Arizona Archive:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

AZ-05: Hayworth Surrogate to Jews: "No wonder there are anti-Semites"

Posted by DavidNYC

You won't believe what two JD Hayworth surrogates said to (and about) Jews - while filling in for their candidate at an event at a synagogue:

Unable to defend his repeated praise of Henry Ford's anti-Semitic "Americanization" program, U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth bailed on a scheduled campaign appearance Tuesday evening only to send in his place surrogates who repeatedly lectured the audience at Temple Beth Israel in Scottsdale and proclaimed that Hayworth "is a more observant Jew" than those present. [Source: Arizona Republic, Oct. 17, 2006]

The comment by Jonathan Tratt, a spokesman for the Hayworth campaign, drew loud and angry boos and caused nearly three-quarters of the crowd of more than 200 to walk out in disgust. After the walkout, another Hayworth surrogate, Irit Tratt, stood on the Temple's bimah as she told members of the audience who gathered to ask questions, "No wonder there are anti-Semites."

I'm just speechless.

(Via the DCCC.)

Posted at 10:34 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, October 16, 2006

AZ-05, CA-50, MN-02, NM-01: SUSA Shows Huge Movement for Democratic Challengers

Posted by James L.

Survey USA has four hot new polls out today, each showing a signficant bump for Democratic challengers:

AZ-05: Mitchell (D) 45, Hayworth (R) 48
CA-50: Busby (D) 46, Bilbray (R) 49
MN-02: Rowley (DFL) 42, Kline (R) 50
NM-01: Madrid (D) 53, Wilson (R) 45

I'd put up trendlines, etc, but I'm pressed for time. Here's the money quote, though:

In all four of these districts, we observe significant movement away from the Republican incumbent and towards the Democratic challenger, with the Republican's lead decreasing by between 9 and 13 points. Furthermore, all four districts show a shift in the party distribution of likely voters, with the Republican-Democrat difference changing towards Democrats by between 4 and 11 points. Two possible explanations for this shift are:

1) Republicans are becoming less likely to vote, and Democrats are becoming more likely to vote;
2) Some "weak Republicans" are now identifying themselves as Independent, while some left-leaning Independents are now identifying themselves as Democrats.
It is unclear at this time which of these explanations is more significant, or how persistent the shift will be. But the consistency of the pattern suggests that the movement in these 4 contests may be driven by a nationwide trend affecting all House races, rather than by factors specific to the individual districts.

How crazy would it be if an underfunded, unnoticed Busby managed to knock out Bilbray the second time around? While I still think it's quite unlikely, with numbers like these, it all depends on base motivation. You go, girl!

Posted at 09:05 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona, California, Minnesota, New Mexico | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 21, 2006

AZ-08: Republicans Flee

Posted by James L.

So says Jesse Lee over at the DCCC blog:

The NRCC, having gone out on a limb to get a more moderate candidate through the primary and failed, has just given up on the Medicare-abolishing, Department of Education-hating, David Duke-endorsed nominee Randy Graf.

We have just gotten word that they have cancelled everything on the air from October 3rd forward.

The NRCC still decided to play in this district after Mr. Randy "The Only Thing That's Scarier Than Going Into A Bar Without A Gun Is Not Being Allowed To Bring A Gun Into A Bar" Graf, an anti-immigration zealot, won the 9/12 primary over their much-preferred choice, Steve Huffman. I'm sure it pains them to cede this seat to the Democrats, but they're being backed into a corner here: the consensus surrounding this purplish district is that candidates who appear politically moderate attract the strongest support. Graf has a raging conservative base, but not much else to work with here. His fundraising is terrible; his charisma is absent. I'm not quite sure what the breaking point for the NRCC was, but maybe they threw up their hands after they realized that ex-KKK leader David Duke gave Graf his proud endorsement.

Graf is not even worth a token effort. Like I said yesterday, stick a fork in him; AZ-08 is going to be Giffords country now.

Posted at 04:26 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

AZ-08: Stick a Fork in Graf

Posted by James L.

The NRCC is still dropping cash on this district, even after their preferred candidate, the underwhelming Steve Huffman, lost to dumb-ass arch-conservative Randy Graf in the GOP primary, and even after retiring Republican incumbent Jim Kolbe refused to endorse Graf. I'm pleased by this, because it's more Republican money down the drain.

This is a poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research taken last week on behalf of Democratic nominee Gabrielle Giffords (likely voters):

Gabrielle Giffords (D): 54
Randy Graf (R): 35
Undecided/Other: 11
MoE: ±4%

Sure, it's an internal, and yeah, maybe it's a bit too optimistic, but Graf is bruised from the primary (he even makes his own party "queasy"), Kolbe threw him under the bus, and the Democrats fielded a star candidate in former State Sen. Giffords. Move this race to the "Likely Democratic" column and forget about it.

Posted at 04:03 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AZ-Sen: Pederson (D) Gains Ground on Kyl... But Why?

Posted by James L.

Riddle me this...

SUSA has a new poll on the Arizona senate race showing some pretty surprising mo' for Democratic challenger Jim "Uncle Moneybags" Pederson (likely voters, July in parens):

Jim Pederson (D): 43 (40)
Jon Kyl (R): 48 (52)
MoE: ± 4.3%

So how, exactly, does a race that's only been competitive in the fantasy world of Zogby Interactive, with an incumbent Senator whose approval rating has been trending upward in the last few months (admittedly, 53% isn't stellar, but it's fairly solid), and a challenger who's been swamping the airwaves with TV ads for over five months to little noticeable effect in the polls, suddenly tighten to a five-point margin?

I'll be damned if I know. But I won't complain if this isn't an outlier:

Kyl gets 81% of Republican votes. Pederson gets 79% of Democrat votes. Independents break 5:3 for Pederson. Kyl leads by 13 points among White voters. Pederson leads by 16 points among Hispanic voters, who make up 16% of the Arizona electorate in SurveyUSA's turnout model.

Those are some rock-solid indie numbers for Pederson. In July, Pederson trailed Kyl by 10 points among independents. Why the sudden and dramatic conversion?

As an aside, Kerry edged Bush by 13 points among Latino voters in Arizona in 2004, which was a nine point improvement for Bush over 2000, according to CNN's exit polls. I'd like to think and hope that Pederson can post some better numbers from this community against a reactionary like Kyl. The long-term success of the Democratic Party may hinge on maintaining and solidifying a strong political association in this emerging voter bloc.

Update: The Phoenix Business Journal offers a hypothesis:

That spread is tighter than most previous polls and comes after a barrage of advertisements by Pederson faulting Kyl for failure to support a minimum wage hike and for being too cozy with oil and pharmaceutical companies.

A few weeks ago, I heard that the DSCC had earmarked something in the ballpark of $1.6m for this race. At the time, I thought that move was crazy, but if this poll is accurate (check out the comments section for some healthy skepticism), maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all.

Posted at 10:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

AZ-08: Kolbe Witholds Endorsement of Graf

Posted by James L.

