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Journal Poll: NM voters give both Trump, Congress low marks

SANTA FE – By a significant margin, likely voters in New Mexico disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president, with only 39% approving of his performance. But Congress received even lower marks, with just 12% of those polled approving of its job performance.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is viewed favorably by more voters than not, according to the survey by Research & Polling Inc. But pollster Brian Sanderoff noted that Biden’s favorability rating doesn’t match his comfortable lead in the head-to-head election matchup with Trump, where Biden has a 15-point edge over the president.

Biden, the former vice president, received a favorable rating from 47% of the voters surveyed, compared with 42% who had an unfavorable impression.

New Mexico voters are much less divided on Congress. In fact, 70% of likely voters reported disapproval of the way Congress is handling its job compared with the 12% who approved; 14% were mixed, and 4% didn’t know or wouldn’t say.

The strong rejection of Congress cut across party lines, ideology and geographic boundaries.

Democrats control a majority of the U.S. House, while Republicans have an edge in the Senate.

“Institutions tend to do worse than individuals,” Sanderoff said. “However, 12% is just ridiculously low. It’s one of the few places where Democrats and Republicans agree.”

Trump’s job performance

The president’s approval rating was 39% among New Mexico’s likely voters, while 53% disapproved of the way he handles his job. The rest had mixed feelings, didn’t know or wouldn’t say, according to the Journal Poll.

Trump’s low job performance ratings echoed much of the results of the horse race poll against Biden.

He received overwhelming disapproval from voters who identify as moderate or liberal, according to the poll.

“His strategy of playing to his base on a daily basis isn’t gaining him lots of support among middle-of-the-road or Democratic voters,” Sanderoff of Research & Polling Inc. said in an interview.

The president drew particularly poor ratings among Hispanic voters – just 27% of whom approved of how he handles the job, with 64% disapproving. Anglo voters were more split, with 46% approval and 47% disapproval.

Likely voters who described themselves as moderate soundly rejected the president’s job performance. The survey found that 68% of moderates disapproved of the way Trump handles the job, compared with 23% who approved.

Just 6% of liberals approved of the president, while 78% of conservatives did.

Approval of the president’s work was highest on the east side of the state, where 73% approved, and he had a 51% approval rating in the northwest. By contrast, disapproval was strongest in north-central New Mexico and the Albuquerque area.

Respondents were asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Trump is handling his job as president of the United States?”

Biden’s favorability

Biden had a 25-point edge among Hispanic voters, 57% of whom had a favorable impression of him and 32% of whom had an unfavorable impression. Among Anglo respondents, 40% had a favorable impression while 46% had an unfavorable impression.

Younger voters were most likely to have an unfavorable impression of Biden. The Democratic candidate has a favorability rating of just 32% among likely voters 18 to 34, and 50% reported an unfavorable view of him. By contrast, his favorability rating among voters 65 or older is 55%.

Those polled were asked: “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden?”


The Journal Poll is based on a scientific, statewide sample of 457 likely general election voters who also voted in either the 2016 and 2018 general elections – or both.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 26 through Sept. 2. The voter sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points. The margin of error grows for subsamples.

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

Both cellphone numbers (74%) and landlines (26%) of likely general election voters were used.

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

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