New Mexico’s U.S. Senate Race is holding strong as the second most likely in the country to switch parties, according to Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza:
Rep. Steve Pearce’s victory over Rep. Heather Wilson in the Republican primary earlier this month improves Rep. Tom Udall’s (D) chances of winning this open seat in the fall. While Pearce’s solid record of conservatism during his six years in the House played well in the primary, it’s not likely to be as helpful in a general election in a state that is clearly trending toward Democrats. Pearce will paint Udall as too liberal for the state, but the Democrat has a solid gold last name (his father, Stewart, was a congressman from Arizona and Secretary of the Interior during the Kennedy/Johnson Administrations; and his uncle was the famous Mo Udall, also a former Arizona congressman). He also has crime-fighting credentials from the eight years in the 1990s he spent as the state’s Attorney General. This is an extremely strong pickup chance for Democrats.
New Mexico also held the number two spot in the last edition of Cillizza’s Senate race rankings. Virginia’s Senate race between former Republican governor Jim Gilmore and former Democratic governor Mark Warner ranked number one in both lists.
In introducing his rankings, Cillizza notes that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is hoping for just three losses on election night as a best-case scenario. This year’s election is the “toughest since Watergate,” according to the committee’s chairman John Ensign.
“It would be a great night if we lost three seats,” Ensign said, adding that winning back the majority in this election cycle would be “fairly miraculous.”