On Wednesday, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a project of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, made two race rating changes, both changing gubernatorial races in Michigan and Pennsylvania from “Leans Democratic” to “Likely Democratic.”
However, it kept New Mexico’s “Leans Democratic” rating. But as the Crystal Ball noted, of all the Leans D races, New Mexico Republicans’ race to take out Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appears to be the most exciting.
It wrote regarding the three remaining Leans D races, “Of this trio, Republicans have seemed most excited about New Mexico, although Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) has consistently led 2020 Senate nominee Mark Ronchetti (R) in polling. Govs. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Janet Mills (D-ME) have led their rivals, too.”
All but one recent poll have consistently rated the race within single digits of Lujan Grisham, with the most recent The Hill/Emerson poll showing Ronchetti with 43 percent to the Governor’s 48 percent with a margin of error of three percentage points — a near statistical tie. Five percent of voters remain undecided. Three percent are voting for another candidate (Libertarian Karen Bedonie, who was formerly a Republican before switching parties).
Far-left organizations and labor unions have thrown their support behind Lujan Grisham, while the New Mexico Fraternal Order of Police, Albuquerque Police Officers Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and public safety groups have backed Ronchetti.
In New Mexico, crime is a major issue, as is the border, with one of the largest drug busts happening in Albuquerque this month. The city recently hit its 100th homicide, on track to exceed 2021’s most deadly year of 117 killings. The federal government has reported over two million illegal immigrant apprehensions on the border within the year alone.
Ronchetti will debate Lujan Grisham on KOB 4 on Friday, September 30. The debate will be one hour starting at 7:00 p.m.