Senator Mark Udall has been in the battle for his political life for months, as his Republican challenger Cory Gardner has gained and overtaken the Colorado Democrat in the polls. Gardner has led Udall in 11 of the past 12 polls, and has a 3.2-point lead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. The latest poll one, from Rasmussen, has Garnder ahead by six points.
Next door in New Mexico, meanwhile, Udall's cousin Tom Udall has been considered all but completely safe this election cycle, leading his GOP opponent Allen Weh by double digits. But the latest survey from the Albuquerque Journal finds Udall ahead by just seven points, the closest Weh has been in months. An internal Republican poll, the Daily Caller reports, shows an even closer, four-point race.
In addition to the Senate race, New Mexico is having a gubernatorial election next week, as well, and the Republican incumbent, Susana Martinez, appears to be running away with it. In the same Journal poll, Martinez leads Democratic attorney general Gary King by 15 points, which is about on par with most polls of the race. King has run a lackluster campaign against the well-funded Martinez machine, even claiming the first Latina governor in the country "doesn't have a Latino heart." King's campaign and his allies have doubled down on the "Latino heart" messaging, with the Democrat even holding a not-so-subtly-named "Heart of New Mexico" bus tour with the liberal activist who originally suggested Martinez wasn't Latina enough.
Could a strong performance by Martinez put Tom Udall's Senate seat in play for Republicans? One poll does not a trend make, and New Mexico voters may not be ready to turn out their Democratic senator simply because they approve of their Republican governor. And while Martinez has had a significant cash advantage over her Democratic opponent, Udall has a similiar advantage over his Republican one. It's worth noting, though, that while Martinez has had a solid lead in the polls for months, this is the first time Weh appears within striking distance of Udall.
If 2014 turns out to be a wave election for Republicans, seats no one expected to be close could end up surprising us on November 4.