New poll shows Turner, Weh closest to Denish

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Republican gubernatorial candidates Allen Weh (left, courtesy photo) and Doug Turner (right, photo by Heath Haussamen).

Domenici counters with his own poll showing him leading in the GOP primary

An independent poll released this weekend shows all five Republican gubernatorial candidates trailing Democratic candidate Diane Denish in potential head-to-head contests, with only Doug Turner and Allen Weh holding Denish under 50 percent.

Meanwhile, following the release of the Rasmussen Reports poll that wasn’t favorable to Republican hopeful Pete Domenici Jr., Domenici’s campaign released its own poll showing him leading the other GOP candidates in the primary race.

The Rasmussen poll had Denish leading Turner 43-34 percent, Weh 45-35 percent, Domenici 52-35 percent, Susana Martinez 51-32 percent, and Janice Arnold-Jones 52-30 percent.

The survey of 500 likely voters was conducted March 24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Denish hasn’t released a statement about the poll. But Turner, on Facebook, was quick to tout the poll, saying it “shows me as the top GOP candidate to defeat Denish in the general election.”

And Weh put out a news release stating that the poll shows that “candidates who are viewed as political insiders and career politicians ‘have a long way to go’” while he and Turner “are within striking distance of the well-known and well-funded Democrat Lt. Governor.”

With his “political insiders and career politicians” remark, Weh is referring to Domenici, whose father is a former U.S. senator; Martinez, Doña Ana County’s district attorney; and Arnold-Jones, who is a state representative.

“In this poll, the lieutenant governor stays above the magical 50-percent mark when the voters only have a choice between her and other elected officials and politicians,” Weh said in the release. “Denish is very beatable when the voters have a real choice.”

Republican Darren White, the former Bernalillo County sheriff and a vocal Martinez supporter, was quick with a response on Twitter, pointing out that Weh was the state GOP chairman for years.

“Allen Weh for Governor campaign say new poll shows NM voters favor businesspeople like Allen, not political insiders,” White wrote in one tweet. “Man, they better hope the voters don’t confuse him with the other Allen Weh who was the NM Republican Party Chair for 5 years,” he wrote in a second tweet.

It’s noteworthy that, of the GOP gubernatorial candidates, only Turner and Weh have run TV ads (watch Weh’s here and Turner’s here.)

The poll also tested the favorability ratings of each candidate in the governor’s race, and found that Denish had by far the highest number of people say they have a “very favorable” view or her – 28 percent. Those surveyed most often had opinions about Denish and Domenici – which some pollsters have said is largely due to his father’s long career as the state’s senior senator – while somewhere between 36 and 43 percent of those surveyed said they weren’t sure about the other candidates.

Denish also had the highest number of people say they have a “very unfavorable” view of her – 19 percent.

Domenici touts his own poll

Pete Domenici Jr.

Domenici didn’t put out a statement in response to the Rasmussen poll. Instead, he released his own poll that shows him leading in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Domenici had 30 percent of support in the poll to Weh’s 21 percent, Martinez’s 17 percent, Turner’s 8.5 percent and Arnold-Jones’ 4.5 percent.

The poll was conducted by Dialing Services, LLC of Roswell. It surveyed 2,250 likely Republican voters statewide on March 22, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.04 percentage points.

Fewer than 20 percent of those surveyed were undecided.

“This is the largest survey of likely GOP voters to-date in this race,” Dialing Services’ Chris Kolker said in a release from the Domenici campaign. “… Pete Domenici registered support in more counties throughout the state than any of the other candidates.”

15 thoughts on “New poll shows Turner, Weh closest to Denish

  1. I wonder about the extent to which these polls are being skewed by their using robocalls since equipment that’s being used typically disconnects whenever it encounters an answering machine.

  2. And the Domenici camp brags about their own poll. Isn’t that what desperate campaigns do? And all the Rasmussen poll does is show the GOP candidates statistically get the same percentage of the vote in a match up with Denish. Hold on to your seats folks, the GOP primary is a fight.

  3. HandsonDeck: Again, anyone who thinks the governor has something to do with restaurants closing, or not, doesn’t understand the Free Market. Turner is a nice guy, but doesn’t understand the complexities in play.

    This is anybody’s race and anybody can win it on the GOP side. The horse race they are obsessed with isn’t worth following at this point.

