n-m-senate

Tea Party Senate Candidates Descend on CPAC

Maness is running for Senate in Louisiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Much of the attention surrounding the Conservative Political Action Conference is understandably focused on the plethora of Republicans here who may be running for president at this time next year.  

But, mostly offstage and behind the scenes, a handful of tea-party-backed Senate candidates — each running uphill against better-funded Republicans — are here among the thousands of conservative activists. They’re shaking hands, meeting potential supporters and raising some money.  

New Mexico: Jon Barela Keeping Name Out of GOP's Senate Hat

There's no challenger on the horizon yet for Sen. Tom Udall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Mexico Republican Jon Barela said he is not planning to challenge Democratic Sen. Tom Udall in 2014.

In a statement to CQ Roll Call, the former congressional candidate and current secretary of the state's Economic Development Department said running for Senate is not in his plans — at least not at the moment.

New Mexico: Heather Wilson Has Run Her Last Race

Former Rep. Heather Wilson (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson has seen her last political race.

The Republican, who lost to now-Sen. Martin Heinrich in 2012, told CQ Roll Call on Monday that her second failed Senate bid in four years would be her last run for public office.

New Mexico: Weh Considering 2014 Senate Bid

Udall is up for re-election in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Mexico business executive Allen Weh is considering a challenge to Democratic Sen. Tom Udall in 2014.

The former New Mexico Republican Party chairman and 2010 gubernatorial candidate said in a telephone interview with CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that he expects to decide by spring of next year.

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.

That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.

In Senate, Republicans Hold Arizona; Democrats Keep New Mexico

Rep. Jeff Flake will succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Congressmen from different parties are moving up to the Senate.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R) is set to represent Arizona in the Senate, while Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is set to be New Mexico's newest Senator, according to an Associated Press projection.

Daily Ad Track
American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS Make Gargantuan Final Senate Ad Push

The Republican-affiliated sister groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS will begin a massive $10.5 million Senate ad blitz today and Wednesday, blanketing competitive Senate races, including those in Maine, Montana and New Mexico, with hard-hitting attack ads.

With control of the Senate in the balance, the deep-pocketed groups are making a concerted final push to help put GOP candidates over the line.

New Mexico: Internal Poll Shows Martin Heinrich Widening Lead

New poll numbers show Rep. Martin Heinrich leading former Rep. Heather Wilson by at least 12 points. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll conducted for Rep. Martin Heinrich showed the Democrat's lead over former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) has widened to at least 12 points in their battle for New Mexico's open Senate seat.

The latest figures show Heinrich leading Wilson 55 percent to 42 percent in a two-way contest. The poll also accounted for Independent American Party candidate Jon Barrie. In a three-way contest, it showed Heinrich leading Wilson 51 percent to 39 percent, with Barrie receiving 8 percent of the vote.

New Mexico: Could Third-Party Candidate Play Senate Spoiler?

In a new poll, former Rep. Heather Wilson was in a virtual tie with Rep. Martin Heinrich.(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:45 p.m. | A new poll conducted for former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) shows the New Mexico Senate race could be more competitive than currently believed — if a third-party candidate does well on the November ballot.

In the survey, Wilson was in a virtual tie with Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who took 43 percent to Wilson's 42 percent. But Independent American Party candidate Jon Barrie took 9 percent, and 6 percent of respondents were undecided. The poll, conducted by GOP pollster Glen Bolger, was in the field Tuesday through Thursday and sampled 500 likely voters. The margin of error was 4.38 points.