A special congressional election Tuesday has Democrats hoping to add to their narrow House majority and Republicans hoping to cut into that lead and perhaps gain insight into how to retake control on the chamber in the 2022 midterms.
The race features GOP state Sen. Mark Moores and Democratic state Rep. Melanie Stansbury, each nominated at their respective party’s convention, rather than in a traditional primary.
The seat was left open when Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland was appointed Interior secretary.
Republican will have to outperform voting history in the first congressional district, which is rated Democrats plus-7, by Ballotpedia.
Democrat Joe Biden won the district by 23 points in the 2020 presidential election, but Haaland won reelection by 17 points.
Even a GOP loss by a narrower margin could be a positive sign toward the party taking the seat next year.
Political observers will be watching to see whether Republicans can effectively continue to attack Democratic candidates by connecting them with the Defund the Police movement, according to Politico.
Former state land commissioner Aubrey Dunn, an independent, and businessman Chris Manning, a Libertarian are also running.
The polls close at 9 p.m. ET.