Earlier we looked at the results of the NM-01 congressional race, which is seeing national attention because of Rep. Wilson’s vulnerability. Well, let’s take a gander at the NM-02 race, which is a bit closer to home.
In the same Journal poll that showed Patricia Madrid neck-and-neck with Wilson, we can find Rep. Steve Pearce leading challenger Al Kissling, 54-29. The poll looks a bit better for Kissling when you dig into the figures.
For example, the Journal article shows Pearce’s support in the eastern part of the state at 78 percent, to Kissling’s 11. That leaves just 11 percent undecided. However, in the western part of the state, we see that the gap is much tighter: Pearce has 43 percent, while Kissling is sitting at 37 percent. That’s a full 20 percent of voters who are undecided in the race. With the huge population in Las Cruces, it might be possible to seriously close the gap on Pearce.
Of course, things work a bit different down in Las Cruces: the city sits in the El Paso television market, not the Albuquerque one. That makes it harder for cash-strapped Kissling, who would have to contemplate an ad-buy in two markets just to reach all the voters in the district.
The margin of error in the poll was large: more than 8 percentage points, which is something Kissling can work with. I with this race was getting some more national attention, because Pearce (even more so than Wilson) can be tied to our unpopular president and other unpopular issues. For example, he sits on the House Resources Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Richard Pombo – and supported Pombo’s bill (“at least in part,” according to the ABQ Journal) which would have allowed mining companies to purchase federal lands at fire-sale prices.
There’s still two months before election day, and Kissling can still make a contest out of this if he works at it. Turnout will be key for Democrats, especially in Las Cruces, Deming and the Silver City area.
New Mexico FBI-HOP has more.