Interesting article in the AZ Republic today points out three things. First, it’s gonna be a tough year for Ds in AZ and they will likely lose at least one and up to three House seats. Second, McCain will win in a walk. Third, Arizona is not a RED state by any means.
First, when you read the analysis of the House races in this article, keep in mind that the Republic has previously endorsed all three and they endorsed Harry Mitchell with a vengeance over JD Hayworth who the Republic absolutely hates with a passion. I would note that passion is widely shared by voters who needed no advice from the Republic on that race.
For the past two elections, Democrats had Republicans on the run. But 2010 will dawn with Democrats bracing for a likely tough year as they prepare to protect their majorities in the House and Senate.
Even if they hadn’t spent the past year struggling to enact President Barack Obama’s far-reaching agenda amid a slumping economy and continuing anti-establishment anger from Tea Party activists, Democrats would have faced a tough road in next year’s midterm elections. Most presidents see their party’s influence in Congress shrink in their first midterm elections, partly because some of the vulnerable members who entered on the president’s coattails inevitably cannot stand alone.
In Arizona, swing-district Democratic Reps. Gabrielle Giffords, Ann Kirkpatrick and Harry Mitchell already are feeling the heat as Republican hopefuls line up for the chance to challenge them.
There should be spirited primaries in all three districts and there are solid conservatives available to run in each. It’s too soon, at least for me, to make any kind of a call about who will be the Republican in the race or even who will be in the primaries.
Second, with respect to McCain…
On the Senate side, McCain is seeking a fifth term. So far, no marquee-name Democrat has emerged to challenge him, with Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman the most prominent possible candidate.
Despite topping the GOP’s national ticket in 2008, McCain’s toughest fight could come in the Republican primary. His opponents already include Minuteman Civil Defense Corps co-founder Chris Simcox and could include Hayworth, the six-term congressman upset by Mitchell in 2006.
I’ve written a bunch about McCain running next year. I’m not going to repeat it, and you’re welcome. If you just absolutely have to have a fix, my last diary on the subject can be found here. I haven’t changed my opinion and nothing on the ground is significantly different.
The one thing to note here is that the article actually has a name of a sacrificial Democrat. Whoever Rodney is, this will be his 15 minutes of fame. He won’t be able to amass a war chest to run against McCain that is of any greater size than the last time he ran for Tucson City Council. I’m betting he’s not particularly well known even in Tucson and if I had a dollar for every Maricopa County resident who’s heard of him I could have have lunch on the Burger King dollar menu. If my wife went with me I have to buy her double cheese burger out of my own pocket.
And finally, with respect to AZ being a purple state, go to the Republic article, scroll down and read the comments. There are enough of them to reflect a fairly representative view of our state politics. Keep in mind that Maricopa County represents about 50% of the electorate, Tucson is about 25% and is politically akin to Berkeley or Austin.
Bottom line, we’ll likely pick up a couple of House seats, I doubt Mitchell will lose. McCain will win in a walk and will campaign for no House candidates actively.