Obama lead on Romney in NM down to 5 points, Gary Johnson at 13%
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Things are tightening up for Barack Obama in New Mexico.
The national polling organization Public Policy Polling (PPP) released a survey Wednesday (July 18) showing that Obama’s lead on Mitt Romney has gone down from 14 and 15 points in earlier surveys in the state by PPP to 5.
Obama’s net approval has dropped 9 points since PPP’s last poll in April while Romney’s has improved 13 points, although his unfavorable rating in New Mexico is at -9 (with 41 percent seeing him favorably while 50 percent see him unfavorably).
And in an interesting wrinkle in the new poll, PPP asked if Romney selected New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez as his vice-presidential pick how that would affect the race in the state and Obama’s numbers drop all the way down to 48-47, well within the margin of error.
“That’s a testament to Martinez’s appeal with Democrats,” PPP’s Tom Jensen said in a news release accompanying Wednesday’s poll. “She would reduce Obama’s lead with them even further to 70-25. There aren’t a lot of potential VP choices who would make a big difference in their home states, but there also aren’t a lot with a 56/34 approval spread.”
Here is how PPP phrased the questions:
The good news for Johnson? He polls at 13 percent in his home state.
The bad news? Johnson’s numbers have slipped from 23 percent last December and 15 percent in April of this year in PPP polls in New Mexico that included him.
Here are the numbers in the question PPP asked when it included Johnson’s name with Obama and Romney:
A lot of Republicans have worried that a serious Johnson candidacy would hurt Romney more than Obama but in this particular poll, Johnson pulls down Obama’s numbers from 42 percent to 38 and, as Jensen points out, Johnson “gets 24 percent of the independent vote, and a lot of his support is coming from more Democratic leaning independents.”
Those results echo what Johnson has told reporters this summer — that his presence in the race doesn’t necessarily hurt Romney and appeals to voters who are so turned off by both Democrats and Republicans that a large number of these disaffected voters wouldn’t have voted anyway.
The PPP survey — similar to the poll the organization released Tuesday regarding the Senate race between Heather Wilson and Martin Heinrich – was made up of 52 percent Democrats, 33 percent Republicans and 16 percent Independent/Other and 50 percent white and 50 percent non-white.
You can read the entire PPP survey by clicking here.