  4. Polls are polls – snap shots in time from a cross section of something – in this case, an electorate. As with most things – the view of what you’re looking at varies, depending on where you’re standing.

    We’ve had a few snap shots – they all say Denish is in the lead, and the this latest one from Rasmussen shows the Rs grouped within five points of one another against Denish … so the R race remains open … and Denish isn’t making headway. She may be waiting for June 2nd to unleash her seasonsed and trained campaign team, but in the mean time those ‘my bad’ Rs are sniping at her – no real attacks, but with a little spin coupled with truth.

    Wedum’s wishful thinking aside, I think someone with estrogen is going to defeat Denish. The office pool is open …

  5. Doug not talking about the new restaurants is not the issue. The issue is that the restaurants are closing because of the economy. Everyone would like to have more places opening than closing, that’s common sense. But it’s not reality. NM had the highest job loss rate in the nation recently. Doug is a small businessmen and understands how businesses work and what they need to do to make and keep jobs. I think Doug talking about the closing of restaurants  is more relevant than the openings. You cant have someone who wants to run our state sugar coat the issues. That is something typical politicians do. Bottom line, we need someone who knows business, Doug knows business.

  6. Will this be a repeat of the Republican Senate debacle? The spring polls clearly showed Wilson losing LESS badly than Pearce to Udall in the general, but Republicans chose Pearce in the primary. Pearce went on to lose by 21% (61% to 39%). The only difference I see is that Junior might be willing to put more of his own money into the race.

  7. The flys are buzzin’ on this one, aren’t they? Boil this thing down and it shows a few things … 1) the five R candidates are in a statistical dead heat … 30 to 35% against Denish, with about 4.5% variation, 2) Weh and Turner have good ads, 3) Denish needs to be concerned with her positives and after 12 years of campaigning, she can only grab 43 – 52 %. The ‘undecideds’ are still large … the R race for governor is wide open.

    Raise your advertising rates, Heath …

  8. I’m confused as to whether 19% or 28% of people have a “very favorable” view of Denish from the poll referred to.

  9. Close is not enough in politics. But regardless, Ms. Denish and the Repub challengers all would agree it is time to end the Richardson enviro-tyranny that has gripped the state. An excellent Op/Ed by Ms. Denish here:
    http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-opinion/ci_14775921
    Hopefully, NM will soon follow Arizona’s lead and withdraw from the Western Climate Initiative’s cap and trade scam in recognition of the extreme job and economic losses that would accompany such a ridiculous scheme.

  10. galrepub is right! Half of all restaurants fail. Doesn’t Doug know how the free market works? Why was that a surprise to him?

  11. This is great news for Turner since Republicans in NM are outnumbered! His plans for improving education in NM, a more efficient government, less taxes and his support for small business has definitely had a positive impact on New Mexicans. As a political outsider Doug is clearly the only one to beat Denish in the general election.

  12. Just heard Doug Turner speak locally. He may be a nice young man but has zero experience. He mentioned how bad the economy was and “just look at all the restaurants closing”. Obviously, he has not spent any time here and not aware of all the new restaurants opening. Allen Weh was horrible as head of the NM Republican Party. He did more to split the party faithful then bring them together. He was asked to speak locally and declined. I think Domenici Jr. thinks way to much of himself. The Republicans never learn. All these people think they are “the one” and all they do is pull votes from candidates who may actually beat Diane Denish.

  13. Hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but this poll seems to simply show there’s a virtual statistical tie between the GOP contenders at this point, despite the media’s attempts to paint one or two (whose names keep changing!) as “winners” and others as “losers.”

  14. This poll is great news! It seems to me that the tides are not only changing nationally, but also locally. We first saw it in Albuquerque with the election of RJ Berry. We then saw it with Scott Brown’s election in MA, and now I believe we will see it with a Republican taking back the Roundhouse in Santa Fe!

    I really like how the career politician candidates are not showing strong numbers. This shows that people want an outsider and someone not consumed by the political system. Doug Turner leading this poll is great news to me. I believe he is a candidate that sticks by his values and can resonate with the most people. I know he can win against Diane Denish, we just have to get him past the primary!

  15. I just love Allen Weh’s radio and TV spots, they say everything BUT, that he rose on the third day. I’m looking for that one this weekend. This is what all of these guys do when they haven’t got anything to fall back on except their military record (which has NOTHING to do with how they would govern). Hence, he seems to want to downplay his long unsuccessful stint as state GOP Chair.