Richardson meets voters in a Manchester, New Hampshire diner over the weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He may be in the lower tier in the national polls, but New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is the clear favorite in a new presidential survey in his home state.
The Democratic White House hopeful registers at 44% in a new Albuquerque Journal poll of likely Democratic primary voters. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, is a distant second at 17%. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, are each tied at 8%.
Richardson is a former congressman, who also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary under President Bill Clinton. He returned to New Mexico and won election as governor in 2002 and was easily re-elected last year.
While Richardson is the front runner in his home state, it’s a different story for him nationally. The governor is in single digits in just about every national poll taken recently.
As for the early voting states, Richardson is showing promise in Iowa and New Hampshire, though he is not doing as well in South Carolina. In Iowa, the man who hopes to be America’s first Latino president, is now registering in double digits. Richardson has campaigned extensively and advertised heavily in this kick-off state in the presidential nominating process.
He is in fourth place in most recent state polls in New Hampshire, the site of the nation's first primary. But in South Carolina, which holds the first Southern primary, Richardson is in single digits.
The Albuquerque Journal poll, conducted by Research and Polling, questioned 407 likely Democratic Primary voters in New Mexico between September 4th and 7th. It’s margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser