New Mexico: Conservative Group Targets Heinrich in Ad

Posted September 9, 2010 at 3:20pm

The conservative American Future Fund is running a TV ad against Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a freshman being challenged by Republican Jon Barela. The ad calls Heinrich a “Washington liberal” and slams him for voting for “Nancy Pelosi’s agenda more than 97 percent of the time.”

“This November, your vote can make Martin Heinrich disappear,” the announcer says.

The $250,000, four-week ad buy is the first independent expenditure in the Albuquerque-based 1st district, which is widely considered less vulnerable to a GOP takeover than the neighboring 2nd district. Heinrich and Barela have both launched TV ads of their own, as well, while Barela looks to gain steam and capitalize on a strong election cycle for Republicans nationwide.

In recent polls, Barela has trailed just outside the margins of error, but a new slew of negative ads against Heinrich could help close the gap. Barela has also been touting the support he’s building among Democrats, including a handful of former state legislators and precinct chairmen.

Still, the district leans Democratic and gave President Barack Obama a 21-point victory in the 2008 presidential election. Four years earlier, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) carried it by just 3 points.