Poll gives Denish a 20-point lead over Chávez
Posted 9/10/2007 09:42:00 AM
Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has a huge lead in the race to be the Democratic Party’s 2010 gubernatorial nominee, according to a poll released today by the Albuquerque Journal.
Yes, the primary election is almost three years away, and a lot could and will likely change before then, but the poll is still bad news for Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez, as is places him 20 points behind Denish. Fifty percent of Democrats surveyed picked Denish to be the nominee, while 30 percent picked Chávez and 20 percent were undecided.
Chávez told the Journal the numbers are “remarkable” because “she’s been campaigning full time for almost a year and I’m not even a candidate.”
Denish has already declared her candidacy. She said in
Still, Denish has been more active and raised more money, even though it’s not really accurate to say she has been campaigning full time. Were Chávez to become more active in the race, he would likely gain some ground, but 20 points is a large deficit.
There’s a simple explanation for Denish’s popularity. She’s the No. 2 to a governor who was re-elected last year with 69 percent of the vote. New Mexicans, and Democrats especially, are happy with the state of affairs in
Denish is also getting a chance to prove herself right now, since she’s acting governor almost all the time while Bill Richardson campaigns for president.
A number of factors, however, could completely change this race.
Denish might become governor before 2010 if
Chávez might decide against getting in the race, in the end, though most politicos believe he’s in it for the long haul. Chávez also has to decide in the coming months whether to seek another term as mayor in 2009, only to leave the office early into a new term if he’s elected governor.
Other candidates will likely jump in the race. A Hispanic candidate could make Chávez’s road more difficult. An Anglo candidate could take some of Denish’s support. A rural candidate might snag support outside the city’s population center while Denish and Chávez battle for Albuquerque/Santa Fe votes.
More poll numbers and analysis
But a rural candidate might have a hard time, the poll reveals, as Denish’s strongest support comes from the state’s east side.
Denish has support of 60 percent of Anglos and 40 percent of Hispanics, while Chávez has the support of 41 percent of Hispanics and 19 percent of Anglos. Denish even bested Chávez in
Brian Sanderoff, whose company Research & Polling Inc. conducted the survey, said Chávez has to win
Denish told the newspaper she’s “been working to bring people together who disagree on issues. And I think the issues I have been working on – education, health care, job creation – appeal to people across the board.”
Denish’s campaign immediately sought to capitalize on the new poll, sending an e-mail to supporters stating that “The race is still a long way away, and we know that we cannot take anything for granted, which is why Diane is working hard every day to make life better for all New Mexicans. … We know that polls go up and polls go down and Diane certainly will not rest just because of strong poll numbers, which is why we continue to need your help.”
The survey of 407 registered Democrats who frequently vote was conducted Tuesday-Thursday and has a margin of error of 5 percent.