Two polls show Martinez’s approval rating dropping


Gov. Susana Martinez’s job approval ratings are sinking, according to a new poll conducted for KOB-TV.

The poll released this week by New Jersey-based Survey USA said 49 percent of registered voters disapprove of the job Martinez is doing. Only 36 percent approve.

Susana Martinez

Heath Haussamen /

Gov. Susana Martinez

This poll, in which Survey USA interviewed 682 registered voters, is even worse for Martinez than a poll released by The Albuquerque Journal this week. The Journal’s poll showed 44 percent disapproving of the Republican governor’s job performance and 42 percent approving.

The Survey USA poll showed Martinez’s approval rating was 57 percent among fellow Republicans, though more than a quarter of GOP voters disapproved of the way she’s handling the job. Among Democrats, 68 percent disapproved of Martinez’s performance and 22 percent approved. And 50 percent of independent voters disapproved of her performance while 35 percent approved.

In the presidential race, Survey USA showed Democrat Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead in New Mexico over Republican Donald Trump and minor-party candidates.

The poll, conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, shows Clinton at 46 percent and Trump at 33 percent. Libertarian candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson had 14 percent and 2 percent supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

In the race for New Mexico secretary of state, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver holds a lead of 54 percent to 34 percent over Republican Nora Espinoza, the Survey USA poll found.

These results were far more positive for Clinton — and far less favorable for Johnson — than the Journal poll that was conducted by the Research & Polling firm in Albuquerque. That survey showed Clinton with 35 percent, Trump at 31 percent and Johnson at 24 percent.

Brian Sanderoff, owner of Research & Polling, said the difference between his poll and Survey USA’s partly can be explained by the fact the two companies use “different types of data collection methods.” Sanderoff’s company employs live callers, and half of the interviews they perform are on cell phones. Survey USA uses automated “robo calls” with people with land lines and the internet.

“But the bigger picture is that both polls detected a similar move in the governor’s numbers,” Sanderoff said. “Both show a significant slippage in the governor’s popularity since she first got re-elected.”

Throughout most of Martinez’s first term, her approval ratings were in the 60 percent range.

As for the presidential race, the fact that the Journal poll was done a few days before Survey USA’s could explain part of the difference, Sanderoff said.

“I notice that in battleground states Trump has been declining in recent days and Gary Johnson had dropped significantly,” Sanderoff told The New Mexican on Wednesday.

Trump and Johnson have had rough stretches recently. Sanderoff’s poll was taken before a New York Times story that showed Trump declaring a loss of $916 million income tax returns in 1995. That is such a large deduction it could have allowed Trump not to pay any federal income taxes for as much as 18 years.

The Journal poll also was taken before Trump went on a wee-hours Twitter rage, railing against a Miss Universe winner he’s criticized for gaining weight.


As for Johnson, Sanderoff said his poll for the Albuquerque newspaper probably doesn’t fully reflect the fallout of Johnson’s much-publicized “world leaders” gaffe. Johnson on Sept. 28 couldn’t name a single world leader he admired when asked by interviewer Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

Statistician Nate Silver’s  Fivethirtyeight website, which rates pollsters, gives both Research and Polling and Survey USA a grade of “A.”

The Survey USA poll showed Hispanic voters supporting Clinton 52 percent, compared to 21 percent for Trump and 19 percent for Johnson.

In the poll Trump barely led Clinton with white voters, 42 to 40 percent. Johnson was at 11 percent. Clinton had a strong lead with women, 49 percent to 31 percent. Clinton also was supported by a strong plurality of men in the poll, 42 percent to Trump’s 34 percent.

Clinton was ahead with voters who identified themselves as independents, 35 percent to Trump’s 29 percent. Johnson was shown winning 24 percent of voters who identified themselves as independents. The former governor was drawing 9 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans and 8 percent of those identifying as Democrats.

New Mexico’s U.S. senators, both Democrats, fared much better than the governor’s in the public ratings. Sen. Tom Udall’s job approval numbers were 52 percent approve, 29 percent disapprove. A plurality, 46 percent approved of Sen. Martin Heinrich’s job performance and 28 percent disapproved.

In the presidential race, Survey USA interviewed 594 likely voters. The margin of error was 4.1 percent. In the secretary of state’s race, 524 likely voters participated. The margin of error was 4.4 percent. In the job approval questions, the margin of error was 3.8 percent.

Contact Steve Terrell at 505-986-3037 or Read his political blog at

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