Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 5, 2015

Race Rating Change: New Mexico Senate Now Leans Democratic

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.

To see a map of all of our Senate race ratings, click here. To see a chart of the Senate races by rating, click here.

Comment (1)

  1. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2012
    7:53 p.m.

    Wilson is a credible candidate in her own right and, indeed, against practically any other opponent she might even be the likely winner, even in a presidential year. Unfortunately, she just can not seem to catch a break; in the ’08 cycle, she had to contend with both a doctrinaire conservative primary opposition and a scandal involving her mentor, a multiple-term Senate veteran. This cycle, she is facing both insufficient support level from voters of Hispanic and/or Native background, and an apparent dearth of enthusiasm among core R groups (e.g. males) and regions (e.g. “Little Texas”).

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