New Mexico: White Tops New Poll, but DCCC Is Happy

Posted July 28, 2008 at 6:26pm

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R) leads former Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (D) by 6 points in their race for the 1st district in a new poll commissioned by White’s campaign.

The survey, conducted July 22-23 by Public Opinion Strategies, found White leading Heinrich 47 percent to 41 percent, with 12 percent undecided. The poll of 500 likely general election voters had an error margin of 4.4 points.

“Martin Heinrich still can’t catch White in name ID and popularity despite his near-million dollar primary run,” said a memo regarding the poll that was prepared by Nicole McCleskey, a partner with POS who is based in New Mexico.

The survey also showed White with 78 percent name recognition and a 48 percent favorable rating, compared with Heinrich’s 65 percent name identification and 29 percent favorable rating.

Democrats saw the poll as progress in their quest to capture the Albuquerque-area 1st district, as earlier GOP polls showed White to have a much bigger lead over Heinrich.

“That Darren White would release a poll showing him bleeding support speaks volumes about the troubles he is having as President George Bush’s biggest cheerleader,” said Yoni Cohen, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The 1st district leans slightly Democratic but has been held since June 1998 by Rep. Heather Wilson (R), who is retiring. She lost the June 3 GOP Senate primary to Rep. Steve Pearce.