Skip to comments.Wilson leads big in [New Mexico] GOP Senate primary, poll finds
Posted on 05/01/2011 2:25:35 AM PDT by GonzoII
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Wilson leads big in GOP Senate primary, poll finds
Posted By Heath Haussamen On April 28, 2011 @ 11:58 pm In News and Analysis | 2 Comments
Heather Wilson has a commanding lead over other declared and likely candidates for the GOP nomination for New Mexicos open U.S. Senate seat, according to a new, independent poll.
Wilson led her closest opponent in the poll by 42 points. She had the support of 59 percent of those surveyed to John Sanchezs 17 percent and Greg Sowards 2 percent. Some 11 percent of those surveyed said they preferred another candidate, and another 11 percent were undecided. From the survey:
Heather Wilsons support also demonstrates strong intensity, with 37% responding as definitely voting for her, compared to 9% definitely voting for John Sanchez.
Like Wilson, Sowards has formally entered the race. Sanchez has not, but he says hes seriously considering it. Many sources expect him to run.
The poll was conducted by the GOP firm Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies. It surveyed 801 likely GOP 2012 primary voters on Tuesday and Wednesday, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent.
The poll didnt include little-known William S. English, who has also entered the race.
The polling company said it does not have a business relationship with any candidate or group interested in the 2012 New Mexico U.S. Senate Republican primary and it paid for the survey with its own resources.
Read the poll memo here.
Though its still very early in the race the primary is 13 months away the survey is rather remarkable for Wilson, who narrowly lost a divisive GOP U.S. Senate primary to Steve Pearce in 2008.
Some 84 percent of those surveyed said they have a favorable opinion of Wilson, which includes 55 percent who have a very favorable opinion of her. Only 12 percent said they view her unfavorably. Wilsons name recognition was 99 percent among those surveyed.
Wilson had huge leads in every congressional district, among men and women, and among seniors, who the polling memo states historically make up 39 percent of the Republican primary vote.
Notably absent from the Senate poll was Pearce, who hasnt ruled out a Senate run but who most sources consider unlikely to get into the race. The survey did test Pearces approval rating and found it to be lower than Wilsons, but still high. Some 77 percent said they view him favorably, including 45 percent who viewed him very favorably. Some 17 percent said they view him unfavorably.
Like Wilson, Pearces name recognition was 99 percent.
Sanchez was viewed favorably by 58 percent of those surveyed, including 22 percent who said they view him very favorably. Some 13 percent had an unfavorable opinion. His name was recognized by 88 percent.
One problem for a potential Sanchez candidacy is that although he is well known by primary voters, it is not translating into ballot support, the poll memo states. Among 460 respondents that have a favorable opinion of John Sanchez, 55% would vote for Heather Wilson and 27% would vote for John Sanchez.
Some 41 percent of those surveyed had never heard of Sowards, who isnt well known outside the 2nd Congressional District a U.S. House seat he has twice sought. Some 21 percent of those surveyed said they view Sowards favorably, and 15 percent said they view him unfavorably.
For Sowards, an active tea party member who ended the last reporting period with more than $150,000 in the bank, the lack of name recognition could be an opportunity to craft his own image an opportunity Sanchez may not have.
The poll found an even greater level of support among GOP primary voters for Republican Gov. Susana Martinez than Wilson. Some 93 percent of those surveyed said they have a favorable opinion of Martinez, with a remarkable 75 percent having a very favorable opinion.
The intensity of her favorability rating exceeds Heather Wilsons by 20 points and John Sanchez by 53 points, the poll memo states. An endorsement from Governor Martinez in the U.S. Senate Republican primary would clearly carry some weight for any candidate.
Thus far, Martinez has given no indication that she plans to endorse.
Sowards campaign put out a news release calling the poll results good news for him and going on the offensive. His statement:
The robo-poll shows that a significant majority of primary voters (63%) have yet to definitely commit to former Congresswomen Wilson, while only 9% are ready to commit to Lt. Governor Sanchez who just recently got elected.
The overall lack of support for Wilson and Sanchez reflects what we are hearing on the campaign trail. Republicans believe both Wilson and Sanchez to be cut from the same liberal ideology.
Wilson has a liberal record of voting for unsustainable government spending, like the Wall Street bailout while she was in Washington, D.C. Sanchez shares Wilsons penchant for liberal Republicanism. One look at Sanchezs record shows that he was supportive of the unions while in the state legislature, voting 60% of the time to support legislation than benefited a union. Sanchez was also guilty of hiring illegal immigrants for his business, forcing the INS to investigate on more than one occasion.
