Posted at: 10/15/2012 5:30 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, Eyewitness News 4
Photo: Heather Wilson
Republican Heather Wilson is making a pitch for Democratic voters in her U.S. Senate race against Martin Heinrich - but it doesn't appear to be working.
Here's the underlying issue: Democrats substantially outnumber Republicans in New Mexico, so in a statewide race a Republican needs to pick up Democratic and independent voters. The new Albuquerque Journal poll shows Wilson actually losing ground among both key groups of voters.
Wilson's current TV ad features women who say they are Democrats but they support Wilson.
"I trust Heather Wilson because she always puts New Mexico first," claims one of the women featured in the ad.
The Journal poll, however, shows such voters are a shrinking group for Wilson.
The overall poll numbers show Heinrich with a nine-point lead, 48 percent to 39 percent for Wilson, with Jon Barrie of the American Independent Party at four percent and nine percent undecided.
Among Democratic voters, Heinrich is holding 75 percent of his party's voters in the poll, while Wilson peels away just 10 percent. That's down substantially from the 17 percent of Democrats who were leaning her way a month ago in the last Journal poll.
Among independent voters, the fastest-growing voter category in the state, Wilson is now trailing Heinrich, 49 percent to 36 percent. In September, the Journal poll showed her with 53 percent of the independent vote.
Wilson continues to do extremely well among Republican voters, retaining 83 percent while losing seven percent to Heinrich.
Heinrich had led Wilson in every poll in this campaign, and remains in front with just over three weeks to go until Election Day.