There was never any serious doubt that when Biden appointed Deb Haaland Interior Secretary, that her Albuquerque congressional seat would remain blue... although the Beltway media-- and those who take their cues from Beltway media-- tried making it into some kind of test case. It's a blue seat, now the bluest in the state-- D+9. Republicans don't win D+9 seats... not ever and especially not now with a popular Democratic president and with the GOP morphing into an overtly fascist enterprise. Obama beat Romney in 2012, 55.3% to 39.6%. Four years later, even a flawed candidate like Hillary beat Trump 51.6% to 35.1%. And then last year, Biden kicked Trump's ass in the district, beating him 60.2% to 37.4%.
When Haaland was first elected in the 2018 midterms, she beat Republican Janice Arnold-Jones 147,336 (59.1%) to 90,507 (36.3%). She was reelected 2 years later-- Trump drawing out all the kooks and nuts in the region to the polls-- 186,953 (58.2%) to 134,337 (41.8%). Last night, with Trump not on the ballot, Democratic state Rep Melanie Stansbury beat Republican state Senator Mark Moores 60.3% to 35.7%. (Almost 2% of votes are still uncounted.) Neither party had a primary so the party establishments picked two moderates, leaving the Democrats fired up to vote against GOP excess, Trumpism and QAnon while Republicans didn't have the draw of Trumpism on their ticket.
The district consists of Albuquerque, it's suburbs and some rural areas around it-- most of Bernalillo County, all of Torrance County, as well as smaller parts of Sandoval, Santa Fe, and Valencia counties. At least 90% of the votes come out Bernalillo County, the bluest part of the district. The second biggest amount comes from Sandoval, also strongly blue. Valencia also tends blue and the two red areas, the parts of the district in Santa Fe and Torrance counties, have too few voters to affect the outcome of elections.
The Republicans used the race to try out the dual messages they want to use in the midterms-- Democrats stand for defunding the police (above) and, of course, the old bugaboo, Socialism!!!! Both arguments fell flat and Stansbury easily deflected them with just one pro-law enforcement ad:
The latest FEC reports shows Stansbury having raised $1,348,453 and Moores having raised $595,423 (including $200,000 in self-funding). This morning, the NY Times' Jonathan Martin called Stanbury's win "an early vote of confidence in the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress in a heavily Hispanic district and could quiet some anxiety in the party about its prospects going into the 2022 midterm elections... [Her] victory illustrates that the crime issue alone is insufficient for Republicans to win on in Democratic-leaning districts, at least when their candidates receive little financial help from the national party, as was the case with Mr. Moores."
With Stansbury out-performing Biden in heavily Hispanic areas of the district and even carrying Moores' own state Senate district, AP called the election for Stansbury quickly last night. So far, the count this morning looks like this:
Melanie Stansbury (D)- 79,208 (60.26%)
Mark Moores (R)- 46,977 (35.74%)
Aubrey Dunn (independent)- 3,524 (2.68%)
Christopher Manning (Libertarian)- 1,738 (1.32%)