Who says New Mexico isn’t a presidential battleground this year?
Not Fox News. The national news network on Monday featured New Mexico as part of its ongoing series analyzing the political lay of the land in states that could swing either for President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney on Election Day. Fox anchor Jon Scott, host of the midday show “Happening Now,” interviewed Journal Washington correspondent Michael Coleman about the race.
Coleman said a Journal Poll published Sept. 9 showed Obama with a 5-point lead over Romney in New Mexico, compared with some national polls showing Obama with a lead of 10 points or more in New Mexico.
Coleman attributed the difference in part to methodology used by Research & Polling Inc., the Journal’s polling firm. Some national polls survey people who simply declare their intention to cast a ballot.
“Eighty percent of the respondents to our poll are proven voters – they’re not just people who say they’re going to vote,” Coleman said. “They’re people who have actually voted in past elections.”
Scott also asked about the mood of New Mexico’s Hispanic voters.
“How is (Romney) doing among Hispanics in New Mexico?” Scott asked.
“Not good enough,” Coleman replied. “In our poll, President Obama had 56 percent of the Hispanic vote and Mitt Romney had 26 percent. He needs to improve that dramatically if he wants to win New Mexico.”
However, Coleman suggested it would be a surprise if Obama won New Mexico as big as he did four years ago, with 57 percent over Republican John McCain.
“This race is probably going to be a little bit closer than national polls are showing,” Coleman said.
— This article appeared on page A5 of the Albuquerque Journal