Poll finds Libertarian Senate candidate running ahead of GOP in New Mexico

Published at August 20, 2018 4:22 PM
The Hill

Libertarian Party Senate candidate Gary Johnson is polling at 21 percent in New Mexico, behind Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) but with nearly twice the support shown for GOP candidate Mick Rich in the poll.

An Emerson College poll released Monday showed Heinrich winning 39 percent on the sample ballot while Rich only took 11 percent. Thirty percent of those polled were undecided.

Johnson has high name recognition in the state. He's a former governor and won attention for his presidential run in 2016.

Still, Reason Magazine reported that the poll could signal a historic vote count for Johnson.

A 21 percent showing would mark the second-highest vote total a Libertarian Senatorial candidate has ever received, Reason reports. Joe Miller garnered 29 percent of the vote in 2016 while running for the Senate in Alaska.

The Emerson poll also found that New Mexico Republicans slightly favor Johnson above Rich, at 27 percent to 25 percent respectively. However, Johnson's advantage is within the poll's margin of error.

The numbers are especially difficult for Rich as Johnson only announced his candidacy on Tuesday, a few days before the poll was conducted.

“What a crazy, wacky world we live in,” Rich told the Santa Fe New Mexican last week, arguing that Johnson is “more in sync with [Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders] than he is with Republicans.”

Emerson College's poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points and was conducted from Aug. 17-18 with a sample of 500 registered voters.

Original article: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/402715-poll-gary-johnson-at-21-in-senate-race-nearly-twice-as-much-as-gop-nominee