Newsline

Elections , Newsline

New Mexico Senate Race Is A Surprise Bellwether?

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024
|
by Barry Casselman
|
11 Comments
|
Print

Democrat – Martin Heinrich (L) & Republican – Nella Domenici (R)

It wasn’t on anyone’s list of competitive U.S. Senate races when the 2024 election cycle began, but the New Mexico re-election effort of Democrat incumbent Senator Martin Heinrich has unexpectedly become a point of Republican optimism for taking back control of the upper chamber in 2025.

The big surprise development in the race was the announcement by Nella Domenici, a 62-year-old successful businesswoman, that she would seek the Republican nomination. Domenici had not run for political office before, but her name is nonetheless legendary in the state’s politics.

In recent cycles, New Mexico has been a reliably blue state and has elected liberal figures in statewide races. This year was expected to be more of the same, and despite his low public profile, Heinrich was considered to be an almost certain winner for a second term.

But Republicans, under their senate campaign chair, Montana Senator Steve Daines, have been determined to nominate strong challengers against potentially vulnerable Democrat incumbents.

Daines has successfully recruited an impressive slate of candidates for most of the eight vulnerable Democrat seats on the ballot in November. In addition, he pulled some surprises by getting former GOP Governor Larry Hogan to run for the open seat in heavily blue Maryland with Democrat Ben Cardin retiring, and now Domenici to challenge Heinrich in New Mexico.

A very successful and popular governor in liberal Maryland, the moderate Hogan now has a serious chance to pick up that seat and leads in most polls against his Democrat opponent.

In West Virginia, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin is retiring, and GOP nominee Governor Jim Justice is heavily favored to pick up the seat in this red state. If Justice and Hogan win, that gives the GOP a 51-49 majority assuming they hold all the other seats they are defending. However, as the tiny conservative majority in the current session of the House of Representatives has demonstrated, narrow GOP majorities are dysfunctional and often unable to pass key legislation.

A narrow Republican Senate majority, and the possibility that the new House will again have a small GOP majority (or maybe even be in the minority), makes it necessary for conservatives to pick up more than two seats in November.

Some of them need to come from the remaining vulnerable Democrat seats (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Nevada, Arizona), but GOP nominees, including Domenici, still slightly trail incumbents in most of those races, and the final direction of 2024, complicated by the presidential contest, remains unclear.

Nella Domenici presents one avenue for Republicans to win a race previously considered “safe” for Democrats and increase the GOP’s chances for a large senate majority.

One of Domenici’s big advantages is that she has one of the most iconic and popular surnames in New Mexico politics. Her father, former Senator Pete Domenici (1973-2009) was a major leader in the U.S. Senate and a beloved New Mexico figure for decades. While Nella has not run for office before, she has had a very successful career and is able to self-finance a major campaign against an incumbent. Her business experience would also make her one of the most knowledgeable and expert senators in banking and finance.

Nella is also running against one of the least charismatic senate incumbents. The border crisis is an immediate problem in New Mexico, and the state is suffering from poor economic, business, and educational conditions. These circumstances put the liberal political domination of the state in question. Donald Trump could win this state, and so could Nella Domenici. She is already campaigning hard, introducing herself to her home state with a conservative economic message and a political personality that resonates from her family name.

Should Nella Domenici defeat Martin Heinrich in November, it would likely foretell other GOP victories in the competitive senate races this cycle, and even signal a national Republican sweep.

Barry Casselman is a writer for AMAC Newsline.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

The AMAC Action Logo

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now
Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
11 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John
John
16 days ago

As a resident of New Mexico it is going be a hard sell to get New Mexicans to vote the Totalitarian democrat Party out.
When over 50 % of the population is on some form of government assistance. Over 50% of the people that do work, work for federal, state or local government and 90 % of businesses are dependent on them to stay in business.
The people of New Mexico fear losing there golden goose. They just aren’t smart enough to realize that the goose is in the oven cooking on low heat.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
16 days ago

Nella Domenici talks straight , thinks straight and has the qualities that make for good character. She could do a great deal of good for the United States of America in the Senate.. Very good article Barry Casselman , what you wrote is the kind of right to the point information that should be appreciated by people interested in truth and having political matters presented correctly. It is Principles that hold the Nation together. Nella Domenici has the right ideas concerning the invasion of the borders by despicable criminal gangs and her influence in the Senate could help bring an end to the criminal activity connected to illegal entry of enemy elements . The United States of America needs people like Nella Domenici in positions of influence in order to maintain Liberty, to stand for Truth and give the National Character that sense of Honor that represents a sense of purpose ,a code of conduct and acts as a beacon of Hope for the world.

Ray Doyle LFP, WA
Ray Doyle LFP, WA
16 days ago

I hope Nella Domenici wins and I hope she goes even more conservative then in the past

Paul
Paul
16 days ago

New Mexico is The Land of Disinchanment!
The State is the worst in the Intermountain West!

Pat R
Pat R
16 days ago

It’s good some comments reflect doubt over GOP possibilities stated in this article. I say that because of what happened in 2022 mid-term races that were forecasted to be a sizeable GOP win. And look how that worked out. BUT neither do we need “doom and gloom” forecasting either. Encourage everyone to help if they can and to go vote Nov 5th.
We have to contend with fraudulent voting and no doubt ballot machine manipulation issues. We do not need folks staying home or not signing up to help keep voting/votes honest because they keep hearing/reading that the Republicans can expect a big WIN.

John A Bird
John A Bird
16 days ago

First of all, if you’re on subsistence you should not be allowed to vote.
Second, if you are here illegally, you should not be allowed to vote.
Third, if you are a Democrat or a rino, you should be hung.

Thomas
Thomas
16 days ago

Hogan a “moderate” (aka a liberal)???? What a joke. The House GOP are dysfunctional due to “moderates” (aka liberals).

Orion Bennett
Orion Bennett
16 days ago

Partly I fear this growing trend. Actually the new president of Mexico, is female … and there is a big push for females in the senate as well. Adding women to the senate is no big deal with me, and even maybe favorable. But I am convinced that biden will not be on the ballot, kamala, even being female, is too disliked to carry the party … and all recent sources say BIG MIKE obama, will not run for president, making barrack the first man? The only other truly eligible candidate who would love to take the reigns is hillary … and to see a woman in the white house … i think a lot of women would even vote for that old bag.

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
President Joe Biden participates in a meeting on a Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) event at the 2024 G7 Summit, Thursday, June 13, 2024, at Borgo Egnazia in Apulia, Italy. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Starbucks Coffee logo text sign on an establishment building.
Vermont flag, hand dropping ballot card into a box - voting, election concept
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald J Trump. 21 February 2016: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to several thousand supporters at a rally in Atlanta, Georgia.

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

11
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games