Saturday, September 09, 2006

New Mexico U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

September 9, 2006
59 Days Until Election Day

New Mexico U.S. Senate

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

Four-term Democrat Jeff Bingaman may perhaps have the lowest national profile of any U.S. Senator but he is highly respected at home in New Mexico for his studious reputation and lack of overt partisanship and he will easily capture another six years on Capitol Hill. Republicans mounted somewhat of an effort to defeat Bingaman back in the strongly GOP year of 1994, but after surviving that race by several points, the incumbent has had little to worry about.

Bingaman’s Republican opponent will be physician Allen McCulloch, who won a competitive Republican primary over two opponents who had more political experience. Interestingly enough, the candidate originally nominated by Republicans for New Mexico Governor was another physician, but he quickly dropped out of the race.

The low-key McCulloch is attempting to cause doubt in the minds of New Mexicans about Bingaman’s record in what was narrowly a red state in 2004, but he clearly faces an uphill battle in doing so. The one Rasmussen Reports poll on the race shows the Democrat leading 59-33.

So, when the cable networks call this race for Bingaman on Election Night when the polls close, many political watchers in 49 states (and perhaps even 50), will ask themselves: “there was a Senate race in New Mexico this year?” Then, it will be back to the Senate for the incumbent and back to the urology business for his challenger. Insert your own joke here.

McCulloch campaign link:

2006 Senate races predicted thus far: 12 D, 7 R
Post-election Senate balance of power predicted thus far: 39 D, 47 R