Friday, February 11, 2011

New Mexico Politician Report Card

-Bill Richardson's career in electoral politics is probably over. Looking back on his eight years as Governor only 34% of voters think he did a good job while 55% express disapproval. Perhaps most striking is that not even half of Democrats- 48%- feel that he was a success as Governor. That at least compares well to the share of independents (30%) and Republicans (9%) who give the Richardson administration good marks.

Voters in the state at this point don't seem particularly inclined to give Richardson a second chance in some future for run for office- maybe the Senate- either. 50% say there's no way they'd vote for him for anything ever again. Only 13% say they'd definitely vote for him and another 35% say just that they'd consider it, hardly a vote of confidence. His best hope for seeking office in the future is that time heals all wounds.

-Susana Martinez, on the other hand, begins her time as Governor with outstanding poll numbers. 53% approve of the job she's done so far to only 29% who disapprove. The most impressive thing for her is that she breaks nearly even among Democrats, with 38% of them approving and 40% disapproving of her so far. It's normal for new Governors to have a honeymoon in the court of public opinion but we're not seeing a lot of other folks who've taken office in the last month doing quite that well across party lines.

Beyond her relatively strong standing with Democrats Martinez has 83% approval from Republicans and although many independents are taking a wait and see approach and don't express an opinion about Martinez either way yet, those who do rate her favorably by a 46/19 margin. She's off to a great start.

-Our numbers earlier this week showed that Jeff Bingaman was popular and would likely win another term easily if he wanted it, and his junior colleague Tom Udall is quite popular as well with 56% of voters approving of his job performance to 31% who disapprove. New Mexico definitely has one of the most popular Senate delegations in the country. Udall doesn't have much appeal to Republicans but he's very strong with the Democratic base and has great numbers with independents at a 53/24 approval.

New Mexico really likes its Governor and both of its Senators right now. There are few states where that's the case.

Full results here

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