Young people and independents are helping Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump remain competitive with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in New Mexico, a new poll finds.
Clinton led Trump by 5 percentage points, 45-40, heading into the final stretch of the campaign, according to the survey, which was conducted Monday. Support for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, New Mexico’s former governor, dropped in the new poll to 9 percent.
The statewide survey of 1,899 likely voters was conducted by ZiaPoll. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.25 percent.
Several polls of the presidential race have been conducted in New Mexico. The results have varied widely, though all publicly released polls since mid-September have had Clinton ahead. The website FiveThirtyEight has a breakdown of those polls and gives Clinton a 92.3 percent chance of winning the state’s five electoral votes on Nov. 8.
In the new poll, Green candidate Jill Stein was at 2 percent in New Mexico, while 4 percent of those surveyed were undecided.
What to make of the contradicting polls and the narratives being spread in the final days of the campaign? FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver explains:
“Pretty much everyone has an incentive to push the narrative that the presidential race is tightening. The television networks would like for you to keep tuning in to their horse-race coverage. Hillary Clinton’s campaign would like for you to turn out to vote, instead of getting complacent. Donald Trump’s campaign would like you to know that its candidate still has a chance.
“But what do the polls say? The race probably is tightening — but perhaps not as much as the hype on the cable networks would imply. In our polls-only forecast, Trump has narrowed Clinton’s lead in the popular vote to roughly 6 percentage points from 7 points a week ago, and his chances of winning have ticked up to 17 percent from 13 percent. In our polls-plus forecast, Trump’s chances are up to 19 percent from 16 percent. Because of the high level of uncertainty in the race, we can’t say the door is closed on a narrow Trump victory. And we’re certainly a week or two removed from the period when every poll brought good news for Clinton: Plenty of polls now show negative trend lines for her (in addition to others that show a positive trend). But the race hasn’t fundamentally changed all that much, and Clinton remains in a strong position.”
In the newest New Mexico poll, about 17 percent of those surveyed said they associate with a party other than Democrat or Republican, or as independents. Trump was leading Clinton by 3 percent among that group.
The poll found 20 percent of Democrats supporting Trump, while 13 percent of Republicans supported Clinton. So Democrats who have been celebrating the lead their party has in early voting turnout thus far may have cause for concern.
Clinton’s greatest strength in the poll is among Latinos. Clinton led Trump by 12 percent among likely voters who identified as Hispanic or Latino.
The candidates were roughly even among white and black people surveyed.
And ZiaPoll found Trump leading Clinton among voters between the ages of 18 and 34. While fewer young people are registered as Republicans, “Trump is seeing substantial support from the other parties represented within this voting block,” ZiaPoll’s polling memo states.
The Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns are treating New Mexico as a low-level battleground state but not a top priority. Clinton has yet to hold a public rally here, but her running-mate’s wife, Anne Holton, is campaigning in Northern New Mexico this week. Trump hasn’t held a rally in the state in months, but his running-mate, Mike Pence, was here last week.
Johnson campaigned in New Mexico earlier this month.
In another high-profile race, the survey found Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver with a substantial lead over Republican Nora Espinoza in the battle for secretary of state. Oliver led 51 percent to 39 percent, with 10 percent of those surveyed saying they were undecided.