New Mexico gubernatorial candidates are putting a lot of their focus on how they plan to reduce the state’s high crime rate. According to a KRQE poll, crime isn’t the first or even second biggest concern to voters.
Both Republican Steve Pearce and Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, are promising to find a solution to the high crime rate in New Mexico.
New Mexicans’ number one concern is education, according to a KRQE poll.
According to the latest quality counts report, New Mexico ranks 49th in K-12 education.
Twenty-eight percent of people say improving that statistic should be the next governor’s main priority, followed by improving wages and income, and in third place is increasing public safety.
“Keep in mind that if you ask a social scientist like me, what’s the best way to actually drop our crime rates, we’re going to say create jobs and improve our education system,” said Gabe Sanchez, a political science professor at UNM.
Another major issue, as discovered in the same poll, is Marijuana legalization.
Current Governor Susana Martinez has been opposed to legalizing it throughout her eight years in office.
Nearly seventy percent said they’d vote in favor of a bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Only eighteen percent were opposed, while thirteen percent remain undecided.
“So, these are highly educated folks. I think a lot of them, whether or not they actually perceive that marijuana is a good thing to have in this state, they’re looking at the potential revenue,” said Sanchez.
With nearly a week until the midterm election, Sanchez says candidates will be looking to sway those who have not yet made up their minds.
“It might be the attack ads that do the trick, so unfortunately or fortunately, however you look at it, I think a lot more negative campaigning, down the stretch here,” said Sanchez.