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New Mexico Rep. Martin Heinrich led Republican Jon Barela by 6 points in a new Albuquerque Journal poll, but the freshman Democrat remains below the 50 percent mark. Heinrich took 47 percent to 41 percent for Barela in the Albuquerque-based 1st district.

“Some people might have expected a larger lead for the incumbent. On top of that, you have the mood of a nation that is leaning conservative,” Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff said. “Needless to say, Martin Heinrich cannot take this race for granted.”

Twelve percent of voters remain undecided, according to the poll, which was taken Aug. 23-27. It had a 5-point margin of error. The number of voters polled was not provided.

Heinrich holds a significant lead among independent voters, 45 percent to 31 percent, while Barela takes a third of Hispanic voters.

President Barack Obama won the 1st district by 21 points in 2008. Heinrich won the open seat that year by a 12-point margin.

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