SANTA FE (AP) — After a summer of bruising television ads in New Mexico’s race for governor, Democrat Gary King remains optimistic he can close the gap in an uphill challenge against Republican incumbent Susana Martinez.
The two-term attorney general trailed Martinez by 9 percentage points in a recent poll and lags far behind in fundraising. But King is undaunted.
“We weathered a million dollars’ worth of negative ads, and we’re still within striking range in the polls,” King said in an interview.
Martinez and the Republican Governors Association unloaded on King with a barrage of TV ads within days after he won the Democratic nomination in June.
Now the general election is rapidly approaching, with absentee voting to start in a little over a month on Oct. 7.
Martinez leads the race with 50 percent of likely voters backing her, according to a poll commissioned by the Albuquerque Journal. King was favored by 41 percent and 9 percent were undecided in the mid-August survey.
Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff, whose firm conducted the poll, said King faces a difficult task.