Home > General > New Mexico Conservatives go for Palin, Moderates heart Romney

New Mexico Conservatives go for Palin, Moderates heart Romney

New Mexico Republicans sent out their Valentines, and the trends are keeping steady.

Palin leads the overall Presidential field with 20%, followed by Huckabee at 17%, Romney at 16%, and Gingrich and former NM Governor/Pot enthusiast Gary Johnson at 13% apiece. Ron Paul, Mitch Daniels, and Pawlenty were all in low single digits.

Minus Johnson, Palin’s lead gets a little larger as she picks up a pair to 22%, Huckabee gains one to 18%, Gingrich hops to 15%, and Romney goes nowhere at 16%. Romney would have been my guess as to the biggest beneficiary to a no-Johnson field, but it ends up being Palin.

Other trends stay similar, Palin is the most popular among conservatives, with a +66 (80-14) net favorability among New Mexican Cons. Huckabee is equally well-liked overall at +66 (76-10) but slightly fewer conservatives have an opinion of him. Romney’s troubled area shines once again, as his net favorability among conservatives sits at just +31 (59-28). This can be a long term problem because, as 2008 showed, if you cannot lock up the conservatives it is nearly impossible to win enough moderates and independents to overcome that loss.

Moderate Republicans/RINO voters help Mitt Romney the most. He leads the field with 19% of the moderate vote, followed closely by Palin (16%) and Huckabee (15%). This is a decent showing for Palin among moderates given that her overall favorable among that group are at -14% (41-55). Huckabee fares a little better at +10%, and Romney leads the field at +16% (51-35). What’s clear about the moderate Republican voter is: They don’t really seem to like anyone, as none of the three candidates get much more than half of the moderate/RINO thumbs up.

Palin is looking good to take New Mexico. 70% of Republicans call themselves Conservative, which hurts Romney. Huckabee is the other Conservative threat at this point, but we think he will be hurt in the long run, if he runs, because of a lowered ability to raise funds and rally crowds (compared to Pain).

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