According to electoral predictions wizard Nate Silver, Tom Udall is among the safest Democrat Senators up for election in 2014.
Silver listed Udall as only behind Rhode Island’s Jack Reed on list of most Democratic seats in his “initial snapshot” of the 2014 Senatorial elections.
Other Senators that are among the safest seats are in Democratic bastions like Delaware (Chris Coons), Hawaii (Brian Schatz) and Illinois (Richard Durbin). Virginia’s Mark Warner is also put in there despite Virginia’s swing status.
Of Udall, Silver writes:
The disappointing performance of former Representative Heather Wilson, the Republican candidate in New Mexico’s open-seat Senate election last year, suggests that Republicans have little upside against the reasonably popular Democratic incumbent, Tom Udall.
In 2012, Martin Heinrich won with 50.8 percent of the vote to Wilson’s 45.4 percent. American Independent Party candidate Jon Barrie received 3.6 percent of the vote.
It was not exactly a runaway victory for the Democrat in the open seat race.
But Wilson was considered the best possible Republican candidate for statewide office. Wilson has a reputation for being a moderate Republican and held New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District for a decade even as demographics worked against the Republican Party in the urban-centered district.
Udall was recently named the “most liberal” member of the U.S. Senate by the National Journal and the National Rifle Association dipped its toes in negative advertising against Udall. Early indications show that 2014 may be a repeat of 2012, with national Republican organizations avoiding involvement in the race and dark money groups with seemingly unlimited funds only taking a flier on the race.