Richardson Approval Numbers in Free Fall
We're going to have our New Mexico poll results out starting tomorrow- perhaps the most interesting thing we found is that Bill Richardson has become one of the least popular Governors in the country, with 63% of voters in the state disapproving of him to only 28% approving. He's even in negative territory among Democrats at a 42/47 spread.
I've always been amazed by Governor Bill Richardson's early popularity. Despite the rhetoric, the "successes" of this Administration have been nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
- The Richardson Administration threw more and more money to appease education special interests groups, while ignoring the fact that each year student performance is worse than the year before.
- The Richardson Administration raided our road funds to give $100 million dollar gifts to billionaires, and build a train that benefits only a tenth of a percent of the state's population.
- The Richardson Administration has been mired in one pay-to-play scandal after another.
So, what does this all mean for the Democratic hopefuls during this upcoming election year. Well, right now it looks like Richardson Administration #2, Lt. Governor Diane Denish, is still polling out ahead... barely:
Keep in mind, the Lt. Governor has been campaigning for this position for going on two years. So, I don't know that those numbers are anything to celebrate about - especially, considering Pete Domenici Jr. just got in the race a couple of weeks ago.
Where New Mexico departs from its regional counterparts is that it still looks favored to vote Democratic in its most significant statewide race this year. Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish leads her top Republican opponent, Pete Domenici Jr., by a 45-40 margin and has leads of 14-18 points over the rest of the GOP field.
Denish is by far the best known of the candidates running, with 41% of voters in the state holding a positive opinion of her to just 34% who see her negatively.
It's going to be very hard for the Lt. Governor to start disengaging herself from the Governor after Denish has been so silent for so long. Only 34% of the voters see her negatively right now, but let's be realistic. She has operated in the shadow of Governor for the last eight years. His failed policies are bringing him down very quickly. It's not going to be very long before that same problem is encountered by Richardson's #2. This is particularly true when we consider that the Governor spent so much time out of state during his Presidential dream chasing, that the state was actually being run by Lt. Governor Diane Denish.