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Narrow N.M. Senate Race Will Only Get Closer

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. Martin Heinrich (above) is facing former Rep. Heather Wilson for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman. The race is close, and both candidates have outside groups adding support and money to the contest.

Wilson outraised Heinrich in the second quarter, $1.6 million to $1.4 million, when Heinrich had a competitive primary. Heinrich still ended the quarter with slightly more cash, with almost $1.8 million in the bank compared with more than $1.6 million for Wilson.

A poll conducted for environmental groups from June 28 to July 1 by Democratic firm FM3 found Heinrich ahead 49 percent to 45 percent. That’s nearly identical to internal polling conducted for Heinrich’s campaign, which had him up 50 percent to 45 percent, he said. Wilson pollster Glen Bolger said Wednesday that the campaign’s latest internal poll from last month had Heinrich up 48 percent to 45 percent.

Heinrich is counting on the support of the state’s two Democratic Senators, Bingaman and Tom Udall. They headlined a fundraiser for him earlier this month, and Bingaman has told Heinrich he’ll help as much as possible. His primary opponent, state Auditor Hector Balderas, has also been helpful, Heinrich said.

Martinez, a longtime friend of Wilson’s, was recently the special guest for an event in Las Cruces, and the campaign will welcome Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to the state on Saturday.

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