Monday, February 14, 2011

Johnson weak with NM Republicans

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

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leading at 22% is hardly a testament. Stop the crap

Anonymous said...

Tom,

It's tough to reconcile this statement "she does poorly in Presidential preference polls" with this poll and your other polls.

How is she doing poorly when she leads in some and is near the lead in others? If you are relying upon the "Republicans already knows her argument," then why doesn't that also apply to Romney as nearly the same percentage also knows him?

Dustin Ingalls said...

We said "a small lead." That's why the headline wasn't "Palin romps" or something like that.

Bill589 said...

Leading at 22% after being the only one to be attacked through the media for 2 years is a testament. (This is her absolute bottom. When she campaigns, people will hear good things about her too, and her numbers will rise.)

Evan A. said...

I can't help but question the results of this 'poll,' when Palin is faring so poorly in other states (i.e. NH). This is especially relevant in NM, which has a Hispanic majority, when you consider a recent ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions poll citing widespread Hispanic disgust with Palin (53% unfavorable vs. only 23% favorable).

Anonymous said...

23/53 is pretty standard for a Republican considering that the sample from the poll you are citing was 54/14 Democrat/Republican.

The Interesting Times said...

They say a lot can change by election day, and one thing that's changed so far is a surge in Huckabee's fortunes, a similar decline in Romney's, the emergence of Palin as a legitimate spoiler, and the total collapse of Gingrich's potential lead.

Incorporating the most recent PPP polls into my running RNC delegate estimate, Huckabee becomes the clear frontrunner with an estimated 747 delegates (assuming Romney manages to win the two tossup states of Michigan and New Jersey, in both of which I regard him as favored to win).

Romney, previously the frontrunner, is now running in second with 488 delegates. However, it is possible that he could pick up a significant number of delegates in the other Northeastern and Western states that haven't yet been polled, perhaps enough to make up his current deficit.

Palin is way behind with 265 delegates, but it's clear that she's playing a spoiler in some states that would have gone to Romney, like Maine and Washington.

Finally, Gingrich's path to nomination has almost totally vanished. He comes in with only 59 delegates. Just behind him is Pawlenty with 54 delegates.

Thune and Paul are insignificant with a mere 27 and 21 delegates, respectively. Finally, Daniels comes in dead last with just 5 delegates.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the comment about Pearce. He just got elected again in 2010?

Couves said...

The primary is a year away... it seems very premature to write-off Johnson, for President or Senate. If Republicans want someone who is electable and has an unquestionable record as a fiscal conservative, Johnson meets both criteria. His 42% favorability among 2008 Obama voters in NM is stunning for one of our nation’s most conservative recent governors. Also, no other Republican comes close to him with independents (46%) or Hispanics (52%).

The Interesting Times said...

"If Republicans want someone who is electable and has an unquestionable record as a fiscal conservative, Johnson meets both criteria."

Johnson's electability isn't a given at this point, especially considering his associations with Ron Paul. (Like it or not, Ron Paul has no appeal outside of his cadre of initiates. He's the radioactive guy no candidate wants around.)

Moreover, most Republicans consider more than just the two criteria you listed (and given 2010 candidates like Miller and O'Donnell, the first criterion might not even be part of the equation). In addition to a candidate who is fiscally conservative, most Republicans want a candidate who is also socially conservative, aggressive on foreign policy, and (for a signficant faction) religiously conservative as well.

Couves said...

Interesting Times: I'm referring to Gary Johnson's electability in the general vs. Obama. The PPP poll shows that he's the strongest Republican. As to his chances in the GOP primary, please see my "if" qualifier... ;-)

On Johnson's electability vs. Obama:
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_NM_0210.pdf

The Interesting Times said...

"I'm referring to Gary Johnson's electability in the general vs. Obama. The PPP poll shows that he's the strongest Republican."

Only in New Mexico...

Anonymous said...

And he's still down double digits. It's like saying he'd be the best loser, which is essentially what the eventual nominee will be in the larger election--even Romney or Huckabee.

Couves said...

"Only in New Mexico..."

Gary Johnson is still liked by those who know him best, voters in his home state… not something you could say about Mitt Romney. How Johnson will be received in the rest of the country is yet to be determined, but his numbers here are strongly suggestive.

Anonymous said...

"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."

Are you KIDDING ME? Steve Pearce is so respected as the 2nd Congressional District Congressman we want him to stay put for a couple of terms. The hateful campaign run against him in the Republican 2008 Primary caused horrific hard feelings because of outright lies told by his opponent but Pearce is respected by those who know him and the standards he sets for himself and fellow congressional representatives. Ignorance makes statements like the one that finished up this otherwise fairly responsibly reported piece.

Tim said...

As a democrat, I've always respected Gary Johnson's positions, even though I don't care for the Tea Party activities in which he has recently participated. (Maybe he should join Willie's Teapot Party). He is probably being affected by the same influence that skewed (screwed) the last gubnatorial election: wealthy out-of-state retirees that are wreaking havoc with our traditional state politics.

 
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