Only 27% of likely Albuquerque voters have a positive view of the city’s economy, though many say their personal finances haven’t changed much since the COVID-19 pandemic hit New Mexico there. over a year and a half ago.
A new Journal poll showed that 25% of those polled rated the strength of Albuquerque’s economy “good”, while only 2% rated it “excellent.” Meanwhile, 71% of those polled rated the economy as “fair” or “poor”.
However, Brian Sanderoff, president of Albuquerque-based Research & Polling Inc., which conducted the poll, said there is a silver lining for the city’s economic leaders: most of these respondents (50% at total) judge the economy to be fair rather than the weakest. option. A similar 2017 poll found that 35% of those polled rated the economy “bad”, and 47% others rated it “fair”.
“So we have a long way to go to increase the strength of our economy, but at least we have half of the people who deem it ‘fair’,” Sanderoff said.
As with the other poll questions, the city’s view of the economy showed a strong partisan divide, with 34% of Republicans calling the economy bad, compared to 12% of Democrats. Sanderoff said opinions about the city’s economic progress often correlate with which party holds the highest office.
“If we had a Republican mayor, I think we would see more Republicans complimenting the overall direction of the economy,” Sanderoff said.
Sanderoff added that the pandemic likely played a role in respondents’ opinion. The pandemic and associated restrictions designed to contain the spread of the virus have helped shut down a number of businesses, while sparking unemployment in New Mexico and across the country. Sanderoff said the combination of high unemployment and businesses struggling to find workers would leave a wide range of people dissatisfied with the economic situation.
“These are the main ingredients for people to complain about the strength of the economy,” Sanderoff said.
Despite this, the poll also found that the pandemic had not significantly changed most respondents’ perceptions of their own financial situation. When asked if they were better off, worse off, or about the same as before the pandemic, 66% of respondents said their financial situation was about the same.
“COVID had a huge economic, social and emotional impact on Albuquerque, but there was still a majority of people who managed to keep their jobs and get through it all,” Sanderoff said. “And we see it in the data.”
The poll showed that 16% of those polled said they were better off financially than before the pandemic, while 18% said they were worse off. Among respondents without a high school diploma, almost twice as many said they were worse off (27%) than they said they were better (14%).
While respondents were less than optimistic when asked directly about the economy, Sanderoff said the poll also showed the economy was the priority for fewer Albuquerque residents. When asked what they think is the biggest problem facing residents of the metro Albuquerque area today, only 3% of respondents cited the weakness of the economy, putting it behind crime, the homelessness, poor education, COVID-19 and the proposed football stadium on the list of answers.
“It wasn’t that long ago that the economy was the most important thing,” Sanderoff said.
The poll, which took place between October 15 and 21, was based on a scientific sample of the city of 536 likely voters in local elections. The voter sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. The margin of error increases for the subsamples.
All interviews were conducted by professional interviewers live, with multiple reminders to households that did not initially answer the phone.
Mobile phone numbers (82%) and landlines (18%) were used.
Wednesday: Albuquerque voters vote on the biggest issues facing the city.