Life in the middle means Lujan Grisham is more liable to get her support squeezed away from either side -- she and Griego have been involved in a vicious ad war over the final weeks of the primary, and Chavez can't be totally discounted because of his high name recognition and long-standing political base. But the pre-primary surveys showed that Lujan Grisham had taken control of the middle at just the right time, as early voting was beginning. In essence, the primary will match Lujan Grisham's momentum with Griego's ballyhooed turnout operation. Both campaigns have seen their forward progress threatened by negative legal stories and TV ads in the final days of the campaign, but the stage is set for a close finish tonight.
No matter who wins the primary, one outcome is certain: The Democratic nominee, who will become the general election favorite, will also be Hispanic. Last week, National Journal covered
how difficult it has been
for the Hispanic community in Texas to increase Hispanic representation in Congress, even though nearly two-thirds of the state's recent population growth has come from Latinos. But in New Mexico, where the Hispanic population has been an even bigger driver of the state's growth, the 48 percent Latino 1st District stands a very good chance of starting next year with a Latino representative in Congress.