Oh this is good. Just as a backgrounder, last night, the NRCC's preferred candidate to succeed retiring incumbent Republican Jim Kolbe in Arizona, Steve Huffman, lost his primary to right-wing firebrand (and anti-immigration advocate) Randy Graf. AZ-08 is a true tossup district that barely went for Bush over Kerry, but Kolbe was a rare creature: a gay Republican in moderate's clothing. The NRCC dropped at least $100k on this district in an effort to prop up Huffman, a moderate candidate in the mold of Kolbe--a signal indicating that the NRCC is not thrilled with their chances of holding this seat with Graf on the ballot. So, now that their candidate of choice has been defeated (43-37) by Graf, what is the NRCC to do? Especially now, after Jim Kolbe's principled stand:

“I congratulate Mr. Graf on his victory in the Republican primary. However, there are such profound and fundamental differences between his views and mine on several key issues that I would not be true to my own principles were I to endorse him now for the General election in November."

Cut him loose and focus on other, not-so-hopeless seats, is what they'll do.

(Hat-tip to jesselee.)

Posted at 03:45 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, September 09, 2006

9/12 Primary Races Round-Up

Posted by James L.

So it's primary day this Tuesday, with elections being held in AZ, DC, DE, MD, MN, NH, NY, RI, VT, and WI. Here's a round-up of everything you should be keeping your eye on.

AZ-08 (Open, Kolbe): Boy, do I ever feel good about the Democratic chances in this district. Jim Kolbe, the district's Republican incumbent, is retiring. Kolbe, one of those elusive gay Republicans, cultivated a moderate reputation (whatever that means in the Republican Party these days), but received a slight scare in 2004 when conservative firebrand Randy Graf ran on a hard-right platform and scored 43% of the vote in the Republican primary of that year. That's a pretty impressive showing, given the traditional resource gap between a no-name challenger and an entrenched incumbent (admittedly, Graf's a state legislator, so he did start off with base of support). Now, Graf, an anti-immigration advocate, is leading the charge to clinch the Republican nomination for this open seat, and the most recent polling puts him ahead of primary opponent Steve Huffman (33-25, with 14% dispersed among three other minor candidates, and 29% undecided). However, Graf's in-your-face conservatism isn't exactly the best fit for a district that only tilts ever so slightly to the Republicans (Cook rates it as R+1.4), and the NRCC is in panic mode, spending $100k in a last-ditch effort to drag Huffman across the finish line. Clearly, we should be rooting for Graf in the primary if the NRCC is willing to spend coin to stop him. That said, even if Huffman is the winner, Hotline On Call notes that Huffman has plenty of weaknesses of his own:

But there are signs that Huffman is running a lackluster campaign. Despite a big fundraising advantage and Kolbe's endorsement, he remains down in polls. His treasurer was snooping around his challenger's ex-wife's home, prompting the Tucson Weekly to revoke their endorsement of him. And unlike ex-state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and Graf, he kept his seat in the legislature during the campaign - allowing the DCCC to hammer him for missing recent votes on border security.

Yikes. Things are looking pretty stressful for the Republicans if Huffman is the best they can come up with in this district. I can already see the negative ads in my head regarding his treasurer's bizarre antics.

The Democratic primary, on the other hand, is pitting two candidates who would either be strong or reasonably strong performers in the general election: ex-State Sen. Gabrielle Giffords and local TV anchor Patty Weiss. Giffords, though, leads Weiss 46-29 in the latest polling, and looks like the likely winner on Tuesday. Giffords is also the only Democrat in the current field who leads Huffman in a hypothetical general election match-up, by 42-39. Additionally, recent generic polling suggests that the district is leaning towards pulling the lever for the Democratic candidate this cycle, by a 50-46 margin. Between the nasty Republican primary pitting the NRCC against the local conservative base, a strong Democratic candidate, and an electorate that's beginning to tilt Democratic in the most recent polls, I'm expecting good things from AZ-08 in November.

MD-Sen (Open, Sarbanes): A whopper. A late August poll put Rep. Ben Cardin ahead of former NCAAP head Kweisi Mfume by a 43-30 margin in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes, although other polls have shown a tighter contest over the past several months. However, the demographics of Maryland's Democratic electorate would seem to hold more favorables for Mfume than Cardin, at least on the surface. Still, Cardin has outraised Mfume by a wide margin, and has been putting up a far greater amount of resources on air time in this stretch run than Mfume can afford to spend. I'd be surprised if Mfume pulled off this upset.

MD-04 (Incumbent, Wynn): 2006 has seen a series of surprising primary elections where incumbents have been knocked off their perch--Lieberman, Joe Schwarz in Michigan, and Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. Can Donna Edwards make it four by knocking off entrenched Democratic incumbent Al Wynn? Edwards has made a strong case against Wynn, who has supported the Bush administration on several crucial votes, including the Bankruptcy Bill and the Iraq War. Lemme just chime in and say this: no Democrat has any business voting for the ass-backwards Bankruptcy Bill, but this especially applies to any Democrat who represents a district that delivered 70% of its vote to John Kerry in 2004, like Wynn's. The Club For Growth, even if their choice in candidates is often extremely questionable, has the right philosophy: use primary races in districts with deep partisan favorability to their cause, and push ideological purity there. An Al Wynn-style voting record may be a lot easier to stomach for, say, a Democrat representing a white-majority district in the South, but Maryland's fourth can do a lot better than Al Wynn. Edwards has been picking up momentum in recent weeks, with the impressive achievement of securing the Washington Post's endorsement. If she can't do it this time, Edwards will be well-placed to make an earlier, more well-funded challenge to Wynn in 2008.

MN-05 (Open, Sabo): I gotta say, I know next to nothing about this hotly-contested open D seat race in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. The field is huge, but the big spenders and movers have been Keith Ellison, Mike Erlandson, and Ember Reichgott Junge. I would invite our resident MN commentators to give us the lowdown in the comments.

NH-01 (Incumbent, Bradley): This race isn't quite as sexy as NH-02, but there's still a glimmer of hope here. Cook rates this district as a highly competitive R+0.1, and Bush only edged Kerry by 2% here in 2004. One of the Democratic challengers, NH House Minority Leader Jim Craig, is credible, and holds at least some name recognition in the district. But first he'll have to get through a primary with Carol Shea-Porter, who has her share of supporters as well.

NY-11 (Open, Owens): The most recent polling I've seen in this open seat shows a dead heat between the four would-be Democratic successors to retiring incumbent Major Owens in this central Brooklyn district (and my home away from home): NYC Councilmembers Yvette Clark, David Yassky, State Sen. Carl Andrews, and Owens' son, Chris Owens. Yassky's had the best fundraising, but also the most controversy, with the other candidates criticizing Yassky for running in an African-American majority district. Looks like this one will go down to the wire.

NY-19 (Incumbent, Kelly): The Democratic field to take on incumbent Republican congresswoman Sue Kelly has been annoyingly huge, but it's been whittled down to four: ex-Republican attorney Judy Aydelott, school principal Ben Schuldiner, political hack Darren Rigger, and Orleans guitarist John Hall. Aydelott had the very early mo' in this district, but Hall's fundraising has really picked up steam, and the endorsements (including one from the NY Democratic Party) followed suit. Cook rates this district R+1.5, but the locals are hoping for some serious coattails from the Spitzer-Clinton bulldozer at the top of the ticket this year, as well as changing demographics as a result of NYC residents moving into the district for more affordable housing.

RI-Sen (Incumbent, Chafee): The big one! Depending on whether you choose to believe Rhode Island College or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, this primary race is either firmly in conservative challenger Steve Laffey's hands, or will be held safely by incumbent Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee--both organizations put out wildly conflicting polls. The NRSC has made it clear that they're reading to cede the Rhode Island Senate seat to the Democrats if Laffey wins on Tuesday, so... well, you know who to root for.

RI-02 (Incumbent, Langevin): I don't have much to say about this one, but Jennifer Lawless has been running a primary challenge against Rep. Jim Langevin from the left. Langevin, in my estimation, is a pretty decent Rep, aside from his pro-life/anti-choice record. Lawless has gone so far as to say that Langevin Equals Lieberman, but given Langevin's opposition to the Iraq War, I don't think that passes the sniff test. So whatever.

WI-08 (Open, Green): No question about it: this is a Republican district. Bush scored nearly 55% of the vote against Kerry's 44% in 2004, yet Democrats are smelling an opportunity this year. Indeed, the most recent RT Strategies/Constituent Dynamics poll has the generic Democrat edging the generic Republican by 48-44 in this open seat race. The DCCC has gone up on the air to soften up likely Republican nominee John Gard's numbers, while the NRCC has done the same against physician Steve Kagen, the big spender in the Democratic primary race (he's put up over $1m of his own funds into this race, the last time I checked). Kagen's primary opponents, former Brown County Executive and De Pere mayor Nancy Nusbaum and business consultant Jamie Wall, have also raised impressive amounts for a crowded field, but Kagen's deep pockets has put the local Republicans on edge. If the NRCC is committing resources to defend this seat, the 2006 field is favorable indeed for Democrats.

Posted at 09:02 PM in 2006 Elections, Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

AZ-Sen: Kyl Maintains a Comfortable Lead

Posted by James L.

From a local Arizona State University/KAET poll (registered voters, April in parens):

Jim Pederson (D): 29 (31)
John Kyl (R): 43 (42)
MoE: ±5%

Now, I have issues with a sample size of only 384 voters for a poll like this, but given what looked like a major boost of momentum for Jim Pederson's campaign last month on the heels of his latest ad campaign, numbers like these have got to be frustrating. Still, even if this poll isn't an outlier, a 43% re-elect is shaky ground for any incumbent Senator. There's still plenty of time for this race to tighten up, but I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

PS: If you're looking for a reason to doubt generic congressional ballot polls, it should be this:

Finally, more voters in heavily Republican Arizona now say they would prefer to see the Democratic rather than the Republican party control Congress after the elections this November. Forty-five percent said they would like to see the Democrats control Congress, 39 percent prefer the Republicans and 16 percent were not sure which party they would prefer.

Funny how, when push comes to shove, that same 45% who would prefer Democratic control of Congress can't completely bring themselves to voicing support for Pederson. However, the silver lining is that, with some persuasion, the Pederson campaign has an opportunity to convince these Democratic leaners to, you know, actually vote for a Democrat.

Posted at 12:06 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, May 18, 2006

AZ-Sen: Jim Pederson Cuts Kyl Lead From 29 to 7

Posted by RBH

A new survey from Behavior Research Center/Rocky Mountain Poll (voters, January in parens):

Pederson (D): 33 (26)
Kyl (R): 40 (55)
Undecided: 27 (19)
(MoE: ±4%)

KPHO is reporting this. Expect this to show up in Arizona papers tomorrow, with all sorts of quotes from both sides.

Basically, my reading of this poll is that it's a mix between a nosedive for Kyl and Republicans and Pederson's ad campaign. January 2006 was when Bush was in the low 40s, before the DPW situation, and before various other situations which have hurt the Republicans.

Pederson leads Kyl amongst Independents, 31-19, a massive shift from a 43-25 Kyl advantage in the January poll.

This could be a slight radar blip, but the candidate with momentum isn't hard to identify. A lot of people are fleeing from Kyl and the Republicans when it comes to 2006.

UPDATE (DavidNYC): So it turns out there is some solid support from another poll to back up these results. Take a look at this graphic. Kyl's disapproval among Dems has shot up like a bottle rocket. In the last month alone, he blasted from -12 to -34. Dems are coming home to Pederson. (Credit to Matt.)

Posted at 08:06 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

AZ-05: Dogfight

Posted by DavidNYC

Independent polls of House races from reputable outfits are the political junkie's equivalent of free-basing - especially when they look this good (registered voters, no trendlines):

Mitchell: 45
Hayworth: 50
Undecided: 5
(MoE: 4.1%)

Though SUSA doesn't provide name rec numbers, I have to believe that Mitchell - though pretty well-known - trails Hayworth, which makes this showing even more remarkable. And the internals are nifty, too. Mitchell does a better job among Dems (83-13) than Hayworth does among Republicans (79-16). He also leads among independents, 50-44.

One note of quasi-caution: According to the AZ SoS (PDF), the registration breakdown in AZ-05 is 44R-28D-27I. The SUSA poll, meanwhile, shows a split of 45R-32D-22I. Republicans will obviously say that this is a "biased" sample. (Clearly SUSA is part of the vast left-wing conspiracy.) But notice that the GOP sample is almost exactly on target here. My interpretation is that more independents are identifying with the Democrats.

An this makes perfect sense, given that Gallup has recently shown "an unusually high level of enthusiasm" among Democrats. Gallup has also demonstrated (sub. only) that while many Americans like to call themselves "independents," most of those actually do indeed identify with one part or the other. Since Dems are on the upswing, I can easily believe that more indies are identifying with us. If anything, I might be a little suspicious of the sample if it didn't show any shift to the Dems.

Anyhow, all I have to say at this point is... give `em hell, Harry!

(Thanks to Mister T in AZ.)

Posted at 06:45 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

AZ-Sen: Finally, Some Good News for Pederson (D)

Posted by DavidNYC

ASU & KAET-TV have a new poll out on the Arizona senate race (registered voters, Oct. 2005 in parens):

Pederson: 31 (28)
Kyl: 42 (50)
Undecided: 27 (22)
(MoE: ±5%)

Just about every poll had shown terribly disappointing results for Jim Pederson, so this one is a nice change of pace. Of course, one marginally decent poll does not a victory make. Pederson is still down eleven points; the trendlines are terribly old; and most of his improvement came in the form of Kyl dropping. Still, seeing Kyl under 50 - especially this far under 50 - is a good sign. I'll wait to see some other polls before I even think about getting excited.

(Via Midterm Madness.)

Posted at 01:52 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

AZ-05: Harry Mitchell to Challenge Hayworth

Posted by DavidNYC

AZ State Sen. Harry Mitchell is apparently set to challenge Rep J.D. Hayworth, who represents Arizona's 5th CD. For whatever reason, Mitchell is delaying a formal announcement until April (why the wait?), but regardless, this move would make him the second AZ Dem Chair to seek office this year (the other being Jim Pederson). Apparently, Mitchell is regarded as a top-tier candidate, and it would be fantastic if he could put this race in play, especially since things took a serious turn for the worse in AZ-01 with the departure of Jack Jackson.

