"I think it's unrealistic for Wilson supporters to talk about this race being a dead heat," Monahan told Hotline On Call
Wilson, along with conservative allies like Crossroads GPS, has hammered Heinrich in television ads for voting with President Obama
on health care and the stimulus. Wilson launched a new television ad
Friday that links Heinrich's campaign to the growing national debt.
But the attacks have yet to yield dividends in the polls. Monahan suggested that Wilson might need to find a new line of attack against Heinrich.
"They've thrown several pitches at him, but they're not in the strike zone," Monahan said. "They're just not sticking."
Wilson hasn't been helped by the lack of a competitive presidential contest in the state. She joined Mitt Romney
when he laid out his energy plan in New Mexico on Thursday. But the Romney campaign hasn't spent any money on television ads in the Land of Enchantment, and Obama is expected to comfortably carry the state.
Still, Wilson's campaign remains confident that its attacks on Heinrich will eventually catch on with voters.
"The polls will go up and down, but Heather is going to win this race because she's the only candidate New Mexicans can trust to stop wasteful government spending and turn the economy around," Wilson spokesman Chris Sanchez
said. "Martin Heinrich's been a leading big spender since the day he arrived in Washington and all we have to show for it is $5 trillion in new debt."
The good news for Wilson is that she has a history of finishing campaigns strong. The former congresswoman was one of the few vulnerable House Republicans to survive the Democratic wave of 2006. Buoyed by a strong performance in a late debate, Wilson won by less than 900 votes.
"The good news is they've got a candidate here who's got a lot of depth to her -- who understands when she's behind what to do," Monahan said.
The GBA Strategies poll of 700 likely voters was conducted August 14 through August 19. It carries a margin of error plus-or-minus 3.7 percentage points.