The 2nd Congressional district is southern New Mexico. It's is a mixture of empty ranching country and small towns and cities. The eastern area of the district is really just an extension of Texas -- Precinct 3 in Otero County went for John McCain by a margin of 29-0 -- 100 percent of the vote. Toward the west the district becomes more heavily Hispanic, and the Democratic vote share increases. Overall it is a Republican-leaning district.
The district elected Republican Joe Skeen in 1980, one of the few congressmen ever to win a write-in election. Skeen retired in 2002, and Republican Steve Pearce won with 56 percent of the vote. Democrat Harry Teague won the district handily when Pearce ran for Senate in 2008, but Teague then voted for much of the national Democratic agenda in Washington and lost his re-election effort -- to Pearce -- by over 10 points.
Pearce faces Rocky Lara, a former Eddy County (Carlsbad) commissioner, in the fall. Mitt Romney and McCain both carried the district, so Lara seems unlikely to beat Pearce, absent a turnaround in the national mood.