In Mitchell's own district, Republicans have a slight registration edge, which indicates he must have some crossover appeal (at least to independents) since he won his last contest with over 60% of the vote. The 5th CD, meanwhile, went for Bush 54-45, which I'd say is decent in the scheme of things (not many districts are much closer), but still fairly daunting. Registered Republicans outnumber Dems 156K to 100K, but there are 96K independents in the district as well (PDF). Given that indies nationwide have turned against Bush, this suggests that there may be some opportunities here.

One interesting detail: As I say, Bush got 54% of the vote here, but Hayworth got "only" 59%. A 59-38 win might seem quite crushing, but here's another set of numbers to look at: $1,356,723 vs. $4,898. The former is how much Hayworth spent last time out - the latter is how much his opponent shelled out. I'm pretty amazed that Hayworth would spent $1.4M against a nobody in the first place, but, moreover, that he'd have so little to show for it. A 277-to-1 spending margin should net you more than just five points on top of Bush. By way of contrast, take a look at OH-16, a district with almost identical presidential numbers (54-46). Ralph Regula spent $600K vs. Jeff Seemann's $100K-or-so and still racked up 67% of the vote. I think Hayworth must have some kind of as-yet-unidentified weakness.

One quick aside: You may last have heard of Hayworth this past fall, when he told Don Imus he didn't want Bush campaigning with him. Within a couple of weeks, Luca Brazi had left a horsehead in ol' JD's bed, and he was singing a different tune. But let's see if Hayworth sticks by his newfound love for President 34% come November.

Anyhow, I don't believe Mitchell has his own webpage up yet, but check out Draft Harry Mitchell in the meantime. This race may yet become one to watch. CQ rates this race as "Safe Republican" for now, but let's see if that call changes soon.

UPDATE: Forgot about this. An internal DCCC poll last month showed Mitchell leading Hayworth, 43-42.

Posted at 04:21 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

AZ-Sen: Kyl Swamping Pederson

Posted by DavidNYC

Man, I am not liking this new BRC/Rocky Mountain poll (just plain "voters," Oct. in parens):

Pederson: 26 (30)
Kyl: 55 (54)
Undecided: 19 (16)
(MoE: ±4.2%)

Pederson is supposed to be a great candidate: He's got money, and as chair of the AZ Dems, he's got all the connections you could imagine. Moreover, Kyl is the ultimate super duper conservative wingnut. According to CQ (PDF), Kyl voted with the GOP majority 98% of the time in 2005 - the second-highest rate in the GOP caucus. I've got to believe he's out-of-step with much of Arizona.

And yet Pederson can't seem to gain any traction, at least (twice now) according to this poll. (The Zogby results are clearly from bizarro-world.) If we can't link (and thus hurt) Kyl with the failed Bush administration, whom can we do it with? I'm certainly not writing Pederson off - it's still quite early. We have a lot of good pickup opportunities, and I had hoped that AZ would be one of them. Anything's possible, but for now, I remain pessimistic.

Posted at 10:00 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

AZ-Gov: Napolitano Leading All Comers

Posted by DavidNYC

I personally think that incumbent Dem gov Janet Napolitano is safe next year. Rasmussen, at least in the early going, agrees (likely voters, no trendlines):

Janet Napolitano: 50
Don Goldwater: 30
Other: 3
Not Sure: 17

Janet Napolitano: 56
John Greene: 23
Other: 6
Not Sure: 16

Janet Napolitano: 52
Jan Florez: 25
Other: 7
Not Sure: 16
(MoE: ±4.5%)

Who are the potential challengers? Don Goldwater, nephew of Barry; John Greene, former President of the State Senate; and Jan Florez, fomer state appeals court judge.

Here's the thing. I think any incumbent with numbers like these - especially a Dem in a red state - is in a pretty commanding position. Yes, a lot can happen in a year, but closing (at a minimum) at twenty-point lead is no mean feat - especially when, lately, we've seen more undecideds ultimately going with incumbents than they have in the past.

Therefore, I think it may be a bit soon to say that another Arizona incumbent positioned (at least superficially) in the same way as Napolitano is "struggling." That would be AZ GOP Sen. Jon Kyl, who is also leading by a 50-30 margin in another Rasmussen poll taken at the same time.

Now, the comparison may only be superficial indeed. I think Jim Pederson, with his money and network, is a much stronger candidate against Kyl than any of these no-names are against Napolitano. And she's a lot more popular than Kyl (13th of 50 governors vs. 90th of 100 senators). And, of course, 2006 is shaping up to be a year that favors the Dems.

My gut tells me that the odds of AZ-Sen becoming interesting are a lot higher than AZ-Gov becoming a serious race. But Pederson still has some serious work cut out for him if this race is going to become competitive. Once we have a pollster whose been in the field twice (I bet Rasmussen will be first to the punch), we'll finally get to see some trendlines and be able to gauge momentum.

Posted at 01:56 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Arizona | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, December 01, 2005

AZ-08: More Candidates Getting into the Mix

Posted by DavidNYC

With Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) retiring, there's now a big scramble among people wanting to replace him in this pretty evenly split district (40-R, 35-D, 25-I). Here's the current list of possibles. On the Republican side:

Conservative former state Rep. Randy Graf gave Kolbe a strong primary challenge in 2004, calling for a hard crackdown on illegal immigration. Arizona's border is the nation's busiest for such activity.


Graf effectively has kept running since 2004, with support among border-area ranchers and others irate over the continued illegal immigration and worried terrorists could cross the border too.

Other possible GOP candidates include Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, state Rep. Steve Huffman, state Sen. Tim Bee and Mike Hellon, a former national committeeman. Carroll and Bee, a potential Arizona Senate president, have said their considering running.

And for the Dems:

As for the Democrats, state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords resigned Thursday under a state-required law to run. Former Tucson Mayor Tom Volgy, who lost to Kolbe in 1998 by the narrowest margin since the early 1980s, said he's thinking about it too.

Among others mentioned: Eva Bacal, whom Kolbe defeated last year; Tim Sultan, who lost the primary to Bacal, and attorney Fred DuVal, a former aide to President Clinton and unsuccessful congressional candidate in northern Arizona. Jeff Latas, a former Air Force pilot, already has filed.

I know the DCCC is still updating their House race index, but they haven't yet added Latas to the list in AZ-08. No matter what, though, that's the site to keep checking to keep tabs on who's in and who's out.

(Tip to smokeymonkey.)

Posted at 07:35 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 28, 2005

AZ-08: Kolbe (R) Retiring

Posted by DavidNYC

I missed this one b/c it hit right before Thanksgiving, but it's important news: Republican incumbent Jim Kolbe, who represents Arizona's 8th CD, is retiring. This is big because Kolbe has long been quite popular, but AZ-08 is otherwise a very close district. In fact, it's the third-most Dem district in AZ, going for Bush by just 53-46.5 over Kerry. (Gore did even better, losing by just two points.)

Kolbe is the fifth Republican incumbent to retire this term. (Jonathan Singer lists the other four here.) This is the sort of race we simply must be competitive in. Though the DCCC doesn't list any candidates, ActBlue indicates that Jeff Latas, a former Air Force fighter pilot, has already thrown his hat into the ring.

