President Obama still holds the lead in the swing state of New Mexico. According to PPP Obama leads 49 percent to Romney at 44 percent, but this is a serious drop from earlier in the year. From PPP:

PPP’s newest New Mexico poll finds the race for President there getting a lot more competitive. Barack Obama continues to lead but his advantage is down to 5 points at 49-44, a far cry from the leads of 14 and 15 points he had on our previous two polls of the state.

The big difference between now and April comes with Democrats. Previously Obama was winning them 85-12 but now that lead is down to 73-21. New Mexico is a state, like North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where any chance at victory for Romney is going to require winning over a significant number of conservative Democrats. Right now he’s doing a pretty decent job of that.

New Mexico still looks like a lean Obama state, but a surprise choice by Mitt Romney of Susana Martinez as his running mate could make the state a toss up. With her on the ticket Obama’s lead drops all the way down to 48-47. That’s a testament to Martinez’s appeal with Democrats. She would reduce Obama’s lead with them even further to 70-25. There aren’t a lot of potential VP choices who would make a big difference in their home states, but there also aren’t a lot with a 56/34 approval spread.

It it interesting to see that Governor Susana Martinez actually makes a real impact on the presidential race. According to PPP early polling, other possible running mate choices for Romney produced little or no benefit in their home states. PPP found choosing Senator Marco Rubio would only improve Romney’s relative performance in Florida by a single point. Even worse, picking Senator Rob Portman would actually increase Obama’s lead in Ohio by a single point.

Gov. Martinez is a female and Hispanic¬† Most importantly, it appears she could actually help improve Romney’s prospects in a swing state. On paper at least she looks like a solid choice, although she has said she is not interested in the position.