A new study on the state’s most expensive Congressional election in history — the hyper-competitive race in the fall in the 1st district — reveals that Republicans outspent Democrats by almost $1.4 million in their quest to protect Rep. Heather Wilson (R).
The study, reported in the inaugural edition of a new magazine, Capitol Report New Mexico, found that Wilson’s campaign and affiliated Republican interest groups spent a total of $6,577,180 in the previous cycle. Then-state Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D) and Democratic-leaning interest groups spent $5,199,940. Wilson wound up winning the race by just 861 votes.
The study also concluded that while Wilson unsurprisingly rang up big margins against Madrid in the district’s rural precincts, Madrid’s margin in the more urban counties was not as high as it might have been despite Democratic turnout efforts. The author of the study, a University of New Mexico political scientist, suggested that in the future, 1st district Democrats need to pay more attention to turning out their voters in Republican-performing precincts.
Wilson is expected to have another tough re-election on her hands this cycle. Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (D) has created an exploratory committee and is raising money, and other Democrats could join the race.
— Josh Kurtz