As many are aware, New Mexico politics has almost always been something of a mixed bag for Democrats.
On the one hand, we have elected and re-elected a very popular governor in Bill Richardson and, by wide margins, consistently re-elected popular United States Senator Jeff Bingaman, as well as electing a solidly progressive congressman in Tom Udall. This is all on top of consistently electing a Democratic state legislature. On the other hand, Republicans have had their share of victories in the state. Pete “Slash, Mine, and Burn” Domenici has been senator since the beginning of Time. They have also elected the wingnut Steve Pearce and the psedo-moderate Heather “the Feather” Wilson.
With Domenici's retirement the entire congressional election (save Bingaman) has turned this state from a single competitive congressional district and presidential swing-state, to being a key battleground in the House, Senate, and Presidential arena giving us a unique opportunity to turn everything on the state and national level in New Mexico blue.
First things first, with Tom Udall the presumptive nominee for the Democrats and Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce competiting in what will likely be a bruising primary things look very good for our prospects in taking Domenici's senate seat. But what about the house seats? Without knowing who will ultimately be the nominees from each party, it become difficult to predict, so I want to speak to the likely impact the Senate race will have (and on who the nominees are). Udall's presence on the Senate race will easily provide a boost for Democrats in all the congressional districts (especially in NM-01 and NM-03), though it might motivate some Republicans in NM-02.
Keeping this in mind, if Pearce and Wilson go nuclear against each other in the primaries, Republicans might be so disgusted with whoever the winner is that they decide not to turn out. Again, depending on who the nominees are in each district, and depending on who the presidential nominees are (many of you already know my presidential preference, so I won't comment on how this works out, but any commenters who want to go into some details on that should feel free to post it). I think the best shot at winning everything in New Mexico is for a bruised and battered Heather Wilson to take on Tom Udall. One of Heather Wilson's strengths in elections has always been her ability to appear to be moderate on a few issues. If Pearce challenges her too much, she'll have to convince the Republican base that she is every bit as much a wing-nut as Pearce, damaging her reputation (which will have consequences in swing cities like Albuquerque. This might also lower Republican turnout in NM-02, which can give an opening to whoever the Democrat is there. Even if we don't win in NM-02, we can force the NRCC to waste what little money they have in a normally safe district for them.