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Posted at 2:55 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2012
The New Mexico Senate race appears to be moving in Democrats’ direction.
That’s the sense after a string of new polling showed Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) expanding his lead beyond the margin of error against former Rep. Heather Wilson (R). Plus, national Republicans have shifted money for television time out of the state to a more competitive race.
With these developments, Roll Call is moving the race from Tossup to Leans Democratic.
Wilson’s strength as a candidate and her solid campaign operation are what kept the race in the more competitive category for so long. Until recently, polling continued to show Heinrich with small leads. However, he has run a smart campaign as well, and the state’s demographics are on his side in this presidential cycle.
New Mexico, which has a higher percentage of Hispanics than any other state in the country, gave President Barack Obama a 15-point victory in 2008, and he’s heavily favored to carry it again this year.
The race for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) features the last two Representatives of the Albuquerque-based 1st district and remains one to watch. But for now it doesn’t belong in the same category as races in Montana, Massachusetts and Virginia.