NM-Sen: Smooth Sailing for Bingaman

Public Policy Polling (2/4-6, New Mexico voters, no trendlines):

Jeff Bingaman (D-inc): 51

Gary Johnson (R): 40

Undecided: 9

Jeff Bingaman (D-inc): 57

Steve Pearce (R): 34

Undecided: 9

Jeff Bingaman (D-inc): 56

Heather Wilson (R): 37

Undecided: 7

Martin Heinrich (D): 43

Gary Johnson (R): 44

Undecided: 14

Martin Heinrich (D): 53

Steve Pearce (R): 38

Undecided: 10

Martin Heinrich (D): 50

Heather Wilson (R): 39

Undecided: 11

Ben Ray Lujan (D): 40

Gary Johnson (R): 45

Undecided: 15

Ben Ray Lujan (D): 49

Steve Pearce (R): 37

Undecided: 14

Ben Ray Lujan (D): 48

Heather Wilson (R): 40

Undecided: 12

(MoE: ±4.2%)

I’ll confess that two things about PPP’s new poll of New Mexico surprise me: one, that the Democrats perform this well in general, seeing as how they just lost the governor’s race and NM-02. The poll’s 55-29 Dem/GOP split at first glance seems optimistic, but this sample broke 55-39 for Obama/McCain in 2008, pretty consistent with the actual 57-42 spread. Given presidential-level turnout instead of 2010-style suckage, Jeff Bingaman (with 56/27 approvals) easily holds the seat against any top-tier Republican. That assumes he’s running again (he’s fundraising, but another run is apparently not a done deal), but PPP still also finds the state’s two Democratic Reps. (NM-01’s Martin Heinrich and NM-03’s Ben Ray Lujan) winning two of three open seat configurations apiece.

The other thing I’m surprised about is how much ex-Gov. Gary Johnson overperforms the other Republicans in the field; he’s the one GOPer who beats Heinrich and Lujan. (I would have expected ex-Rep. Heather Wilson to be the one who overperformed, but she’s little better than NM-02’s polarizing Steve Pearce.) For those not familiar with him, Johnson (in office 1994-2002) is currently a boutique flavor of the month in the GOP presidential field, appealing to the libertarian-minded college-kid demographic that got mixed in with the Paulist crowd in 2008 because of the pot, peace, and financial discipline aspects, but weren’t so interested in the gold standard and black helicopters stuff. That seems to give him enough moderate crossover appeal that he’s competitive in the open seat scenario; there’s no indication, though, that he’s interested in dropping down to that from his quixotic presidential bid. At 44/32, Johnson is the only GOPer with positive favorables.

43 thoughts on “NM-Sen: Smooth Sailing for Bingaman”

  1. I hope he continue, and this can be a enough safe race.

    Not a bad prospect for the democrats in New Mexico. I will wait more results from their poll.

  2. This is in response to your surprise about these numbers.

    Ignoring the governorship, all other statewide offices were a wash.  Dems lost SoS, but picked up Land Commissioner.  Also, the State House didn’t flip.

  3. like this hopefully will dissuade a top tier Repub candidate from this race. And as well convince Bingaman to go for reelection. Come on Patty Murray, start the arm twisting.  Finally a bit of nice news for us in the ’12 Senate races

  4. Recently, someone here, (possibly a Montanan), mentioned that Rehberg, the GOP congressman in Montana running for US Senate, has a rather disagreeable personality.  I am already seeing proof of this on the news.  If Rehberg is going to be obnoxious for the next 21 months, he will presumably “wear out his welcome”.  How this could affect a potential GOP primary will also be interesting.  In Nevada last year, Sharon Angle’s handlers tried to keep her away from the press, but, her personality came through anyway.  

  5. I commented in another thread but I thought that I would echo some of my comments here. As a former New Mexican I really hope that Bingaman runs again. Not that I think that the seat would be lost without him as I think Martin Heinrich would hold the seat, I think that with President Obama’s hopeful focus on energy policy that Bingaman’s chairmanship will be very important on the national stage. My sources (no inside knowledge and I don’t work on the Capital Hill) say that he is going to run again and an announcement will be coming shortly. I hope that is correct.

    I think that with a Presidential turnout year that any non-scandal tarred Democrat wins, even in an open seat situation.

    Also I wouldn’t call this surprising, given November’s results. The Governor’s race was lost due to the combination of Denish being tied to the scandalized and unpopular Bill Richardson and Susanna Martinez being such a great candidate. NM-02 is an R+6 district that hasn’t had a Democrat represent it since 1980. It is composed significantly of oil rich counties that border the Texas panhandle and they vote that way. Teague was about as good of a fit for the district as you can get for a Democrat but in a wave election Pearce was going to win given the district’s tilt.

  6. Then Obama is guaranteed a practical 60-40 landslide here. Just wait until the demographic data from the census comes out…. 47 or 48 percent hispanic…

  7. I’m torn here.

    I think running Bingamann would put this in the bank, but at the same time, it would likely be his last year and maybe getting Heinrich some seniority would be good.  But in the end, possibly putting his district at risk and making this an open seat race, I think we are better off with Bingamann running again.

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