You can add Gary Johnson to the list of Republicans looking at the Presidential race who would have a pretty difficult time even winning a primary in their home state. Just 13% of New Mexico Republicans say Johnson would be their first choice, putting him behind Sarah Palin at 20%, Mike Huckabee at 17%, and Mitt Romney at 16%. Tying Johnson with 13% is Newt Gingrich and after that it's 6% for Tim Pawlenty, 4% for Ron Paul, and 3% for Mitch Daniels.
We found on this poll that Johnson was unusually popular for a Republican with Democrats...but the other edge of that sword is that he's lacking in popularity for a Republican with Republicans, and that's why he does poorly here. Only 46% of GOP primary voters have a favorable opinion of him, placing him well behind Palin's 69%, Huckabee's 67%, Romney's 56%, and Gingrich's 53%.
If you take Johnson out of the mix Palin holds her small lead in the state with 22%, followed by Huckabee at 18%, Romney at 16%, and Gingrich at 15%. A CNN poll last week found Republican voters say they're more concerned with electability than ideological purity but when you see Palin leading the GOP field in a state like New Mexico, where she trails by 29 points in the general election, you wonder if that's actually true or not.
Johnson's not the choice of Republican voters when it comes to who they want to take on Jeff Bingaman in next year's Senate race either. 35% say their first pick would be Heather Wilson, followed by 27% for Johnson, 17% for Steve Pearce, 6% for Matt Chandler and Dianna Duran, and 4% for John Sanchez.
It's interesting to see Wilson with twice the support of Pearce on this front after he defeated her in the 2008 Senate primary but I guess it's a recognition that his candidacy was a disaster and Republicans don't really want to give him another chance statewide. And the numbers confirm that even if Johnson would be the strongest general election Republican candidate for the Senate next year, he wouldn't be able to make it through a primary anyway.
Full results here