Sanchez trails Wilson in fundraising for NM Senate seat

New Mexico's Republican Lieutenant Gov. John Sanchez trails former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) in the cash race despite loaning $200,000 to his campaign in the last three months. Sanchez raised $312,000 in that period, including the loan, and has $247,000 in the bank. Wilson raised $450,000 in the last fundraising quarter and has more than $600,000 cash on hand for the race.

Sanchez also trails self-funding businessman Greg Sowards in fundraising. Sowards, running to the right of the centrist Wilson and the conservative Sanchez, has $334,000 cash on hand after loaning his campaign more than $200,000.

This is the latest good news for Wilson. A late-June poll conducted by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling firm had her holding a wide lead in the primary, with 52 percent of likely Republican primary voters supporting her, 24 percent supporting Sanchez, 8 percent supporting Sowards and 4 percent supporting fringe candidate Bill English.

She is the preferred candidate of many establishment Republicans. Wilson is known to voters statewide after her 2008 Senate primary run, which she lost to Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), who went on to lose to Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.). She also represented Albuquerque, the state's largest city, in Congress. But some conservatives believe she is too centrist. Erik Erickson, founder of the popular conservative blog RedState, tweeted when she announced that "Keeping Heather Wilson out of the Senate will be the next great noble cause for conservatives."

Doing so will be harder without a consensus conservative candidate. If Sanchez cannot raise the money to unite conservatives around him and Sowards spends enough to keep himself polling outside the margin of error, it will be hard for either candidate to catch Wilson.

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