Susana racks up a 69% approval rating UPDATE: Large majorities agree with her on driver’s licenses and education reforms
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After nearly two years in office, the honeymoon between Susana Martinez and New Mexico voters still hasn’t seemed to fade away.
“She’s focused on issues that are popular among the voters,” said Brian Sanderoff, whose polling organization, Research and Polling, Inc. out of Albuquerque, conducted the survey said to the Journal. There’s a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent in the poll.
What stands out in the poll is not that Martinez is wildly popular with GOP voters (89 percent approval). That’s to be expected.
What’s remarkable is that she gets a 56 percent approval rating from Democrats and 66 percent approval from independents.
The poll was conducted September 3-6, coming right after Martinez spoke in prime time at the Republican National Convention. Her punchy speech was very well received by the national media and perhaps the after effects of that speech resonated with those polled.
But Martinez’s big numbers are not a recent phenomenon. In April of this year, she received a 60 percent approval rating in a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and in December of last year, Public Policy Polling (which is associated with the Democratic Party) showed her with a 50 percent favorability rating.
As she has done in those other polls, the governor scores almost equally well among Hispanic votes as with white voters (71 approval among whites and 67 percent among Hispanics) and receives at least 59 percent approval in all five regions of the state.
On top of all that, the Journal poll also shows that when it comes to one of Martinez’ pet political issues — rescinding the state law granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants — voters are in agreement with her. Some 71 percent of New Mexicans are against the current law and even in the most liberal region of the state — the North-Central, including Santa Fe — 50 percent of voters want the law repealed.
Update 9/13: And on Thursday (Sept. 13), the Journal poll showed that a majority of voters agreed with Martinez on a couple other issues she’s trying to get Roundhouse lawmakers to pass: Ending “social promotion” for kids who can’t read at a minimal level by the end of the third grade and revamping evaluations for teachers.
Surveys of 402 likely voters across the state (with a margin of error of 4.9 percent) showed that 75 percent of respondents agree to hold back reading-deficient third graders and 53 percent support basing salaries of public school teachers and their job performance evaluations partly on their students’ improvement in test scores.
In the last few days, the Journal has been releasing results of various political issues and races across the state. Here’s a summary of what their surveys found:
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) 46%
Janice Arnold-Jones (R) 34%
Steve Pearce (R) 56%
Evelyn Madrid Erhard (D) 30%
Ben Ray Luján (D) 57%
Jefferson Byrd (R) 31%
Martin Heinrich (D) 49%
Heather Wilson (R) 42%
Barack Obama (D) 45%
Mitt Romney (R) 40%
Gary Johnson (Libertarian) 7%
Are you better off than four years ago?
About the same 39%
Worse off 37%
Better off 23%
What is the biggest issue facing the nation?
Weak economy 52%
Lack of good jobs 30%
Debt/budget deficit 11%
Health care reform 9%
Driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants
Undecided/don’t know 8%
Hold back reading-deficient third-graders?
Tie teacher salaries to student improvement?