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Dems have ‘modest’ advantage in Senate race, poll finds

Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Hector Balderas, left, and Martin Heinrich

The top two Democratic U.S. Senate candidates have leads in potential matchups with the top three Republican candidates, a new poll finds.

Democrat Hector Balderas leads Republican John Sanchez 39 percent to 35 percent, Republican Heather Wilson 45 percent to 39 percent, and Republican Greg Sowards 42 percent to 28 percent, the poll from the left-leaning group Public Policy Polling finds.

Meanwhile, Democrat Martin Heinrich leads Sanchez 45 percent to 39 percent, Wilson 47 percent to 42 percent, and Sowards 46 percent to 34 percent.

The Democrats’ leads are small and close to the margin of error, except against Sowards. The poll, which was conducted between Thursday and Sunday, surveyed 732 New Mexico voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Read the poll memo here. And check out Public Policy Polling’s blog posting about the poll, which calls the Democrats’ leads “modest.”

The poll left out two little-known candidates – Democrat Andres Valdez and Republican William S. English.

From a news release about the poll:


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“While crossover support is either even or to the Republican’s advantage in each matchup, the Democrats have a significant advantage with independents aside from the Sanchez-Balderas race. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 51-32, that’s a recipe for a Democratic victory.”

“This race is going to be competitive but it has a clear lean toward the Democrats,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in the release. “Wilson and Sanchez probably aren’t strong enough candidates to win the seat if Barack Obama simultaneously takes the state by double digits as he did in 2008.”

The group plans to release additional poll numbers related to the presidential race on Wednesday and the Senate primaries later in the week.

Update, 11:25 p.m.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee was quick to put out this response from spokesman Jahan Wilcox:

“If this is what a Democrat polling firm’s numbers show, than it’s clear that the New Mexico Senate race will be among the most competitive in the country next year. There will be a clear choice for New Mexicans between either Martin Heinrich, the D.C. establishment’s handpicked candidate, or Hector Balderas, both of whom support job-killing tax hikes and more government spending, versus a common-sense Republican candidate with a pro-jobs agenda.”

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7 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. Both parties are one and the same. Bush and Obama got us in this mess. You let them raise the debt ceiling again they’ll just keep raising it until the whole financial system collapses. The status quo is unsustainable. You can’t print fake money and spend your way to prosperity. If we do raise the debt ceiling again and maintain the status quo that’ll only send a signal to the world that we aren’t serious about our financial situation and it will rush us to financial ruin. The world is already talking about removing the dollar as the reserve currency. We need to end this blatant corporatism this partnership of big government and big corporations and big banking. Put a leash on government.

  2. I wonder what Heinrich thinks about this:

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Balderas–Tiff-over-subpoena-resolved-

    like so many Democrats in the state, does he just want to ignore the corruption and hope the Attorney General continues to do nothing about it? Or is Heinrich concerned that the same corruption will cost him the nomination or his electability if he is nominated. So far, from what I have found the silence in regard to it all is mysterious – or is it?

  3. If the Democrats want to win the should start registering voters to replace the votes that might not be there next time:

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Voter-registration-Duran–Not-all-64-000-cases-fraud

    It might help if Democrat Attorney General prosecuted helped stop the political corruption in New Mexico. Otherwise expect it (the corruption) to be used during the National Presidential Elections against President Barack Obama.

    Good gracious, New Mexico could end up handing control of the Senate and the White House to the Republicans.

  4. So remind me again…
    why isn’t Bill Richardson running for U.S. Senate?

  5. The response above from rightwing national republican senatorial committee spin meister is pure, unadultrated crap.

    Inspired by President Bush2, these rightwing republicans passed tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires during his first term. Back then, these republicans called their tax cuts ‘job creators’. Hogwash.

    Tax cuts for the super-rich turned out to be job-killers. That joke wan on us. We won’t be fooled again.

    We, the People will hold these rightwing republicans responsible for killing jobs when the 2012 primary and general elections come around, if the economy of our country survives that long.

    Whether our nation’s economy survives until the 2012 elections is in the hands of these rightwing republicans.

    Led by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, rightwing republicans are holding the good faith and credit of USA [i.e. raising the government's debt ceiling] hostage to their demands to grow those Bush2 tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires even higher.

    McConnell and the rightwing republicans are playing with fire.

    Ponder this statement on government debt from the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland:

    The market turbulence surrounding the fiscal crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal would pale beside devastation that would follow a loss of investor confidence in the sovereign debt of a major economy.

    Recommended summer reading? The metaphorical novel of a McConnell and rightwing republican-sponsored economic apocalypse: “The Road” by Santa Fe’s Cormac McCarthy.

  6. The most telling part of the poll is that Hector Balderas beats the Republicans at virtually the same level as Heinrich, who is an incumbent Congressman with A LOT higher name ID. Good news for Hector!

  7. In other polling news, a modest majority of New Mexicans favor lower gas prices.

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