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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

AZ-Sen: It's Early Out There

Posted by DavidNYC

Or at least, it better be. Incumbent GOP Senator Jon Kyl is whooping Democrat Jim Pederson in a year-out poll on the AZ senate race (registered voters, no trendlines):

Pederson: 28
Kyl: 50
Undecided: 22
(MoE: ±5%)

So, a few notes of warning here: The sample size was quite small (just 385), and the undecideds are pretty high. Most importantly, the poll failed to ask about name recognition, which strikes me as fairly sloppy - or at least, failing to do so leaves the top-line numbers without context. I'm not aware of any polls on Pederson's name rec, but I'm going to guess it's nowhere near Kyl's.

Once this campaign heats up - and heat up it will - I expect these numbers to tighten up considerably. Bush only gets a 45-51 job approval in this poll, and just 40-55 according to SUSA. Kyl won't be able to rest on his laurels. This is going to be a competitive race.

The same outfit (KAET/ASU) also polled the AZ gub race. Popular incumbent Dem Janet Napolitano handily beats two potential opponents by 30 to 40% margins, but I'd bet that name rec is also a fact here. However, her re-elect number ("Would you vote to give her another four years in office?") is at a hefty 60-23, so she should be safe. Now why couldn't these guys have asked the same question of Kyl? I think they need to drop the pointless bird flu questions and start rounding out their political questions properly.

Posted at 12:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | Technorati

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This is very interesting and Pederson gives us hope here.... speaking of hope, we have a (GREAT) challenger in another state in the SW.... First term (R) Senator Ensign will be challenged by none other than.... MR. CARTER? That's right, President Carter's oldest son Jack Carter will be running for Senate in 2006 for Nevada! With all the talk, I believe that Schumer and the DSCC really need a lot of credit because we have fielded great candidates to take back the Senate.

Posted by: OH-09Dem [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 01:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Yep, we've reported on Jack Carter before. I dunno if he's gonna get full-throated DSCC support, though, partly because of his inexperience but also partly because of Reid's seeming reluctance to put his boxing gloves back on in his home state.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 01:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't think this is necessarily bad news at all. You're probably right this measures name ID (and with a year and Pederson's money, he can take care of that). The key statistic here is that Kyl has had 6 years for the people of Arizona to judge him, and he's only at 50%. This won't be easy, but I think it's a state in play that the GOP didn't count on.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 01:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

One more quick thing. I'd encourage everyone to visit Jim Pederson's website:


Other challengers could learn something here -- he picks one big national issue with profound state-level implications, in this case immigration, and pounds away on it. I love that he takes on Senator Kyl on the issue of Julie Myers's nomination to head national immigration efforts. I guess if you're a woman named Myers/Meirs, all you have to do is be connected to the President and you get a top-level job.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 01:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sorry David, must have missed the previous post, although the hill article has Harry turning on Ensign and coming out pretty strongly for Carter.

Posted by: OH-09Dem [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 02:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

IndianaProgressive, I think immigration could become our Achille's Heel this cycle, and I believe the voters of Arizona (and across the nation) are much closer to Kyl's position than Pederson's. Thankfully for Pederson, McCain's position on the issue contradicts Kyl's, so in this specific race Kyl probably won't be able to smear Pederson for his position without embarrassing the colleague standing next to him on the campaign trail.

The Democrats face a serious crossroads with the immigration issue. Do we serve as the echo chamber for limousine liberals and college professors who dream of a multi-cultural utopia--a position that is in an extreme minority among the voting public--under the premise that it could one day construct an electoral majority for us? Or do we have the stones to take a look at what's going on in the Gulf Coast right now and say, "This is wrong!" rather than worry about offending Hispanic voters?

The Democrats should be making hay out of the fact that Bush waived the prevailing wage levels for Gulf Coast reconstruction, allowing Mexican immigrants (many of which are illegal aliens) to be shipped into New Orleans, paid minimum wage, expanding the profits of Halliburton and other no-bid contractors while denying good construction jobs to native Louisianans who desperately need them. Yet the Democratic Party's silence is ear-splitting, apparently because they're more committed to political correctness and multiculturalism than to defending working people and taxpayers from being fleeced and flogged by Halliburton. As someone who grew up in a battered-bloody working class town where every good union job of the previous generation is now being done by an immigration for 40 cents on the dollar, what's going on in the South really make my blood boil....and I can assure you that if the Democrats' silence about the current Gulf Coast exploitatioon is par-for-course, it's gonna be a giant obstacle to their efforts to convince the working class to come back on board.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 03:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark, I think you're absolutely correct in that this is a really tough issue for Democrats, and one I'll admit I have conflicting and not set-in-stone opinions about. I was more giving Pederson credit for calling President Bush and Senator Kyl on the Julie Myers nomination -- which is something that should be getting A LOT more mainstream attention than it is, especially in the wake of Brownie and Harriet.

I also agree that we should absolutely call the President on the Gulf Coast stuff you effectively spell out. And I'm not so sure it will offend that many Hispanic voters. We can make that argument based on issues of fair wages, lost working-class jobs (disproportionately Latino working class jobs), and GOP hypocracy on the immigration issue.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2005 04:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment