The Fix notes that Tom Udall (NM-03) is reconsidering his previous decision to run for Senate and has started preparing for a Senate campaign. Meanwhile, incredibly enough, Pearce and Wilson are both running for the GOP nomination to try to succeed Domenici. The Pearce-Wilson bloodletting will be a disaster for the New Mexico Republicans, while a Udall candidacy saves the Democrats from the misfortune of having to nominate Marty Chavez. Cilizza explains that Udall is the Beltway favourite. Part of the reason he is the favourite (besides being a long-time Beltway insider) is that he has a much better chance of defeating whichever Republican emerges as the nominee, as our New Mexican correspondent told you some time ago. It seems that Heather Wilson’s many bad positions have finally caught up with her and have provoked a conservative backlash. It’s long overdue (about 10 years overdue), but it would have been better for the state party had more people voted against her in the midterms last year rather than setting up the state party for implosion.
The House fallout of the GOP’s impending civil war could be significant. NM-03 is solidly Democratic, and that isn’t going to change. NM-01 is very closely divided now and could go to a Democrat in an open race. However, it has never not elected a Republican since it was created almost three decades ago. NM-02 is pretty reliably Republican, but after the last redistricting it includes a lot more Democratic voters than it used to. It is a long-shot for a Democratic candidate to pick up, but it isn’t inconceivable. The last open election in NM-02 was in 2002, a banner year for Republicans, where Pearce managed to get 56%. With the right candidate, Democrats could divert extremely limited NRCC resources to southern New Mexico and make it that much harder for the Republicans to hold on to other contested seats. A one-seat loss in New Mexico for the GOP would be damaging, and losing two seats would be catastrophic: in the space of a year, a majority Republican delegation could conceivably become all Democrats.