Monday, March 7, 2011

Thoughts on Wilson's Announcement

It seems like most of the coverage of Heather Wilson's announcement for the US Senate today is focusing on her standing with Republicans. She really doesn't have a problem there though, at least for now. Last month we found her favorability with primary voters to be 71/18, and actually even better with conservatives at 74/14 than with moderates at 64/25. 35% wanted her to be the party's Senate candidate to 27% for Gary Johnson who continues to insist he's not running, 17% for Steve Pearce, 6% for Matt Chandler and Dianna Duran, and 4% for John Sanchez. Wilson may have Tea Party trouble further on down the line but coming out of the gate she is quite strong with Republican voters.

Wilson's real problem is with independents. New Mexico is a Democratic state. For a Republican to win statewide requires winning independents, and generally winning them by a lot. But they don't like Wilson. Her favorability with them is a 39/43 spread. In a hypothetical contest with her successor Martin Heinrich she trails with independents by a 22 margin at 50/28. Against the state's other Democratic Congressman, Ben Ray Lujan, she trails with them 46/33. Because of her issues with party less voters she trails Heinrich by 11 points and Lujan by 8 points overall.

I think Wilson can get through the primary. It's the general election that's going to be very, very difficult for her, especially in a Presidential year.


Anonymous said...

What is interesting about Wilson though, is not her fav/unfav ratings, but rather how few undecideds or don't knows there are. In a campaign scenario, publicity,debates, and advertising will change her opponent's ratings, while her unfavs will likely remain around the same. Millions have been spent on negative ads against Wilson. People know her, know her moderate views, and if she wins her party's nomination; I think she'll do well.

Anonymous said...

Wilson kept on winning a district that slightly leaned Dem over and over

Its simple she wins her old house seat or keeps it close and she racks up big margins in Pearce's current seat

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