Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
The series now turns to the states that will most likely determine the ultimate partisan make up of the new Congress come 2019. We start in Arizona which features an open Senate race for a current Republican seat, nine House races and an incumbent Republican Governor seeking another four years. We start at the gubernatorial level.
Here, GOP incumbent Doug Ducey enters the race with a 45% approval rating which is much better than the rating he sported about two years ago. That level- 45%- is on the cusp of almost guaranteed reelection. He is opposed by the Democrat’s preferred candidate, college professor David Garcia. Since October 1st, six of eight polls have put Ducey over the 50% mark. He leads in the average of polls by almost 8 points. However, the GOP is not taking any chances here and has outspent the Democrats almost 10-1 with the GOP investing over $14 million. The RGA in particular has been running ads complaining that Garcia supports abolishing ICE in a state where illegal immigration is a touchy subject. Ducey has largely run positive commercials, especially touting the fact that he has introduced legislation that would increase teacher pay 20% by 2020. If this were earlier, one could say Ducey would have difficulties, but the fact Garcia is making no headway leads one to say that this race can be put in the Republican column.
The current House delegation favors the Republicans 5-4. However, there are two open seats up for grabs- one held by either party- and a competitive Democratic-held seat. That seat is the First District which covers much of northern Arizona and stretches into the suburbs of Tucson. Currently held by freshman Tom O’Halleran, he is opposed by Wendy Rogers. Rogers has a losing record in elections starting in the 2010 cycle. She has been consistently running ads attacking O’Halleran. This is a seat that is little polled and the two show Rogers either in the lead or tied.
In the Second District, Martha McSally, the Republican incumbent, is vacating the seat for a Senate run. For the Democrats is Ann Kirkpatrick who formerly represented the First District. This seat is based in Tucson. For the GOP is Lea Marquez who is chairman of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The NRCC recently pulled some ads from this race which may be an indication they have given up on it.
The open Ninth is currently represented by Krysten Sinema who is running for the Senate. Most pundits put this Phoenix-based seat safely back in the hands of the Democrats.
In the all-important Senate race, Republican incumbent and aptly named Jeff Flake has decided to retirement rather than another term. He may consider himself the ultimate Never Trump dude, but the fact is he was likely to face a tough and testy primary. Instead, he opted for retirement and that leaves this race between Martha McSally and Krysten Sinema.
Things were moving along splendidly for Sinema until two events. First, the Kavanaugh circus and the actions of the Left and their allies in the Senate, the Democrats, energized conservative voters and, at heart, Arizona is more conservative than not. Before the circus, McSally was down about 4-5 points in the polls. Since, she is now up 3-4 points.
The second event was Sinema’s own mouth. Audio and video has surfaced of her disparaging the state and the residents of that state she wishes to represent in the Senate. Further, some of her campaign workers have been caught on tape claiming that her “moderate” image is all fake and designed to lure voters in Arizona. Calling your state “the meth lab of democracy” should turn many a voter in Arizona off when it comes to this manufactured fake.
Given the red leanings of Arizona and the trend where McSally has almost reversed the dynamic, this writer believes that Martha McSally will return to Washington as the next Senator from Arizona, replacing Jeff Flake.
In conclusion, the Senate seat and Governor’s office will remain in GOP control. The current House delegation is 5-4 Republican and will likely stay that way. A worst case case scenario is 5-4 Democratic with them retaining the 1st and 9th and taking the Second. A best case scenario is 7-2 GOP with them winning the First and Ninth, and retaining the Second. I will stick with the status quo although the names will change.
The numbers after this entry stand as follows:
US Senate 51-43 Republican, US House 195-191 Republican, and Governors 29-18 Republican.