The 2024 elections may still be over a year away, but New Mexico’s Second Congressional District is already capturing the nation’s attention due to its history of heavy partisan gerrymandering. In the previous election, far-left, anti-police Democrat candidate Gabe Vasquez narrowly edged out Republican Yvette Herrell by a margin of approximately 1,300 votes, and both candidates are gearing up for another showdown.
In a recent KOB 4 survey conducted by SurveyUSA, which involved over 500 likely voters in CD-2, the results indicate that the upcoming election is likely to be just as tight as the last one. Despite the district’s gerrymandered boundaries, Yvette Herrell currently leads Gabe Vasquez by a mere one percentage point, with Herrell polling at 46 percent and Vasquez at 45 percent. Particularly noteworthy is that only nine percent of respondents claimed to be undecided at this early stage in the election cycle, a relatively low figure considering the historical context.
Ken Alper, the pollster from SurveyUSA, emphasizes that both Herrell and Vasquez are well-known to the voters in the district. As “known quantities,” any significant developments or events, such as a major news story or a pivotal debate, could potentially sway the tightly contested race.
Gabe Vasquez faces the unique challenge of being an incumbent who has not yet served a full year in Congress. This limitation stems from the difficulty he has encountered in making a substantial impact with Republicans controlling the legislative process. The survey results reveal that a third of likely voters hold a favorable impression of Vasquez, while 28% have an unfavorable opinion, resulting in a net favorable rating of +5. The remaining 39% either have a neutral opinion of him or lack an opinion altogether.
For Yvette Herrell, the path is more straightforward. She must vigorously campaign, reiterate her positions to voters, and secure those critical extra votes. Herrell’s favorability ratings closely mirror Vasquez’s, with a net favorable rating of +6. Approximately 38 percent of likely voters view her favorably, while 32 percent hold an unfavorable opinion. Importantly, fewer people have a neutral or no opinion of Herrell, with that figure standing at 31 percent.
Herrell’s previous three attempts at securing the office have evidently contributed to her higher name recognition and the reduced number of undecided voters. Voters in the Second Congressional District are becoming increasingly familiar with her stances and policies.
As the 2024 election approaches, it is clear that the Second District’s history of partisan gerrymandering has not deterred competitive races, to the chagrin of far-left Democrats who tried to flip the district through shady means. Yvette Herrell’s narrow lead in the latest poll underscores the district’s political diversity and the potential for shifts in the balance of power. With voters keenly aware of the candidates and their positions, the contest promises to be a closely watched and hard-fought battle in the coming months.
A link to the full survey can be found here.