FARMINGTON — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson spent the final day before the election in a whirlwind of campaign stops across New Mexico.

Her six stops in Santa Fe, Clovis, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Farmington and Albuquerque were part of a barnstorming get-out-the-vote effort.

"This election will be very close," Wilson, 51, said.

Although she trails Democratic Congressman Martin Heinrich, 41, in every poll except one she commissioned, Wilson remains optimistic.

"We've got a choice to make," she said. "We can keep going down the path of higher taxes and debt, or we can find a better way. And we will find a better way because we're Americans. We have the momentum."

Wilson arrived at Four Corners Regional Airport shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday, staying just 30 minutes before boarding an airplane for Albuquerque, the last of her stops for the day.

In spite of the grueling schedule, she is enjoying the campaign.

"It's been wonderful," she said. "We've been to every county two times. Over the last seven days, we've been to all but three counties."

Roughly 30 supporters gathered in the airport's library area for a rally where Wilson was introduced to roaring applause by Gov. Susana Martinez.

"We're a few candidates away from getting control of the Roundhouse," she said. "We haven't had control since 1953. We have to take care of what we have here in New Mexico."

Martinez gave Wilson a glowing endorsement and reiterated the importance of voting.


"I trust that she will do New Mexico's work," Martinez said. "We have to get out the vote."

Wilson began the day in Santa Fe with a prediction reminiscent of boxer Muhammad Ali.

"New Mexico tomorrow is going to shock the nation — from the courthouse to the Roundhouse to the White House and the U.S. Senate," she said to about 70 Republicans at the party's headquarters in Santa Fe.

Wilson and Heinrich are competing for a seat left open by Sen.

Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat who is retiring after serving in the Senate for 30 years.

Heinrich stopped short of a prediction four hours later when he spoke to a lunchtime crowd outside the University of New Mexico student union. But, he said, his campaign had gone "remarkably as planned," falling into place as he had hoped.

Sounding as much like a football coach as a candidate, Heinrich said: "We're very confident with our ground game," a reference to his supporters fanning across New Mexico to get out the vote among those who had not cast early ballots.

According to most polls, Heinrich seized an early lead, and has held on tenaciously. In some polls, Wilson trails by double digits.

Wilson supporters, however, are optimistic.

"I think it's going strong," said Wave Lamb, 65, of Farmington. "The Republicans are fighting back by pulling together. I hope we can win this."

Milan Simonich contributed to this report.