Updated: July 15, 2020 10:27 PM
Created: July 15, 2020 06:27 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The race between Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D- NM2, and Republican challenger Yvette Herrell for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District heated up this week with Torres Small buying statewide television ads first.
“This is going to be a very close race and one of the races that we will be watching nationally,” said Dr. Lonna Atkeson, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico.
Recent polling shows the two women are currently tied in their race. This contest is a rematch from 2018 when Torres Small narrowly defeated Herrell.
Torres Small launched a political advertisement on television this week with the following text:
"In a crisis, we can either pull together or turn on each other. I'm Xochitl Torres Small and in New Mexico, we have each other's backs. That's why I put politics aside and worked with republicans and democrats and President Trump to pass the Coronavirus Relief Plan to help families, small businesses and health care workers affected by the pandemic. I'll work with anyone who wants to deliver for New Mexico. I'm Xochitl Torres Small and I approve this message."
“In general, the fact that we are starting (running ads) in mid-July is amazing,’ said Dr. Atkeson. “That is very, very early.”
The 4 Investigates Fact Check process labels statements as either “accurate” or “misleading.”
The ad states, “in a crisis, we can either pull together or turn on each other.” We deem that statement accurate. In New Mexico alone, we have seen the coronavirus pandemic create amazing acts of kindness and compassion, but we’ve also seen anger over face mask usage and protests over health orders.
The political ad goes to state, “that's why I put politics aside and worked with republicans and democrats and President Trump to pass the Coronavirus Relief Plan.” That statement is accurate.
Rep. Torres Small did vote to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It was a $2 trillion package that gave financial aid to states, local governments, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. But it’s worth noting, very few members of Congress voted against the CARES Act.
Torres Small’s ad ends with, “I'll work with anyone who wants to deliver for New Mexico.” While that is technically accurate, we do offer a caveat.
While Torres Small is selling herself to voters as a moderate who embraces bi-partisanship, the non-profit fivethirtyeight tracks when members of Congress vote for and against President Donald Trump’s interests. It found Rep. Torres Small voted against the president’s interests 91 percent of the time.
Govtrack.us uses votes and bill sponsorships to score members of Congress’ ideology. Torres Small scores closer to the center than the far left.
ProPublica found that Rep. Torres Small votes against her party 5.4 percent of the time.
Republican Yvette Herrell has not bought television ads for the upcoming general election in November. When she does, her ads will also go through the 4 Investigates Fact Check process.
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