Defying polls, she says Senate race against Heinrich too close to call
Wilson declined to cite any specific poll showing her closing the gap. But, she said, the margin of victory on Nov. 6 would be razor-thin, based on her internal surveys.
“This race will be much closer than many people think,” she said during a speech at the New Mexico Press Association’s annual convention. Wilson did not predict victory, but said the election would be decided by “1,000 or 2,000 votes, either way.”
More than 820,000 people voted in the last U.S. Senate race in New Mexico four years ago, also a presidential election year.
Heinrich spent Saturday campaigning in four cities across northern New Mexico. His press aide, Whitney Potter, later responded to Wilson’s comments, saying her election forecast carried no weight.
“The barrage of misleading attacks from Heather Wilson, Karl Rove and the corporate special interests are not working. Martin has led in every poll conducted by any pollster this year,” Potter said.
Wilson, 51, told a luncheon gathering at the press association that Heinrich did not understand how small businesses are taxed, or how critical they are in reviving the economy. She said his support of increases for two upper tax brackets actually would hurt those willing to take risks and open small companies.
Wilson served 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before a failed run for the Senate in 2008. If she makes it to the Senate this time, she said, she would streamline and update a tax code that has not been overhauled since 1986. All the special provisions in the code should be removed, Wilson said.
Heinrich, 41, has said Wilson helped spend the country into debt, notably with her support 10 years ago this month for the war in Iraq.
He also has criticized her for supporting the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which Heinrich said had robbed New Mexico schools of local control and invested it in Washington bureaucrats.
As for Wilson’s most recent criticisms of Heinrich being unresponsive to business needs, Potter said they were unfair.
“New Mexico voters know that Martin Heinrich’s priorities are their priorities — creating quality jobs, standing up to any attempts to cut Medicare or jeopardize Social Security for our seniors, and making college more affordable for everyone,” she said.
An independent candidate, Jon Barrie of Albuquerque, also is in the Senate race.
Barrie, 68, a former Republican, said he will siphon votes from both major-party candidates. Still, he said, Wilson "gets hurt more" by his candidacy.