Republicans in this state are conservative. I am the only truly conservative candidate in this race. Im the only conservative that can win the primary and go on to win the general election. This robo-poll shows that a majority of voters are looking for someone other than Wilson and Sanchez. I am that candidate.
This article has also been updated for clarity.
2 Comments (Open | Close)
2 Comments To "Wilson leads big in GOP Senate primary, poll finds"
#1 Comment By GFA On April 29, 2011 @ 9:50 am
#2 Comment By Hemingway On April 29, 2011 @ 9:56 am
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NM list PING!
59% to 17% for Sanchez according to this.
‘One attendee, who disagreed with Pearces anti-lizard rhetoric, was shouted down by the partisan crowd.’
LIZARDS are a big political issue in New Mexico?
Wilson can be beaten in the primary, but the problem seems now that she can’t be without fundamentally destroying our chances for winning the general election. If Sanchez throws everything AND the kitchen sink at her, a good chunk of the party won’t vote for him in the general (presuming he faces Heinrich). I’m not thrilled about her as a candidate, because she is too mild and not terribly motivating, but that might also be exactly what NM might be prepared to elect next year. As for the rumor that Pearce may get in, that would be ill-advised, and that also would just guarantee a replay of 2008. Sanchez staying out of the race now might be best and he can quietly build support to succeed Martinez as Governor (and obtain support from both the Pearce wing and from the Wilson supporters).
Sounds like they got one pro-lizard guy in this comment. I suppose that you could support them if you are an environmental wacko, or just support any ‘pro-environment’ government regulations. Is there a lot of that sort of thing outside of Taos?
Pearce would have to be an idiot to give up his seat again.
He’s lucky he got a chance to win it back. Had the Republican running in ‘08 (Ed Tinsley) won, he’d have been shut out.
So you think that Sanchez will pass on running without having to give up his Lt. Gov. seat for a rare open U.S. Senate race in 2012 in order to, maybe, be in good graces with two politicians who may be out of politics altogether in a few years as far as we know, and maybe be the frontrunner for the gubernatorial nomination in *2018*? I think that if Sanchez passes is because his internal polls read the same as this Magellan poll, not because he’s thinking 2018. Heck, if he really wants to be elected governor in 2018, there would be no better way than to get elected to the Senate in 2012; and even if he ran in2012 and lost the primary or general, he’d have 6 years as Lt. Gov. to help people forget before running for governor in 2018. And if he really wants to be a Senator, he can try in 2012 and, if he loses, he has another year to think about perhaps running against Udall in 2014 instead of running for reelection.
If Sanchez thinks that he can win, I think that he’ll run in 2012.
Wilson is a globalist stooge big time.
Hope I’m wrong.
She may be the best we can vote for . . . though I deplore that thought.
May have to just stop voting for the
lesser of two weasels.
I say that because his polling data is terrible for a known candidate. He might very well end up as Governor BEFORE 2014 (Susana Martinez might very well be plucked by the next GOP administration for U.S. Attorney-General), but if he ends up running for Senator, getting badly shellacked in the primary (say, by a 70-30 margin), the blood will be in the water for 2014. My advice is just to stay put, given the dynamics.
I am surprised at Sanchez’s low level of support and this is from a Republican polling firm. I agree that he should stay where he is for now. Perhaps many note that he’s only held his current office for four months.
Ideologically, Heather Wilson is satisfactory, if nothing spectacular. She’s no Dede Scozzafava.
You'd go off the deep end too if F&WS declares a good portion of oil and gas areas off limits due to the lizard and your livelihood blows away with the SE NM wind. As Pearce said, look at what has happened to the lumber industry in the west because of an owl and the agriculture in CA's central valley because of a fish. It can and will happen here if F&WS declares it endangered. Especially sad because there are already agreements in place to protect it without the overwhelming boot of the the feds.
That’s encouraging. Guess I’ve become overly skeptical of any politico that high up.
I agree, if he’s polling this poorly, he shouldn’t (and won’t) run.
Good point about Martinez perhaps being tapped for AG (or SCOTUS, now that you mention it); I hadn’t considered how that might affect Sanchez’s decision.
I think he could really put a dent in her support by attacking hard from the right but such a divisive primary wouldn’t be good.