"Already Voted" Leaning Heavily Republican in NM

"Already Voted" Leaning Heavily Republican in NM

By Sean Trende - October 18, 2010

In 2008, SurveyUSA provided some interesting data for polls of states that utilized early voting.  Beginning in October, it broke its data down into "already voted" and "likely to vote."  In an October 14 poll of the New Mexico Senate race between Tom Udall and Steve Pearce, SurveyUSA found that voters who had "already voted" broke for the Democratic Senate candidate 65 percent to 32 percent; among likely voters it was 57 percent to 41 percent for the Democrat.

The actual results were about halfway between the two -- Udall won 61 percent.  This sounds like what you'd expect, until you take into account the fact that actual voters made up only 10 percent of the poll sample.  In other words, either a large chunk of the "likely voters" who hadn't voted either changed their mind and voted for the Democrat, or they simply didn't vote.

So it has to be a bit disconcerting for Democrats that SurveyUSA's latest poll shows that early voters claim to have voted 60 percent to 36 percent for Republican gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez.  Perhaps the remaining voters really will break more heavily for Diane Denish.  But it is probably more likely that they will follow the 2008 model, and mostly stay home.

The good news for Democrats?  While this trend held in other high-profile races (North Carolina), it was not nearly as pronounced in others (Maine).  But as far as New Mexico is concerned, the precedent isn't a good one for Democrats.

Sean Trende is senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. He is a co-author of the 2014 Almanac of American Politics and author of The Lost Majority. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SeanTrende.

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