Doubtless other names will soon surface, now that Kolbe's departing - and even MoveOn is soliciting "nominations" for candidates to replace the incumbent. (Looks basically like a straw poll, though it's not clear if MoveOn plans to release a finally tally.) Anyhow, this seat just moved on to the list of interesting races. It's definitely one to keep an eye on.

Posted at 01:47 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

AZ-05: Bush Family Demands Show of Loyalty from Hayworth

Posted by DavidNYC

You could call it a run-of-the-mill flip-flop. Or, if you take my view, Don Georgeleone is simply demanding that the undertaker, Bonahayworth, demonstrate his loyalty to the family.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Republican incumbent representing AZ-05, just a few weeks ago:

IMUS: Would you just answer my question, would you like [President Bush] to come to Arizona and cut campaign commercials and run them on those TV stations everywhere?

REP. HAYWORTH: In a word, no. At this time.

J.D. Hayworth now:

Despite his earlier statements that the president's slipping popularity make him such a political liability that he didn't want him campaigning for him, Representative J.D. Hayworth will be at President Bush's side when he visits Arizona tomorrow.

Oh, but listen to him scramble!

"If a year is a lifetime in politics, then two weeks has to be (worth) at least a decade," Hayworth said last week on Valley radio station KFYI (520 AM).

Tell us, J.D., what exactly changed in those two weeks? You're still an extreme wingnut. You're district is still only modestly Republican - it went for Bush by only a 54-45 margin. So tell me, how does spending time with President Albatross help you in your re-election campaign against Larry King? (No, not that Larry King. Click the link.)

The answer, of course, to that last question is, not at all. Hayworth is being bear-hugged into submission here. The King campaign better make sure it gets plenty of video of Hayworth with his Don, because it'll make for some great ad footage.

Posted at 12:28 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Arizona | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

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 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

AZ-Sen: Pederson (D) Trails Kyl (R) in Fundraising - But Read On

Posted by DavidNYC

Jim Pederson is the Democrat taking on Republican incumbent (and bona fide mouth-breather) Jon Kyl in Arizona. Here's how the third quarter shaped up, and where things stand now:

Pederson 3Q Amount Raised: $723K
Kyl 3Q Amount Raised: $873K

Pederson Cash-on-Hand: D/K
Kyl Cash-on-Hand: $4.25M

Presumably we'll find out Pederson's cash-on-hand when he files on (or before) Friday. Anyhow, here's the salient takeway from this bit of news:

1) Pederson only kicked off his campaign after Labor Day, so he's got less than a month of fundraising under his belt - not too shabby. What's more, most people were focused on giving to Katrina relief efforts in the first part of September, so this total is particularly good.

2) Pederson, a real estate developer, is tremendously wealthy - but he hasn't given his campaign a dime yet. But not only does he have mad scrilla to fall back on, most of his donations this quarter were decidedly grassroots-level (79% were under $200). To me, that's a sign of a healthy campaign.

P.S. There haven't been any serious polls of this race yet. I'm making a decision right now that the Zogby Interactive crap is just that - crap. As someone else said, those polls should carry a disclaimer that reads: "For entertainment purposes only." Zogby's regular polls are still fine, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm just not going to report on their Internets stuff.

(Via Basie.)

Posted at 01:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Senate 2006: Give 'em Hell Harry!

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Harry Reid has done something that every single Democrat in congress needs to do, he started his own actblue page. Additionally, he has a new website, Give 'em Hell Harry.

Washington- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today unveiled a new online campaign headquarters - - to provide Americans with the tools to make an impact on the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

“There is a great deal at stake. While Democrats fight for better health care, energy independence, restoring America's global strength and rebuilding our economy through innovation and reform, Republicans continue to ignore their failures and resist progress,” This website is a place where people can take action. Together, we can change the future.”

Today on, Reid called on Americans to join him in sending a clear, unambiguous message to the nation’s largest oil companies who refused to testify at a Democratic Policy Committee last week on rising gas prices. Reid also is leading efforts with his caucus on an Energy Independence 2020 effort to reduce gas prices and America's dependence on Middle East oil.

“In the face of national tragedy, our nation?s oil companies are recording record profits while Americans are paying 50% more at the pump than they did just one year ago,” Reid said. “Democrats in the Senate have set a national priority to make America safer and more secure by reducing our dependence on foreign oil by 2020. If Republicans can't lead on this issue, we will.”'s formal launch will be supported by paid advertising including billboards in three key western states -- Albuquerque, New Mexico; Phoenix, Arizona; and Helena, Montana -- reaffirming his commitment to winning in the American west.

The name of the site was inspired by an event that occurred during Harry Truman?s successful 1948 presidential campaign. While delivering a speech on a whistle stop tour in Seattle, a supporter yelled to Truman, “Give 'em hell, Harry!” Truman responded, “I don?t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.”

Go check it out.

Posted at 12:03 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Montana, Netroots, New Mexico | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Saturday, June 25, 2005

AZ-Gov: John Greene Running for Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the A.P.:

PHOENIX - Former state Senate President John Greene announced Thursday he's running for the Republican nomination for Arizona governor in hopes of ousting first-term Democratic incumbent Janet Napolitano.

Latest Poll:

A new statewide telephone poll of 357 registered voters conducted by KAET-TV/Channel 8 and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University between May 17 - 22, 2005, found that 79 percent of registered voters in Arizona rate Gov. Janet Napolitano's performance in office very good (32 percent) or good (47 percent). Sixteen percent gave her a negative rating. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the Republicans interviewed gave the governor a good performance rating, as did 95 percent of the Democrats and 80 percent of the political independents.

Adios Mofo.

Posted at 08:22 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Arizona | Technorati

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DCCC: Health Insurance for the Troops

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the subscription-only Hotline:

Using Memorial Day as a backdrop, the DCCC went up in 12 CDs over the weekend to pick at Republicans for opposing military benefit expansion.

John Havens, who identifies himself as a retired adjutant general in the Missouri National Guard, says in the 60-second radio spot that "thousands of brave National Guard members and reservists" serving on active duty "lose the same health insurance other soldiers can count on" when they return home. An announcer, noting that Congress recently "defeated a plan to extend health coverage to members of the Guard, the Reserves and their families," mentions a Republican who opposed the plan and asks listeners to tell the member "he owes those who serve our nation more than Memorial Day speeches. "

The spot takes issue with the members for opposing a procedural motion to H.R. 1815 that would have expanded the TRICARE insurance program to National Guard members and Reservists.

The targets?

According to a DCCC spokeswoman, the spot airing in airing this week in a "strategic buy" covering the home districts of 12 GOP lawmakers: Vito Fossella (NY 13), Sam Graves (MO 06), John Hostettler (IN 08), Tim Murphy (PA 06), Bob Ney (OH 18), Richard Pombo (CA 11), Dave Reichert (WA 08), Rick Renzi (AZ 01), Rob Simmons (CT 02), Mike Sodrel (IN 09), Charles Taylor (NC 11) and Ed Whitfield (KY 01). Different versions of the spot mention each representative by name.

These 12 Representatives should be ashamed -- our troops deserve better.

Posted at 04:33 PM in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington | Comments (2) | Technorati

Friday, April 22, 2005

AZ-Gov: Republicans Scared of Janet Napolitano

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the AP:

PHOENIX - Two prominent Arizona Republicans said Thursday that they will not challenge Gov. Janet Napolitano in next year's gubernatorial race.

Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi are the latest Republicans declining to run against the Democrat.

U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth announced last month that he wouldn't challenge Napolitano and will instead run again for Congress.

Remaining potential Republican challengers include former Gov. Fife Symington, former Attorney General Grant Woods, and Keith DeGreen, a Scottsdale attorney and radio show host.

The Arizona GOP is so desperate that their only options are has-beens (DeGreen ran for US Senate in the eighties). Napolitano is popular and on her way to an easy re-election.

Posted at 01:22 PM in Arizona | Comments (2) | Technorati

Saturday, April 02, 2005

U.S. Senate "Nuclear Option" and 2006 midterm elections

Posted by Bob Brigham

Over at DailyKos, Kargo X has kickstarted a conversation on the coming "Nuclear Option" -- the Republican scheme to end the filibuster and gain absolute power.

If the GOP pushes forward with this power grab, it will force a major backlash against Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. During the Schiavo usurpation, Bush dropped 10 pts in the time it took for Santorum to permanently tie himself to the issue.

If the GOP continues their quest for absolute power, the backlash will be severe. Already, Democrats have 12 Republican Senators (facing re-election in 2006) on record with their Social Security vote.

It has become conventional wisdom that Americans oppose the GOP plan to privatize Social Security. If the GOP moves for absolute control of the Senate while Bush forces privatization then the storyline gets a villian in a potent way. Add Tom DeLay as the public face of Republicans in Congress, a splintering of the conservative coalition, and a united Democratic Party. Together, this could result in a major restructuring of party perception in a nationalized 2006 midterm election cycle.

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) wants to be President so he needs to protect his record. In addition, the following Republican Senators need to worry about running for re-election in 2006:

  • Senator George Allen (R-VA)*
  • Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT)*
  • Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)*
  • Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)
  • Senator John Ensign (R-NV)*
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)*
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)*
  • Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)*
  • Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)*
  • Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)*
  • Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)*
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
  • Senator Jim Talent (R-MO)*
  • Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY)*

* Social Security: on record voting in favor of "deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

In addition, such a move would allow the following Democrats a hero vote to bolster their 2006 re-elections:

  • Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
  • Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE)
  • Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
  • Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
  • Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)
  • Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Posted at 06:36 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nuclear Option, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Vote on Social Security

Posted by Bob Brigham

Yesterday, the Senate gave the following statement an up or down vote:

"It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt."

Here are the 12 Senators (standing for re-election in 2006) who voted for deep social security cuts and massive debt:

Allen, George VA
Burns, Conrad MT
Chafee, Lincoln RI
Ensign, John NV
Hatch, Orrin UT
Hutchison, Kay Bailey TX
Kyl, Jon AZ
Lott, Trent MS
Lugar, Richard IN
Santorum, Rick PA
Talent, Jim MO
Thomas, Craig WY

Here is the link to the vote.

Posted at 09:24 AM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming | Technorati

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Concealed Carry

Posted by Tim Tagaris

If you ever felt the need to defend yourself with a rocket launcher while in a schoolhouse, then Arizona is the place for you:

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to let people carry weapons - including guns, grenades, rockets, mines and sawed-off shotguns - into schools, polling places and nuclear plants if they claim they're only trying to protect themselves.

The bad news for legislators is that you can now use a landmine in the chamber of the Arizona House of Representatives if you are forced to defend yourself. But the bill doesn't stop at just self-defense--it includes language that indicates you can use your rocket launcher in defending ANY home, and the ambiguous "defending the state."

Posted at 10:42 AM in Arizona | Technorati

Thursday, February 03, 2005

State Party Blogs: Quick Update

Posted by Tim Tagaris

The response to the State Party Blog Project has been tremendous. Thank you. There has even been some direct feedback from the actual state parties on the site. I want briefly highlight one in particular: Arizona.

In short, the state's non-traditional campaign director made a direct appeal for bloggers. They need writers! It sounds like a great opportunity to get involved doing something most of us already enjoy. So, if you would like to do some blogging for the Arizona Democratic Party, please use the contact information below.

Tony Cani
ADP Non-Trad Campaigns Director

Posted at 12:17 PM in Activism, Arizona, Netroots | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Arizona Governor's Gay Marriage Gamesmanship

Posted by Tim Tagaris

One of the many subplots in the 2004 election was the placement of gay marriage amendments on ballots in states across the country, swing or otherwise. Arizona's 2006 races feature an incumbent Republican Senator (Rep. Jon Kyl) and Democratic Governor (Dem. Janet Napolitano) both facing re-election.

Naturally, Arizona Republicans are excited about the potential placement of a gay marriage amendment before the voters in 2006 as they attempt to unseat Governor Napolitano. After all, two months ago prominent Republican lawmakers and activists promised they would pursue such an amendment. Despite the fact that a state law already exists and has been ruled constitutional, Republicans want that amendment bad.

Fine. You want it that bad. Let's vote on the measure in 2005. So sayeth Governor Napolitano. From her Chief of Staff, Dennis Burke;

“You already have the law on the books, “Burke said. “You already had the courts speak on it. So the question to those guys is, ‘Why are you doing this.’ The governor is asking them, ‘If it’s so urgent, let’s do it in 2005.’”

Of course, Republican's are crying foul, claiming Napolitano is playing politics with the gay marriage issue.

Republicans have chastised Napolitano, saying the move is a political ploy to keep a gay marriage referendum off the ballot and keep more conservative voters away from the polls.

Hypocrisy, table of one.

From everything I have read, it takes the state legislature to call for a special election placing the constitutional amendment on Arizona's 2005 ballot. Unfortunately, Arizona's state house is overwhelmingly Republican so it is not clear if her plans will fly.

One thing is for sure. The move is a smart one and will force Republicans to put their cards on the table while at the same time dividing Republicans from some traditional Christian Convservative allies who would want the amendment as soon as possible.

Posted at 01:01 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Arizona | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Turn Arizona Blue

Posted by Bob Brigham

This last week, Tim and I have been focused on making sure the State Democratic Parties have the tools necessary to succeed in modern campaigns.

So it is with great please that I urge you to visit Turn Arizona Blue, the new blog of the Arizona Democratic Party. If you don't want to read crazy praise for the ADP, then leave now.

Arizona had been working on a complete overhaul of their web capabilities when the study on State Party Blogs was conducted.

Now they have a new blog that I need to praise them in detail. First of all, the every first post demonstrates a great use of State Party blogging. Using everyday words, it invites Arizona Democrats to attend a Holiday Party on Monday. Solidarity, communication, action, interaction...the very first post.

But, it gets better. Tony Cani, who is the (love this) Non Traditional Campaigns Director uses his second post to start a conversation. I think he gets it:

Please use the comments below to tell us what you would this blog to become. Here are some topics you may consider chiming in about:

  1. How often would you like to see this blog updated?
  2. Who would you like to see featured on this blog?
  3. What kind of stories would you be the most interested in having here?
  4. What are some of your favorite other blogs that you think would be a good example for us to follow?
  5. ... anything you want!

Then, Tony does the unthinkable and tells people that if they want to help keep the content fresh, they should email him to get involved. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Check for yourself if you don't believe me.

I am delighted to see a state as critical as Arizona fight with every tool than can get their hands on. I look forward to following the blog as I'm sure it will help Turn Arizona Blue.

Thanks MisterTinAZ for comment that alerted me to the new blog. If you live in Arizona visit this site every day, involve yourself in the conversation, and help where you can.

Posted at 07:07 PM in Arizona | Technorati

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

AZ Republic Poll: Things Looking Bad for Kerry

Posted by DavidNYC

It looks as though the Arizona Republic wins the prize: They're releasing the first swing-state poll conducted entirely after the Republican convention. And it isn't pretty for our team (likely voters, 7/30 - 8/1 in parens):

Kerry: 38 (45)
Bush: 54 (48)
Other/undecided: 8 (7)
(MoE: ��4%)

We went from three points back to a whopping 16 points in just a month. No link is available yet - I pulled this one off of Polling Report - and there are no other internals available. I'm guessing, though, that Kerry's unfavorables have spiked. I say this because Bush's increase came entirely at Kerry's expense - the undecideds haven't budged. Of course, it's possible that this transfer of support took place because Bush's favorables went up, but somehow, that just doesn't seem to be as compelling an explanation.

Of course, I should caution that this is the widest lead we've yet seen in AZ, by a pretty substantial margin (suggesting to me that this may be a bit of an outlier). And it's only the second time since early June that Bush has registered over 50% in a straight horserace here. And obviously, this poll is definitely inflated by the RNC - but the last AZ Republic poll was taken right after the DNC, so that might have been an artificially close result.

But at the same time, this is pretty discouraging. I still firmly believe that Arizona is marching blue-ward - it just may be a little early to be whipping out the cans of teal paint. The silver lining, of course, is that we don't need AZ to win - in fact, I'd say it's not part of any non-landslide (or at least, hefty margin) victory scenario. But I'd still like to be able to threaten Bush here, help out our Congressional candidates (particularly Paul Babbitt in AZ-01), and lay the groundwork for future presidential victories in this state.

UPDATE: Larry in comments provides a link to the story.

Posted at 03:40 PM in Arizona | Comments (26) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Arizona as a Possible Pick-Up

Posted by Chris Bowers

Since Kerry selected Edwards as his running mate and Nader was kicked off the Arizona ballot, there have been three polls from the state (the recent BRC poll was only of Maricopa County). Compared to the polls from Virginia, in Arizona the numbers have varied widely:

Firm / Date / Bush / Kerry
AR / 8/1 / 48 / 45
KAET / 7/17 / 41 / 42
SUSA / 7/14 / 53 / 41

With three polls so widely varying from one another, there is no point in averaging them. However, here are how the three polls project when 60% of the undecideds break for Kerry (in accordance with my research on the incumbent rule) and how the three polls project when 75% of the undecideds break for Kerry (in accordance with earlier research on the incumbent rule):

60% of the Undecideds to Kerry
Firm / Bush / Kerry
AR / 50.8 / 49.2
KAET / 47.8 / 52.2
SUSA / 53.8 / 42.2

75% of the Undecideds to Kerry
Firm / Bush / Kerry
AR / 49.7 / 50.3
KAET / 45.8 / 54.2
SUSA / 53.5 / 42.5

In the 60% scenario, Kerry wins one out of three times. In the 75% scenario, Kerry wins two our of three times, including once by a decisive margin.

Once one of the most solid of all Republican states, Arizona has been trending Democratic for over 20 years now. If the state did not have one of the most restrictive felony disenfranchisement laws (PDF) on the books, it would not have taken until late August for Zogby to confirm Arizona's status as a swing state. If Arizona can change their voting laws as New Mexico and Virginia have done (PDF), and if the anti-immigration proposition on the state ballot in November can be defeated, then in 2008 Arizona could become a true toss-up state. As demographics continue to change, in 2012 Arizona may just become lean-Dem.

Posted at 04:53 PM in Arizona | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Four New Swing States

Posted by Chris Bowers

Zogby has declared that four new states--Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia--are now swing states and will be included in future Zogby Interactive Battleground polls.

Sweet! Not only does this show weakness in Bush's base, we will all be treated to regular polls from these four states. This will also help to reinforce the emerging conventional wisdom that Bush is in a lot of trouble in this campaign.

As a testament to David's determination, he had never given up on these states, listing them as swing all along. It is forward thinking people like that who will be the backbone of a more aggressive Democratic Party in the years to come.

Georgia and Louisiana remain the final frontiers.

Posted at 04:29 PM in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia | Comments (22) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

AZ: First Traditional Post-Convention State Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

The Arizona Republic has what appears to be the first traditional (ie, non-Zogby) state poll that was conducted entirely after the convention. And it shows... well, not very much at all. Via Polling Report - no link to any stories yet (likely voters, no proper trendlines):

Kerry: 45
Bush: 48
Other/Undecided: 7
(MoE: 4%)

I say no "proper" trendlines because, once again, there was a prior poll, but it included Nader (before he got bumped off the ballot). That poll, done in June, also showed Bush ahead by three points, 44-41. This development is a bit troubling (and also contrary to my predictions) because undecideds seem to have split evenly between the two candidates, and Kerry appears not to have picked up Nader's 2%.

Of course, this is just one poll. At the same time, though, except for ASU's last poll, most AZ polls haven't shown the race this close. I think AZ is probably just outside of our grasp in a close election, though could be ours with a strong national win.

UPDATE: Reader Phalanges provides a link to the poll.

Posted at 04:06 PM in Arizona | Comments (3) | Technorati

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

ASU Poll: Kerry Takes Lead in AZ

Posted by DavidNYC

Argh... I had just written a fairly long entry on a new poll from Arizona State University, only to have it gobbled up by the ghost in the machine. So here it is again, in short form (registered voters, no pure trendlines):

Kerry: 42
Bush: 41
Undecided: 17
(MoE: ��5%)

As the headline explains, this is the first poll since February which shows Kerry with a lead (albeit inside the MoE) in Arizona. A June poll which also included Nader showed Bush with a hefty 47-35 advantage, so this is some nice momentum for Kerry. This, plus the large number of undecideds, plus Bush's 47-45 job approval rating, are all good things.

I should warn, though, that some other recent polls (including those from SUSA and an outfit called the Behavioral Research Center) haven't been as sanguine - Bush has double-digit leads in both of those. Moreover, BRC claims that Kerry's recent immigration reform proposals haven't gone over well with AZ's independent and Latino voters. Apparently, we're also reducing our ad buy in the state, though it seems that the 527s are picking up the slack. (We aren't co-ordinating with you guys, we promise!)

Posted at 10:25 PM in Arizona | Comments (8) | Technorati

Friday, July 02, 2004

Nader Knocked off AZ Ballot

Posted by DavidNYC

Even though Chris tells us we no longer need to worry about Nader, I'm going to follow up with what appears to the final chapter of a story I've been keeping track of here at the SSP. It looks like Nader is officially off the ballot in Arizona. Not surprisingly, Nader's supporters in AZ determined that any continued legal battle would be too expensive.

(Via Kos. AP story thanks to Dour.)

Posted at 02:18 PM in Arizona | Technorati

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Swing State Roundup Redux

Posted by DavidNYC

TAP had a new Purple People Watch column out last week. It's almost entirely about the Senate races shaping up in the various battleground states.

