Barack Obama is considerably less popular in New Mexico now than he was in 2008. He won 57% of the vote there, but now has an approval rating under 50% in the state at 49/46. Those represent the poorest numbers we've found for him in New Mexico all year: in February he was at 55% approval and in June it was 50%. Obama is upside down with independents at 47/52 and has a lower than normal 72% approval rating with Democrats.
The good news for Obama though is that voters in the state aren't responding positively to any of the Republican hopefuls. Current front runner Newt Gingrich has a 28/62 favorability rating and Mitt Romney's is 27/58. The most 'popular' of the Republicans, such as it is, is Ron Paul at 27/54.
Paul is also the only one of the Republicans who manages to improve on John McCain's 2008 peformance in the state. He trails by 13 points at 51-38. He's the only GOP hopeful who leads Obama with independents, at 46-38, and the 14% of Democrats he gets ties Romney for the highest level of crossover support any of the Republicans receives. Paul as the strongest of the Republican candidates with independents has become more the rule than the exception in our recent polling across the country.
Romney matches McCain's 15 point margin of defeat, trailing 53-38. Most of the undecideds are Republicans though so he would probably pull closer if he actually ended up being the nominee. Rounding out the field Gingrich trails 56-39, Michele Bachmann is down 56-36, and Rick Perry has a 56-35 deficit.
Americans are more fed up than ever with the 2 main political parties right now so we also looked to see how Gary Johnson might do in his home state running as a Libertarian and the answer is pretty darn well. In a 3 way contest with Obama and Romney he gets 23% with Obama at 44% and Romney at 27%. And in a 3 way with Gingrich, Johnson gets 20% to 45% for Obama and 28% for Gingrich.
What's interesting about Johnson's support is that he's pulling a fair amount from both sides. His supporters in the match up with Obama and Romney go just 47-33 for Romney in a head to head contest. And his supporters against Obama and Gingrich actually vote for Obama 47-40 in a head to head. So Johnson's pulling from across the spectrum. Just because he's doing that in New Mexico doesn't really say anything about his ability to do it on a broader scale but it shows that with folks who are familiar with his message he has support across the spectrum.
The bottom line on New Mexico though is that whatever Johnson does, this is probably the safest Bush 2004/Obama 2008 state for the President. He would have to get destroyed nationally not to keep New Mexico's electoral votes in his column.
Full results here