I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Poll shows Bingaman a ‘near lock’ for re-election
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who has not yet announced his decision on whether to run for re-election, leads major potential Republican candidates in a poll released by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling. PPP showed that Bingaman had an extremely high approval rating: 56 percent approved of his job performance while just 27 percent disapproved, the fourth highest among senators polled in the last year by PPP.
The poll shows that Bingaman would lead former Gov. Gary Johnson 51 percent to 40 percent, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce 54 percent to 37 percent and former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson 56 percent to 37 percent. The poll showed that Democratic U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich would be in strong positions against Pearce and Wilson though would narrowly be behind Johnson in such a race.
“Jeff Bingaman is a near lock for reelection,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Gary Johnson could be competitive in an open seat situation but whether some of his unorthodox views would allow him to get the Republican nomination is a different question.”
Johnson looks like he is more interested in a potential presidential run, making numerous trips to New Hampshire and traveling around the country speaking to tea party groups. Rep. Steve Pearce just won re-election to the House of Representatives after losing in a Senate bid to now-Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in 2008. Heather Wilson lost in the Republican Senate primary to Pearce in 2008 and most recently headed Gov. Susana Martinez’s transition team.
Wilson has since said that she is considering a Senate run.
Heinrich would lead Pearce 53 percent to 38 percent and Wilson 50 percent to 39 percent while Luján would lead Pearce 49 percent to 37 percent and lead Wilson 48 percent to 40 percent.
Johnson would lead Heinrich 44 percent to 43 percent, well within the poll’s 4.2 percent margin of error, and would lead Luján 45 percent to 40 percent.
Bingaman’s lead can be attributed to the “decline to state,” or independent, voters. Bingaman leads among independents by 7 points over Jonson, 28 over Wilson and 30 over Pearce.
Bingaman has served in the U.S. Senate since 1983 and chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The poll shows a more Democratic electorate than in 2008. The poll finds that 55 percent of those polled supported Barack Obama and 39 percent who supported John McCain. The official returns showed that Obama defeated McCain 56 percent to 42 percent.
This election will also feature a presidential ballot at the top of the ticket.
In Bingaman’s last re-election campaign, he defeated doctor Allen McCulloch 70 percent to 30 percent in 2006.
The poll did not mention the names of two Republican candidates already in the race. Former congressional candidate Greg Sowards and activist William S. English have already announced candidacies for Senate but are not considered to be top tier.
PPP polled 545 New Mexican voters from February 4 to the 6. The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percent.