 29% said they intended to support Ronchetti.
Ronchetti had strong support among Anglo men. 56% said the will be voting for Ronchetti and 35% said they were voting for Lujan Grisham. White women were more narrowly split, but were slightly more likely to support Gov. MLG.
Educational levels were also found to have major differences. The Journal poll found that voters who graduated from college and those with graduate degrees said the were likely to vote for Lujan Grisham than Ronchetti. Voters with some college experience and those with high school degrees, in contrast, were almost evenly split between Gov. MLG and Ronchetti.
The Journal poll found that 20% of independent voters polled said they were still undecided which is a much larger percentage than among Republicans and Democrats.
Voters in the Albuquerque metro area, the north central region and the Las Cruces/southwest New Mexico polled said they were more likely to vote for Lujan Grisham while most voters surveyed in the conservative east side of the state said they will vote for Ronchetti.
The part of the state where voters are evenly divided between the two candidates was the northwest corner, where the GOP stronghold of San Juan County is partially offset by Democratic-leaning McKinley and Cibola counties.
According to New Mexico Voter Registration Statistics from the New Mexico Secretary of State, as of January 31, 2022, there are a total of 1,342,690 registered voters in the state. The breakdown of the registration numbers is as follows: Registered Democrats: 599,242, or 44.6 %, Registered Republicans: 414,067 or 30.8 %, No Party or Independents: 301,598 or 22.5 %, Registered Libertarian: 13,644 or 1.0 % Other Registrations: 14,139 or 1.1 %
FOLLOW THE MONEY
The 2022 Governor’s race will likely be the most expensive in state history. Lujan Grisham has reported raising more than $11.1 million for her reelection bid, while spending about $9.8 million of that amount. Ronchetti has received more than $7.8 million in contributions, while spending roughly $5.3 million.
The New Mexico Governor’s race is considered as one of the most competitive of the 36 gubernatorial races nationwide. Political groups affiliated with national Democratic and Republican parties are spending millions on TV ads in New Mexico. During the final 12 days until Election Day, outside groups are planning to spend more than $3 million on ads backing Lujan Grisham’s campaign and outside groups are planning on spending $1.4 million on Ronchetti’s behalf.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Governor Lujan Grisham is no doubt breathing a great sigh of relief with the latest Albuquerque Journal poll showing her leading by 8% after the October 17-19 Trafalgar group poll gave Republican Mark Ronchetti a 1% lead in the race with 46.6% of the vote compared to 45.5% for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. The Trafalgar poll was the first and only poll ever to show Ronchetti in the lead with nearly 3% margin of error. The Telfalgar poll was seriously defective with 58% of people who responded to the poll being Anglo and only 31% were Hispanic.
Prior Trafalgar poll and as of October 11, there were 5 polls taken that showed Democrat Governor Lujan Grisham leading Republican Mark Ronchetti by as low of only 3% and as high as 16%. Averaging out all 5 of the previous polls reflected that Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham polling average is 48.8% compared to Ronchetti’s 39.2%. Ronchetti never once surpass 40% to 43% in any of the polling which is essentially the Republican base in New Mexico. Lujan Grisham busted the magic 50% plus one in only 1 polls.
In New Mexico, Democrats have the clear advantage with 44.6 % of the registered vote to Republicans with 30.8% of the vote. When it comes to New Mexico politics and statewide races, the old saying is so very true that “Republicans win when Democrats stay home”. Republicans tend to have higher voter participation percentages out of sure survival instinct. The significance of the independent voters also cannot be overstated in that they represent 22.5% of all registered voters in the state.
RONCHETTI’S NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADS
Ronchetti has severely attacked Gov. MLG for high violent crime rates, her executive order allowing more than 700 inmates to be released early due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a $150,000 settlement with a former campaign spokesman. The governor for her part have has defended her record by highlighting an improving state economy that has seen the state unemployment rate drop to 4.2% in September, the lowest in more than a decade but still among the highest in the nation.
During the last 3 weeks, Republican Mark Ronehetti has gone into “warp drive” with vicious, negative and even false campaign ads to attack Governor Lujan Grisham. The ads have become so pervasive with Ronchetti ads running two and three times, one right after the other. Given that Ronchetti is still running behind Gov. MLG in the polls, he will probably ramp it up and double down even further given who his campaign manager is.
Least anyone forgets, Jay McCleskey is Republican Mark Ronchetti’s campaign manager and political consultant. Jay McCleskey is the go-to guy for anyone who is Republican running for office willing to spend and do whatever it takes to win an election at any and all costs. The only way McClesky knows how to win a race is to go negative and into the gutter. Jay McCleskey is New Mexico’s version of Lee Atwater or Karl Rove, two of the most despicable right wing Republican bottom feeders and political consultants and strategists for the Republican Party. McClesky is known for his negative slash-and-burn tactics to disparage and viciously malign Democrats at all levels and he has been very successful at it in New Mexico for the last 20 years making a very lucrative living.
Nine days are left before the November 8 election and in any statewide race, nine days can be an eternity in politics to get out the vote. Voters have also seen an extreme ramping up of negative campaign ads that are even worse than what has been going on, especially from Republican Mark Ronchetti.
Early voting has already begun and reports are that upwards of 16% have already voted. Early voting turn out is considered high which likely favors Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. If you have not already done so, please vote!