ICYMI: Michelle Lujan Grisham Holds 12 Point Lead in Journal Poll
ALBUQUERQUE – Democratic Nominee Michelle Lujan Grisham holds a 12-percentage point lead over her Republican opponent in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, according to a poll by the state’s largest newspaper, the Albuquerque Journal.
The Journal poll, conducted last week, shows Lujan Grisham with a 46-34 lead with less than two months until Election Day.
By Dan Boyd
September 10, 2012
Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham has built a strong lead over Republican Janice Arnold-Jones in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District contest, but one in five voters is undecided, according to a Journal Poll.
Forty-six percent of the 1st District voters surveyed Sept. 3-6 on the race for the U.S. House seat said they would vote for Lujan Grisham, while 34 percent said they would vote for Arnold-Jones.
Meanwhile, in New Mexico’s two other U.S. House races, incumbent Reps. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat, and Steve Pearce, a Republican, each led their challengers by sizable margins with nine weeks remaining before the Nov. 6 general election.
1st Congressional District
In the Albuquerque-based contest between Lujan Grisham and Arnold-Jones, about 20 percent of the likely voters said they were undecided or did not know whom they would vote for.
The undecided figure leaves hope for Arnold-Jones in a contest that does not have an incumbent, said Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff. The percentage of undecided voters was even higher among voters age 50 and younger.
“In a sense, these candidates are just now getting known,” Sanderoff said.
Since its creation in the late 1960s, the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District, which now includes Bernalillo and Torrance Counties and slivers of several other counties, has historically favored Republicans.
However, Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich has held the seat since 2009, winning re-election in 2010 in a tough election year for Democrats. Heinrich is leaving the seat this year to seek, along with former Republican Rep. Heather Wilson, the U.S. Senate seat opening up with the retirement of longtime Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman.
Lujan Grisham, a former state cabinet secretary for health and aging who recently stepped down as a Bernalillo County commissioner, tallied about 40 percent of the vote to win a three-way Democratic primary race earlier this year.
As of the end of June, she had raised nearly three times as much campaign cash as Arnold-Jones, a former state representative who was unopposed in the GOP primary.
To have a chance at defeating Lujan Grisham, Arnold-Jones will likely have to receive more financial backing from political action committees and other national groups, Sanderoff said.
“Janice Arnold-Jones would have to spend significant resources just to gain better name recognition,” he said.
While male voters surveyed in the 1st Congressional District were almost evenly split on whom they would vote for, Lujan Grisham had a 20 point advantage over Arnold-Jones – 49 percent to 29 percent – among female voters, the Journal Poll found.
Lujan Grisham has cast herself as an advocate for seniors and has made abortion rights and other women’s issues key parts of her campaign.
Arnold-Jones recently launched television advertisements that describe her as a champion for small businesses and government transparency.
Authorized by Michelle Lujan Grisham for Congress