A poll on the upcoming attorney general’s race shows incumbent Gary King with a 15-point lead over Matt Chandler heading into November’s general election.
King, a Democrat, was chosen by 48 percent of poll respondents, while Chandler, currently serving his second term as the district attorney for the state’s 9th Judicial District, was backed by 33 percent of those polled, according to a copyright story reported in the Albuquerque Journal.
The poll from Albuquerque-based Research and Polling, Inc. showed 19 percent were undecided. The poll was based on telephone interviews Aug. 23-27 with 942 randomly selected registered voters statewide. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
“Chandler has an uphill battle here, and would have to raise a lot of money, and spend it well, in order to win this election,” pollster Brian Sanderoff, president of Research and Polling Inc., told the Journal.
King, who is seeking a second term, is a former legislator and the son of the late former three-term Gov. Bruce King.
“I don’t know how you can feel negatively about a poll where you’re 15 points up with a month before people start voting,” King said. “But my father always said the only poll that counts is the one on election day, and obviously I need to get more than 50 percent of the vote.”
The Chandler campaign responded to the poll, arguing that King is polling below 50 percent, despite incumbent status and a family history in elected office, because he hasn’t done enough to tackle corruption in the state.
“This election isn’t about family names; it is about fresh direction and the future of our state,” Chandler said in a release. “And today’s findings reveal that with all of King’s advantages, he still fails to secure the support of the majority of New Mexicans.”
King called the response “campaign rhetoric” and said non-partisan observers have noticed his anti-corruption efforts.
According to the poll, each candidate had 71 percent support from their own party. Sixteen percent of Republicans backed King, while 10 percent of Democrats supported Chandler. Of independent, 40 percent supported King, 27 percent Chandler and 31 percent were undecided.