New York Times/CBS/YouGov Battleground Poll: Martinez lead down to just 5 points, Governor under 50%

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The latest public poll in the New Mexico’s governor’s race shows Susana Martinez’s lead over Democrat Gary King slipping to just 5-points, down from an 8-point lead earlier this summer. It also shows Martinez under 50% for the first time.  Martinez led 48-43% at the beginning of September.

This poll is the second in a series monitoring battleground races by the media groups and YouGov, an online market research firm. CBS News’ long-time news anchor and political reporter Bob Schieffer announced the project online earlier this year.

In July the firm polled more than 100,000 voters, including 903 New Mexicans, to track the race (the average in-person or phone poll size is 400-600 voters).  That poll showed Martinez up 52-44% in mid-July. Teaming up with reputable organizations including the NY Times and CBS News, the group provides an ongoing profile of the race by polling in the same races four times through November.

The most recent poll, conducted from August 18- September 1 among 1,096 likely voters, show Martinez’s lead slipping from 8 to 5-points in the last two months.  Notably, Martinez is pulling in less than 50% for the first time in this latest poll.

While Democrat Gary King posted disappointing fundraising numbers last week, political watchers suggest that Democrats are becoming more engaged as the election nears. Republicans, including Governor Martinez herself, have publicly voiced opposition  to local ballot initiatives to vote on marijuana decriminalization because they fear those measures will turnout more young voters to the polls.

NM Telegram‘s Matt Reichbach notes that this latest poll shows why increased turnout there may matter:

King leads among the youngest voters (18-29 years old) and Martinez leads among the oldest voters (65 years old and up). Martinez has narrow leads among voters in between, though the numbers are well within the margin of error, especially with the larger margins of error for subgroups.

ProgressNowNM is one of two statewide groups leading organizing efforts to place marijuana decriminalization questions on the ballot this November. (learn more:

Reichbach also notes that the thinning Martinez lead is also noted in the rolling poll average monitored by and HuffPoPolitics.  Real Clear Politics‘ rolling polling includes this latest poll and an Albuquerque Journal poll taken during two days in mid-August.

This new poll shows not only that the key to beating Susana Martinez in November is engaging and turning out progressive voters – especially young voters – who are fed up with political campaigns as usual.

It also shows why Republicans are so afraid of campaigns like ours to put questions about marijuana on the ballot.  Now that important questions are on the ballot, Republican Sec. of State Dianna Duran says she’s working to take them off.  We’ll win this fight too, and be ready for this election in November.

ProgressNowNM is New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy group.  
More than 100,000 progressives across the state help us move progressive issues forward.  
Our campaign to put marijuana decriminalization questions on the ballot this November is engaging voters like no other campaign. Help us move New Mexico forward in 2014.