New Mexico: Heinrich Poll Has Race Close to Deadlocked

Posted July 9, 2008 at 6:30pm

Former Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (D) held a narrow lead over Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R) that was within the margin of error in a new poll conducted for the Heinrich campaign.

The survey of 518 likely 1st district voters, conducted June 29-July 2 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, showed Heinrich with 47 percent and White with 44 percent. The poll’s error margin was 4.4 points.

Democrats hold a 47 percent-to-37 percent advantage over the Republicans in enrolled voters in the Albuquerque-based district, and the survey sample was reflective of that, according to the polling memo released by GQRR.

“One month after Primary Day in New Mexico, Democratic nominee Martin Heinrich is surging in the contest for the 1st Congressional district,” the polling memo said.

Republicans dismissed the poll as fatally flawed, noting that Heinrich ran in a competitive June 3 primary and advertised heavily leading up to that contest, while White had only nominal competition in the GOP primary and has been conserving his funds for the general election.

“These numbers do not track with the internal numbers we have been seeing,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ken Spain said. “It is hard to believe that a candidate who has never held a full-time job, much less one with an extreme record on issues ranging from taxes and terrorism to gas prices, can withstand the scrutiny of a competitive race in a swing district like this one.”

The 1st district leans Democratic, but has been held by Republicans since 1968. Outgoing Rep. Heather Wilson (R) waged an unsuccessful bid for Senate.