It’s not scientific, and it’s possible the results of New Mexico’s Democratic presidential primary on June 7 could be way different, but the vast majority of people who voted in NMPolitics.net’s recent straw poll said they’ll pick Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
In our straw poll, 519 people said they will vote in New Mexico’s Democratic primary. Some 74 percent of them — 384 people — said they will vote for Sanders, while 26 percent — 135 people — said they will vote for Clinton.
Nationally, Clinton has a massive delegate lead. As the Washington Post reported, Sanders may be able to force a contested Democratic Party convention, but that doesn’t mean he can win it. Most analysts see the Democratic contest as over because of the number of so-called superdelegates who support Clinton.
Still, Clinton has hired staff in New Mexico and is actively competing here. Sanders hasn’t hired staff here, but there have been active grassroots efforts to help him win the state’s primary in Las Cruces and other areas of the state.
Our straw poll also asked people who said they were going to vote in the Republican presidential primary to pick a candidate. Those results are even less significant in a practical sense, now that all candidates but Donald Trump have dropped out and made him the party’s presumptive nominee — which happened in the middle of our week-long straw poll.
But the results are still interesting.
Only 94 people said they would vote in the Republican primary. Trump had the most votes — 39, or 41 percent. He was followed by Ted Cruz, who had 29 votes, or 31 percent, and John Kasich, who had 15 votes, or 16 percent.
Twelve percent, or 11 people, said they would vote in the GOP primary but picked another candidate. Some said they will select other Republicans like Chris Christie and Rand Paul. Some picked Libertarian candidates like Gary Johnson. One picked Clinton. One shared plans to vote for “Voldemort,” the evil dark wizard in the Harry Potter series. Another wrote, “It would be a cold day in hell!”
It’s worth noting that New Mexico doesn’t allow write-in candidates for president, but there will still be multiple candidates on the June 7 ballot, even if the GOP primary race is already over. The state’s Republican primary voters can choose between Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Christie, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Marco Rubio. Or they can leave that section of the ballot blank.
We asked a couple of other questions in our straw poll. Of the 610 people who responded to a question asking how likely they were to vote in one of the two parties’ primaries on June 7, almost all — 561, or 92 percent — said they were highly likely to vote. Only 22 said they would not vote or were not registered with either party, which prevents them from voting in the parties’ primaries.
We also asked those who are registered without a party (declined-to-state, or what many call “independent”) if they would change their registration before the May 10 deadline so they could vote in one of the party primaries. The majority of the 572 people who responded to that question — 470, or 82 percent — said they were already registered with one of the parties or would not change their registration from declined-to-state. But 85 people, or 15 percent, said they would change their registration to Democrat to vote in that primary. And 17, or 3 percent, said they would become Republicans to vote in that primary.
The straw poll was conducted from April 28-May 4. We did it for fun, and because so little polling had been done on the presidential primaries in New Mexico — just Albuquerque Journal surveys of the Democratic and Republican contests that are more than two months old.