A majority of New Mexico Democrats have a favorable opinion of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, and President Barack Obama would easily defeat either of the current top two Republican candidates in a New Mexico contest, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
A Feb. 14 telephone survey of 500 likely New Mexico voters found that Obama would receive 55% of the vote against former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Santorum polled at 37 percent of the vote, while Romney had the support of 37 percent of New Mexico voters polled.
Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff said the numbers reflect the political peril of a long, drawn-out nominating contest among Republican presi-dential hopefuls.
“Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are spending as much time slamming each other as they are criticizing their Democratic rival, President Obama,” Sanderoff said. “This contentiousness is taking its toll on their popularity in a state such as New Mexico, where Obama won by a comfortable margin in 2008. Once the Republicans settle on a single candidate and focus their message, the gap will narrow significantly.”
Meanwhile, the Rasmussen poll showed Gov. Susana Martinez had a favorable reputation among a majority of New Mexico voters, according to Capitol Report of New Mexico Watchdog.org.
Fifty-four percent of New Mexico Democrats have a favorable opinion of the governor, while 94 percent of Republicans view her favorably. Sixty-six percent of all likely New Mexico voters viewed the governor favorably.
Seventy percent of New Mexico men and 66 percent of the state’s women approve of Martinez, according to the Rasmussen poll. Fifty-eight percent of New Mexico Hispanics approve of Martinez.
Republican presidential candidates have sometimes mentioned Martinez as a potential vice presidential running mate.
“Gov. Martinez’s impressive approval rating is partly attributable to her maintaining popularity among more than half of the Democrats and independents surveyed in the poll,” Sanderoff said. “She is also regarded favorably among New Mexico’s Hispanic voters despite their Democratic Party leanings.”
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal