Updated: Sep 29, 2012 11:17 AM
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The U.S. Senate race between Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson is either a dead heat or Heinrich has an eight-point lead. Huh?
The two campaigns released sharply different internal polls Friday. Heinrich's poll shows he holds a steady lead of 52 percent to 44 percent.
But Wilson's poll shows they're neck-and-neck with Wilson grabbing 42 percent of likely voters to Heinrich's 43 percent.
What's a voter supposed to make of all this? KRQE News 13 took that question to someone who's been following this race very closely.
Gabe Sanchez, a political-science professor at the University of New Mexico, said both are internal polls, and it's not surprising that the polls will favor the candidate picking up the tab.
Voters should focus on independent polls, he added, and so far they favor Heinrich. But he also said not to count Wilson out just yet.
"This is just a snapshot in time," Sanchez said. "This is just how voters in this particular poll thought about the election right now. Things can change within a week."
If you ask reps from each camp, both say their candidate will win. But what could be a shocker in this race is the third candidate: Tea Party-leaning Jon Barrie.
According to the poll released by the Wilson campaign, he's polling at 9 percent. Heinrich's survey didn't mention Barrie.
Sanchez said at a time when incumbents are incredibly unpopular, Barrie could shake things up a bit.
An Albuquerque Journal poll from earlier this month put Heinrich at 49 percent to Wilson's 42 percent. It made no mention of Barrie
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