A new poll from The Albuquerque Journal found that 59% of New Mexicans either oppose abortion in all cases or support some sort of restrictions.
“The poll conducted by Research & Polling Inc. between August 19 and August 25 with a sample size of 518 voters found that 35 percent of New Mexicans support abortion up-to-birth, meaning no restrictions whatsoever.
“Twenty-two percent supported some legal limits on abortion, while 25 percent say abortion should be legal only in cases of rape or incest, while 12 percent say abortion should always be illegal.”–“Poll proves most NM voters are pro-life, abortion up-to-birth Dems in extreme minority,” Pinon Post, Aug. 30, 2022
The same poll showed that incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is leading Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti by 7 points, 47% to 40%.
Grisham opposes any restrictions to abortion.
Ronchetti supports a 15-week abortion ban with exceptions for the life of the mother and in cases of rape or incest.
Grisham is one of the least popular governors in the country. Under her leadership, New Mexico ranks last nationally in unemployment, education, and childhood well-being. We have the fourth-highest suicide rate and seventh-highest homicide rate. New Mexico has the highest alcohol-related death rate in the nation–and double the national average, and leads the country in per-capita welfare. Despite some of the strictest COVID policies and a still-standing emergency declaration (running 900+ days now), New Mexico has the fifth worst COVID fatality rate per capita in the U.S.
How is that governor leading by seven points?
There’s only one way to interpret this discrepancy.
Ronk Losing the Information War
Political campaigns are about getting out your message to the public. It’s about contrasting promises with results. Thanks (or not) to the Supreme Court’s overturning of federal abortion this summer, Democrats have regained some control over a midterm election that everyone expected would be a clean sweep for Republicans. Gas prices are through the roof, inflation is at 40-year highs, the economy is heading toward recession, and by all accounts Democrats were headed for a midterm slaughter this November. But abortion has changed the narrative. Grisham got the memo.
As a failed governor herself, she has not relented in her attacks against Ronchetti. They are false, but they are working.
That Grisham is up 7 points despite a dismal record proves that Ronchetti is losing the information war. So far.
The Path Forward Is Through
Ronchetti recently told Alex Ross of the Roswell Daily Record, “when you look at where we are as a state, the most important issues we have are crime, education and the economy.”
He’s absolutely right, and he has the data on his side showing that Grisham has failed as a governor on the issues that matter most.
But abortion has become the elephant in the room, nationally and in New Mexico. For Democrats, it’s an effective red herring to distract from the Leftist policies that are destroying cities and states across the country. New Mexicans are on Ronchetti’s side, his position is reasonable, moral, and mainstream, but Grisham’s continuous assaults on Ronchetti as an “anti-choice extremist” who is “sympathizing with extremist white nationalist groups” and “has one goal: ban abortion in the state of New Mexico” appear to be working. There’s no other explanation for the seven-point polling gap.
Abortion is divisive, and an “anti-abortion” Republican can’t make headway on “the most important issues in the state” when he’s hobbled by an “extremist” label.
Ronchetti has two months to bridge the gap and set the record straight. If the messaging doesn’t dispel the lies about his position on abortion and redirect attention back to the issues that actually matter, the seven point spread won’t be a poll. It will be another four years of failed policies dragging New Mexico down.