A New Mexican congressional race is making headlines in national news.

The candidates are Yvette Herrell, a four-term Republican member of the state legislature, and Xochitl Torres Small, a water attorney and former staffer for Democratic New Mexican Senator Tom Udall.

Congressional District 2 (CD2) encompasses roughly 19 counties in central and southern New Mexico. In total area, the district is larger than the state of Pennsylvania. It’s a huge variety stretching as far north as portions of Bernalillo, southeastern mining and oil areas, swathes of farmland and the second largest city in the state, Las Cruces.

In many ways, CD2 is the poster child in nearly every category to grab national news attention: so here’s the buzz, and the reporting.

Historical Election

If either candidate wins, it will be the first time a woman has held the seat. National outlets have reported record numbers of women running for office in 2018. New Mexico has been highlighted in some of that coverage in other state races such as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham, and incumbent Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

Money, inside and out

Record-breaking fundraising amounts and large expenditures from outside donors are important factors in the CD2 election.

Democratic candidates are out-raising their competitors, Torres Small made headlines with $1.9 million raised between July and October. Her total was over $500,000 greater than all three candidates for U.S. Senate combined. According to the latest numbers, she’s reported to have just over $1 million in cash on hand to spend in the coming weeks before Election Day.

Herrell reported raising $564,000 in the same time frame, and has $419,124 on hand to spend.

According to the ProPublica Election DataBot numbers, outside groups have been spending large amounts in the district.

Torres Small:

$189,603 has been spent in support of the candidate.

$1.2 million has been spent opposing the candidate.


$528,010 has been spent in support of the candidate.

$1.9 million has been spent opposing the candidate.

For comparison, in Congressional District 1, a seat pundits have predicted will be a Democratic win has had fewer outside dollars spent.

Janice Arnold-Jones (R):

No outside spending in support or against the candidate.

Debra Haaland (D):

$189,603 has been spent in support of Haaland.

$19,459 has been spent opposing Haaland.

A possible flip

CD2 voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, with the exception of three — more populous — counties: Doña Ana, Grant and Socorro. Multiple election forecasters are calling the race competitive, meaning either side has a chance, and outlets are still polling. Earlier forecasts had it solidly Republican, but that has changed in the past couple of weeks.

Election Numbers

Early voting numbers have been creating a buzz as Doña Ana had led early voting among counties before early voting opened up Oct. 20. The latest numbers show Doña Ana County second in the state with 9,647 votes counted, behind Bernalillo with 19,615 early and absentee voters.

Danielle Prokop is a staff reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @ProkopDani.