On Tuesday, Republican candidate for governor Brigadier Gen. Greg Zanetti (ret.) released an internal campaign poll memo showing his opponents trailing him when put head-to-head against Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
According to the news release, “The survey was conducted January 3 – 4, 2022, with 531 likely general election voters. It has a margin of error of ±4.21%. Known registered voters were interviewed via IVR, SMS, and online panel. This survey was weighted to a likely general election voter universe.”
“On the informed ballot, Greg Zanetti leads Michelle Lujan Grisham 43 percent to 40 percent, while Mark Ronchetti trails 40 percent to 45 percent and Rebecca Dow trails 34 percent to 47 percent,” the poll’s results revealed.
The environment is ripe for a GOP win in November. Voters believe New Mexico is off on the wrong track (WT +5), and they are not happy with President Biden (-2 net fav, 41% very unfavorable).
The generic Democrat has a slight edge in the Governor’s race (D+1). Voters aged 65+ are R+4, and they represent the largest age group in the turnout universe (37%).
Voters are ready for someone new as 52% want someone other than Grisham to be Governor. She only gets 39% re-elect (a measly 25% “definite”) with 9% undecided.
“This poll confirms what I have been hearing throughout the state while on the campaign trail,” said Greg Zanetti. “New Mexicans feel the state is headed in the wrong direction and they are ready for a new governor. Voters rolled the dice in the 2018 gubernatorial race and elected someone not ready to serve. Look where that has gotten us. The message is clear, New Mexicans are ready for a candidate with real executive experience who can come in on day-one and make their lives better.”
In the memo from the polling company, Cygnal reads that “Once voters are presented with Ronchetti’s thin experience, Grisham takes the lead by 5%.” It continues, “[Ronchetti] loses 10% of definite support with Trump 2020 voters; Grisham picks up 5% with women.”
“Once voters are presented with Zanetti’s executive leadership background, he leads by 3%, a nearly 8-point swing in Zanetti’s direction,” the group wrote. “His leads +38 with Independents, +17 with 18 – 49, and wins 12% of Biden 2022 voters.”
Regarding how Dow matches up in the poll, “His leads +38 with Independents, +17 with 18 – 49, and wins 12% of Biden 2022 voters.” It adds, “Dow only gets 72% of Trump 2020 voters, 38% of Independents, and 25% of female voters.”
Rep. Dow responded to the poll with the following statement:
It’s disappointing to see a GOP candidate use a misleading question (there has never been an incident of sexual abuse at the child care center I founded and I was removed from that lawsuit without prejudice.) to sway the outcome of a poll. I’m used to these types of attacks from progressives, not from our own.
The citizens of New Mexico are smart enough to see through lies and attack ads. We must elect a candidate who can win, govern well, and leave this state red for years to come. That candidate is me.
The Cygnal memo continues regarding Ronchetti, “What should further concern Republican primary voters is that Ronchetti loses 10% of his Republican base in the General Election once they hear he was previously a never-Trumper. Republicans cannot afford a 10% erosion of their base in pursuit of winning the Governor’s race…. If Republicans want to win in November, they need a candidate with executive experience.”
It is unclear why the poll did not include other candidates running, including businesswoman Karen Bedonie, Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block, or Right to Life of New Mexico executive director Ethel Maharg.
A spokesman for Mark Ronchetti’s campaign provided the following statement:
This is another poll that shows Mark Ronchetti tied with Governor Lujan Grisham and clearly her strongest Republican opponent. Our own survey shows Mark tied 46% to 46%. MLG’s polling clearly shows the same thing, which is why she began attacking Mark before he even entered the race.
The fairy-tale push-polling done in the survey is pure propaganda and it’s noteworthy that the Zanetti campaign chose not to release any primary election poll numbers.