Politicos got an early glimpse of the potential political landscape Democrats and Republicans are facing in the 2022 midterms with a recent special election in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District.
The special election determined who would fill the congressional seat of former Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM) after she left to serve as President Joe Biden's Secretary of the Interior.
The district is solidly blue, but the margin of victory for Democratic candidate Melanie Stansbury offered insight into the effectiveness of Democrats' messaging in the months since the party regained the White House and a razor-thin majority in Congress.
Stansbury, who will now join the House of Representatives, won the election by nearly 25 points—a higher margin than both Haaland's and Biden's elections in the district.
Meanwhile, the Republican candidate—Mark Moores—only garnered 35 percent of the vote.
In an email, the New Mexico Republican party blamed a lack of confidence in election integrity among its voters for the loss.
The email said:
"There were a number of reasons why Moores lost. Low voter turnout was a big factor. Republican voters were angry from 2020—many questioned election integrity—and stayed home."
Former President Donald Trump's deranged conspiracy theories regarding the validity of the 2020 election were embraced by the Republican party, but potentially backfired with two Senate runoffs in Georgia which both went blue as right-wing conspiracy theorists like Lin Wood said the Republican candidates weren't doing enough to overturn election results.
Nevertheless, Trump's allies in Congress continue to manufacture legitimacy for Trump's election lies. As New Mexico Republicans acknowledge, this could end up stifling Republican turnout.
Many saw that as poetic justice.
Others reached similar conclusions.
But a lot can happen before the 2022 midterms.