About those polls

The Albuquerque Journal has been running its usual pre-election poll results. Gov. Martinez has a significant (18 point) lead on Gary King and yet, subsequent polls show seemingly broad voter support for two policies Martinez opposes (at least somewhat).

On the minimum wage, 68 percent support the idea while 27% oppose it. Martinez has previously vetoed a hike to $8.58 an hour while having said she supported a smaller increase. These polling data are in line with national polling on the minimum wage.

Unfortunately, the Journal chose not to ask more specific questions involving trade-offs such as higher prices or lost jobs. Economics 101 (and the Congressional Budget Office) tell us that imposing price floors leads to lost jobs:

And, on the proposal to tap the Permanent Fund to create a raft of new government programs targeted at early childhood, the poll results were strongly in favor of the plan. Unfortunately for the advocates, results of similar plans as enacted in other states are mixed.

It is hard to measure the depth of the voting public’s passion when it comes to these issues, but it is worth noting that right to work is supported by overwhelming majorities nationally.

Support for school choice tax credits is also overwhelming (64% to 25%, see Q. 20) and yet New Mexico remains without this type of school choice.

Polls are interesting indicators of public opinion, but support in a poll doesn’t always translate into reality. Hopefully, voters are smart enough to realize that raising the minimum wage and spending more money to expand the education bureaucracy aren’t going to improve New Mexico’s economy.