The headline in the Albuquerque Journal story is “Rejecting Party Labels” and true enough, as is clearly visible in the following chart, New Mexico voters are rejecting party labels in growing numbers:
What was really interesting to me is that the gap between Republican and Democrat registration in supposedly liberal 18-24 year olds is 11 percent according to the poll. That compares with an astonishing 18 point advantage for Democrats among voters 65 and up. All other age demographics had a party registration gap of 15 points.
I am not a pollster and Rio Grande Foundation is not partisan, but this data caught my eye when I saw it because to say that this deviates from national trends would be an incredible understatement. Check out the chart below from the Pew Center which does polling on politics at the national level (it is from 2012, but still relevant):
The Pew chart clearly shows that Americans generally identify more Republican as they age with the so-called “Silent Generation” being even and each subsequent group identifying more strongly with Democrats. The “Millennial” generation gap nationally is an astonishing 27 points in favor of Democrats.
Is there something unusual about Sanderoff’s polling here in New Mexico that drove these results? I don’t know, but from what I can tell, New Mexico’s oldest voters are far more inclined to be Democrats than their peers in other states and young people in New Mexico are somewhat more Republican than older voters or their peers in other states. Perhaps the winds of political change are coming to the Land of Enchantment?