New Mexico's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

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New Mexico's 1st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Michelle Lujan Grisham Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Martin Heinrich Democratic Party
Martin Heinrich.jpg

New Mexico U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of New Mexico.png
The 1st congressional district of New Mexico held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Democratic candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham won the election.[1]
This was the 1st congressional district prior to the 2011 redistricting.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 20, 2012
June 5, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: New Mexico had a closed primary system, meaning only registered members of a particular party could vote in that party's primary.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by May 8. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9.[2]

See also: New Mexico elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Martin Heinrich (D), who was first elected to the House in 2008. He did not seek re-election in 2012, as he ran for U.S. Senate.[3]

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New Mexico's 1st congressional district was located in the north-central portion of the state and included Torrance, Barnaillo, and Sandoval counties.[4]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Michelle Lujan Grisham Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Janice Arnold-Jones

June 5, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Note: Dan Lewis withdrew[7] and Gary Smith is not on the ballot.[8]

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, New Mexico District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichelle Lujan Grisham 59.1% 162,924
     Republican Janice Arnold-Jones 40.8% 112,473
     Write-In Jeanne Pahls 0.2% 459
Total Votes 275,856
Source: New Mexico Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Democratic Primary

New Mexico's 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMichelle Lujan Grisham 40.1% 19,111
Eric Griego 35% 16,702
Marty Chavez 24.9% 11,895
Total Votes 47,708

Democratic primary


A poll put Michelle Lujan Grisham and Eric Griego neck and neck, with Marty Chavez trailing.[9] The poll showed Griego leading among Hispanics, women, and liberals, while Grisham led among men and Anglos.

Campaign funding

As of May 2012, Eric Griego had raised $847,000, Marty Chavez had raised $645,000, and Michelle Lujan Grisham had raised $597,000.[10]

Super PAC involvement

The Super PAC Progressive Kick spent $1,000 to oppose Michelle Lujan Grisham, while Super PAC Women Vote! spent $21,305 supporting her.[11]


  • Eric Griego was endorsed by the Daily Kos,, AFSCME, AFT, and the Sierra Club, among others.[12] A full list was available on his website.
  • Michelle Lujan Grisham was endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus, Women's Campaign Fund, the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico's firefighters union and the state pharmacists union, among others.[13] A full list was available on her website.
  • Marty Chavez was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, actor Robert Redford, and former president of New Mexico's AFLCIO Jeep Gilliand, among others.[14] A full list was available on his website.


Michelle Lujan Grisham vs Janice Arnold-Jones
Poll Grisham Arnold-JonesMargin of ErrorSample Size
ABQ Journal (October 30,2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Race background

New Mexico's 1st was considered to be Leaning Democratic according to the New York Times race ratings. Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham had a significant edge in fundraising over her opponent Janice Arnold-Jones. A major issue in the race was healthcare, with Grisham backing the new law and Arnold-Jones opposed to it.[15]

New Mexico's 1st District had been included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization had specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[16]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in New Mexico

Following the results of the 2010 Census, New Mexico neither gained nor lost a seat, keeping its number of representatives at three.

Registration statistics

As of October 25, 2012, District 1 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New Mexico Secretary of State:

New Mexico Congressional District 1[17]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 1 426,085 197,922 135,919 92,244 Democratic 45.62% -.61%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. New Mexico's 1st District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[18]

  • 2012: 57D / 43R
  • 2010: 56D / 44R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. New Mexico's 1st congressional district had a PVI of D+5, which was the 147th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 60-40 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 52-48 percent over George W. Bush (R).[19]

District history


On November 2, 2010, Martin Heinrich was re-elected to the United States House for a second term. He defeated Jonathan L. Barela (R).[20]

United States House, New Mexico General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMartin Heinrich Incumbent 51.8% 112,010
     Republican Jonathan L. Barela 48.2% 104,215
Total Votes 216,225

See also


  1. Politico "2012 House Race Results"
  2. New Mexico Secretary of State "Voter Registration FAQ," Accessed June 30, 2012
  3. Washington Post "Heinrich to run for Senate in New Mexico," Accessed December 22, 2011
  4. New Mexico Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed August 29, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Roll Call "Ex-Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez Running in 1st District," accessed December 22, 2011
  6. NMPolitics "Lujan Grisham enters congressional race," accessed December 22, 2011
  7. Albuquerque Journal "UPDATED: Dan Lewis Drops Out of 1st District Congressional Race," March 20, 2012
  8. Capitol Report New Mexico "Gary Smith kicked off ballot in congressional race, Luevano appealing his loss in court," April 16, 2012
  9. New Mexico Telegram "Poll: Lujan Grisham slight lead over Griego, Heinrich big lead over Balderas," May 23, 2012
  10. The (New Mexico) Republic "Democrat Eric Griego tops in pre-primary fundraising in NM 1st Congressional District," May 25, 2012
  11. Huffington Post "HUFFPOST FUNDRACE -- Super PACs Concerned About Tone of Race," May 25, 2012
  12. Eric Griego campaign website "Endorsements," Accessed May 26, 2012
  13. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaign website "Endorsements," Accessed May 26, 2012
  14. Marty Chavez campaign website "Supporters," Accessed May 26, 2012
  15. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  16. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  17. New Mexico Secretary of State, "Voter Registration Statistics Report," June 29, 2012
  18. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in New Mexico," September 2012
  19. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  20. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"