The calm before the storm

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — It used to be that the summer months were King’s X in New Mexico political campaigns. From primary election day to Labor Day, candidates recovered from intra-party battles and readied for the general election.
But then the national pundits noticed that New Mexico’s presidential election results were amazingly similar to the way the nation went. So our state became targeted for political ads beginning the day after the primaries.
This year, New Mexico didn’t make it onto the early lists of swing states because it gave Barack Obama a whopping 15 percent victory in 2008. But this year’s polling shows that lead considerably reduced so we are starting to see some action, especially in the U.S. Senate race between Rep. Martin Heinrich and former Rep. Heather Wilson.
So far the ads in the U.S. Senate race haven’t been painful to watch because they haven’t been negative. But that will change as money from the national parties, interest groups and super PACs begins to roll in.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has announced it is committing $3 million to Wilson’s campaign ads. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC is in the middle of a $265,000 ad buy for Wilson. Its affiliate, Crossroads GPS also is expected to join the fray.

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