Meanwhile, Slate has slowly continued its state-by-state series. I should say very slowly: In a month, they've only done two states. Gotta pick up the pace, fellas. Unfortunately, they've changed authors for the latest installment. The tolerable Chris Suellentrop wrote the first piece (on Missouri), but now they have the odious Lord Saletan penning the current piece on West Virginia. Maybe I'll wade through it (it's a three-part "diary" format) at some point. Or maybe I won't.

One really frustrating thing is the Economist's swing state series. All of the articles seem to wind up behind their subscription wall eventually. But for a brief period of time, they sometimes provide a link to the story for free - and that link seems to never expire. I was able to dig up working links for their entries on Pennsylvania and New Mexico. If you can extract links to any other stories in this series, please post `em here.

UPDATE: Okay, so I decided to read Saletan's WV diary, and it's not half-bad. It's pretty striking how conservative West Virginia is - striking because the state has so often voted Democrat in the past, and there's a good chance it'll do so again this year. The trick, says Saletan, is to appeal to protectionist sentiments and to demonstrate appropriate fealty to the military, something war veteran Kerry can actually do.

But Saletan does make one (pretty glaring) error. He says that West Virginians respect authority and have switched to the GOP when a Republican incumbent was running for re-election. (WV went red in `56, `72 and `84). The big problem with this thesis is `92, when incumbent Bush p��re lost. And back then, I'm willing to bet that economic issues did old number 41 in - just like they might once again.

UPDATE: Carl in the comments provides a link for the Economist's Arizona piece. I had also previously posted a link to the inaugural Ohio article.

Posted at 04:28 PM in Arizona, General, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia | Comments (4) | Technorati

AZ: Bush Lead Widens in ASU Poll

Posted by DavidNYC

From Arizona State University/KAET-TV (May in parens):

Kerry: 35 (38)
Bush: 47 (43)
Nader: 2 (2)
Undecided: 16 (17)
(MoE: ��4.9%)

Bush's approval numbers improved across the board: Job, economy, terrorism, Iraq. His handling of the economy saw a very big jump, from 41-51 negative to 50-44 positive. I don't know how one month can account for a 16-point swing like that - I mean, it's not as though Arizona added 100,000 new jobs in that time - though perhaps there's something of a Reagan effect here.

As for the top-line horserace numbers, it's pretty striking to see Bush with a 12-point lead, when barely two weeks ago, a rival poll (in the Arizona Republic) showed him with a tiny three-point lead. Go figure.

Posted at 11:20 AM in Arizona | Comments (6) | Technorati

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Nader's Ballot Access in the Southwest

Posted by DavidNYC

According to this post on Kos, Nader's spot on the ballot in Arizona is looking more and more precarious - at least in part because convicted felons carried petitions for him, which is a no-no in AZ.

And reader Stan writes in to tell me that Nevada for Nader - a group which had collected 7,000 signatures to place Nader on the ballot as an independent, but had not yet submitted them - has withdrawn its support of Nader now that he's tapped Peter Camejo to be his VP. (Camejo apparently was the Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate in 1976, something which didn't sit well with at least some of NV's independents.) It's not clear to me how Nader will get on the ballot in NV now - whether he'll rely on the state Green Party, or whether he'll go out and collect a new batch of signatures.

Posted at 06:38 PM in Arizona, Nevada | Comments (2) | Technorati

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Narrow Bush Lead in AZ

Posted by DavidNYC

New poll from the Arizona Republic (no trendlines):

Kerry: 41
Bush: 44
Nader: 2
Other: 2
Undecided: 11
(MoE: ��4%)

Republicans outnumber Democrats in voter registration in AZ (PDF) 40.5% to 35.5%, so these are good numbers for Kerry. What's more, JFK leads Dubya by a pretty impressive 45-28 among independents, who appear to comprise about 23% of the electorate. (I'm assuming that's what the "Other" category means.) The percentage of Democrats and independents in AZ is growing, while the percentage of Republicans is shrinking, so I like these numbers.

Arizona itself is also incredibly fast-growing - the state gained two EVs (in other words, two seats in Congress) since the last election, giving it 10 now. While I'd consider this pretty unlikely, the Gore states plus AZ would give us exactly 270.

(Thanks to Coldblue Steele.)

Posted at 08:35 PM in Arizona | Comments (5) | Technorati

Friday, May 28, 2004

Quick Poll Roundup: AZ, IA, PA

Posted by DavidNYC

Arizona, ASU/KAET-TV (4/23 - 4/26 in parens):

Kerry: 38 (38)
Bush: 43 (41)
Nader: 2 (3)
Undecided: 17 (18)
(MoE: ��5.1%)

What minor moves there are here are all well within the MoE. However, Bush's overall approval rating stayed the same at 48-47. The last poll on that front was taken all the way back in February, so it seems like all the bad news for the Bushies hasn't hurt him much in this state. The big number of undecideds could wind up tilting our way, though. (CW says that undecideds break for the challenger in the end.)

Iowa, Research 2000 for KCCI-TV (January in parens):

Kerry: 48 (42)
Bush: 43 (49)
Undecided: 9 (9)

Kerry: 46
Bush: 42
Nader: 3
Undecided: 9
(MoE: ��4%)

No trendlines when the poll includes Nader. We should definitely win here.

Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac (mid-April in parens):

Kerry: 45 (42)
Bush: 42 (46)
Undecided: 9 (7)

Kerry: 44 (39)
Bush: 41 (45)
Nader: 6 (8)
Undecided: 9 (8)
(MoE: ��3.7%)

Definitely looking a lot better than last time around, but I think we still need to fight hard here.

Posted at 02:05 AM in Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania | Comments (4) | Technorati

Friday, April 30, 2004

ASU Poll: Kerry Slips in AZ, But Still Close

Posted by DavidNYC

A new poll out from Arizona State University (Feb. numbers in parens):

Bush: 41 (44)
Kerry: 38 (46)
Nader: 3 (n/a)
Undecided: 18 (10)
(MOE: ��4.8%)

Bush gets a 44-46 approve/disapprove rating on his handling of the economy, but a 60-31 split in his favor on terrorism. Both are improvements over his Feb. numbers, where he got 40-54 on the economy and 54-40 on terrorism.

Interesting that the number of undecideds has shot up - mostly, it seems, at Kerry's expense. Perhaps Bush's negative ads have had an effect here?

(Via Kos.)

UPDATE: Ruy says that these results actually don't look good for Bush:

It's bad for Bush that's it's so close. And it's bad for Bush that he's drawing only 41 percent as the incumbent; undecideds usually break heavily for the challenger.

Posted at 07:23 PM in Arizona | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, April 22, 2004

George Will Looks at Arizona

Posted by DavidNYC

George Will has an interesting and very fair-minded take on the situation in Arizona this year. (Free registration required for Washington Post.) Though it's been a reliably Republican state since, well, forever, demographic trends have finally turned AZ into a swing state. One thing Will can do that we here at the SSP can't is pick up the phone to Gov. Janet Napolitano. So go check out what she has to say - and come back here to leave your thoughts.

Posted at 10:55 PM in Arizona | Comments (3) | Technorati

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