Domenici (Open-NM-Sen)

RESULT: Tom Udall 61% - Steve Pearce 39%

In October 2007, long-time Republican Senator Pete Domenici announced that he would not seek re-election. [Almanac of American Politics 2008, accessed 9/23/08] Domenici's association with the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal in 2007 damaged his reputation in state. "In February 2007, the state political landscape was roiled by allegations that Domenici and Congresswoman Heather Wilson had pressured David Iglesias, one of eight U.S. attorneys asked in early December 2006 to resign, to pursue public corruption cases before the November elections. Domenici waited several days to respond to the accusations; he then admitted that he had telephoned Iglesias to inquire about the status of the case but denied threatening or pressuring him." [Almanac of American Politics 2008, accessed 9/23/08]

The Democratic nominee, Congressman Tom Udall, ran unopposed in the primary, while the Republican nominee, Congressman Stevan Pearce, received 51% of the vote in a two-way primary with Rep. Wilson. [National Journal, accessed 9/23/08] Udall has been a member of the House since 1998 and was the New Mexico Attorney General from 1991 to 1999. [Tom Udall for Senate, accessed 9/22/08; website of Congressman Udall, accessed 9/22/08] Pearce has been a member of Congress since 2003 and was a member of the New Mexico State House of Representatives from 1997 to 2000. [Washington Post Vote Database, accessed 9/23/08] The Cook report speculated that Udall was likely try to tie Pearce to President Bush and his policies, while Pearce was likely to try to peg Udall as too liberal. [The Cook Report, accessed 9/23/08] The candidates have targeted Spanish speaking voters in their campaigns. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported, "Hispanics are more politically aware this year than any other, and some say they are a key voting block." [The Santa Fe New Mexican, 9/23/08]