Denish poll further heats up gubernatorial race


In a poll conducted earlier this month, those surveyed gave Lt. Gov. Diane Denish a sizable lead in a potential 2010 gubernatorial primary against Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez.

The poll, most likely leaked by the Denish campaign and first reported by Joe Monahan, has Denish with 56 percent of the vote to Chávez’s 38 percent if the two were the only candidates in a Democratic primary. The survey of 606 New Mexico likely voters was conducted Jan. 15-18 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, and has a margin of error of four percentage points.

You can read the company’s memo to Denish’s campaign by clicking here.

Denish has already raised $1 million for a 2010 gubernatorial campaign and said she plans to run. She’s also ready to step earlier in if Gov. Bill Richardson takes a job in Washington.

To keep up, Chávez recently created his own committee to begin raising money for a potential 2010 gubernatorial run. He’s holding a fundraiser this week that costs $2,000 to attend.

Chávez says he doesn’t know whether he’ll run, but has to start raising money now to keep up with Denish. The leak of Denish’s poll is probably designed to discourage Chávez from entering the race and to discourage potential donors to Chávez in advance of this week’s fundraiser.

With Denish as his running mate, Chávez unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Gary Johnson in 1998. The two have been at odds ever since.

Though Denish is currently the Democratic frontrunner for governor, lots could change, as the election is more than three years away. Other potential Democratic candidates for governor in 2010 include former Attorney General Patricia Madrid and State Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces.

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