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Journal Poll: Voters down on economy

Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

A large majority of likely voters in Albuquerque expressed a gloomy economic outlook, with more than four in five saying the strength of the city’s economy is fair or poor, in a new Journal Poll.

About two-thirds of city voters also said their personal financial situation is unchanged from a year ago.

“Albuquerqueans do not perceive that the strength of the economy is rebounding yet,” said Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc.

Fewer than one in five respondents said Albuquerque’s economy is in good or excellent shape.

“The poll demonstrates that people think we have not recovered yet economically,” Sanderoff said.

The poll asked likely city voters: “How would you rate the current strength of Albuquerque’s economy? Would you say it is excellent, good, fair or poor?”

Nearly half – 47 percent – said the economy is in fair shape, and 35 percent called it poor. Only 1 percent said the strength of the economy is excellent, and 16 percent said it is good.

Seniors were somewhat more optimistic. Among voters 65 and older, only 27 percent said the economy is in poor condition. Sanderoff said older voters tend to be less affected by ups and downs of the economy.

“If you’re retired, you are not worried about losing your job,” he said.

A second question asked voters about their finances. It asked: “Next, we are interested in how people’s financial situation may have changed. Would you say you are financially better off, worse off, or about the same than you were a year ago?”

About two-thirds – 67 percent – said they were in about the same shape financially than a year ago, while 16 percent said they were better off, and 16 percent worse off.

“The good news is that if we had asked that question eight years ago, we would have had more pessimistic results,” Sanderoff said.

New Mexico’s economy has struggled for years but has shown some improvement in recent months. The state’s unemployment rate declined from 6.7 percent in March to 6.3 percent in August but remained the second-highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The poll did reveal a bright spot: Voters under age 50 were more likely than older voters to say they were better off financially than a year ago.

Among voters ages 18 to 49, 28 percent said they were financially better off this year than a year ago. Sanderoff said their responses reflect that younger voters are more likely to have gotten a raise or a promotion in the past year.

“Younger people are still on an upward curve regarding their career ladder,” he said.

The Journal Poll is based on a scientific, citywide sample of 516 voters who said they planned to vote this year, and voted in the 2013 regular municipal election, the late-term abortion measure special election or the 2015 regular municipal election.

The poll was conducted Sept. 11-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

All interviews were conducted by live, professional interviewers, with multiple callbacks to households that did not initially answer the phone.

Both cellphone numbers (44 percent) and landlines (56 percent) of proven municipal election voters were used.

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