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Posts in "Ariz.-1"
November 18, 2014
Republican operatives called her race “cooked.” One national news organization put her chances at victory of 12 percent. After all, voters in Arizona’s 1st District had already fired Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick once before — in a toxic climate in 2010.
But as House Democrats fell across the country on Nov. 4, Kirkpatrick didn’t just win re-election. She expanded her margin from 2012, proving naysayers wrong thanks to one, simple political maxim: To win, a candidate has to be better than his or her opponent.
And she was.
Her rival, state Speaker Andy Tobin, was a top recruit for national Republicans. The party went all in for him, spending millions against Kirkpatrick on television.
But, “people know me,” she said in a phone interview last week. “They’re common-sense people, and I think they saw through the partisan games.”
November 4, 2014
House Democrats are bracing for losses on Election Day, but just how bad of a night will it be?
A few races will serve as cues throughout the evening, as polls close across the country. They will be harbingers for House Republicans, who are looking at gains anywhere from six to a dozen seats.
Here are the bellwether House races to watch as results come in, in order of poll closing times:
November 3, 2014
Think being a Washington politician gets a bum rap? It’s not so easy being a politician from Phoenix, Springfield, Des Moines, Lincoln or Raleigh, either. Just ask Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, Iowa House Rep. Pat Murphy, Nebraska state Sen. Brad Ashford or North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.
With extensive voting records, state legislators hoping to capture national offices have seen their records used against them in close races, as their opponents use their votes to paint them with the same brush any incumbent is accustomed to.
The two speakers, Tillis and Tobin, have been targeted especially hard. Full story
October 31, 2014
After the polls close Tuesday, it’s likely at least a handful of House and Senate races will be too close to call.
What would happen next for these tight contests? In most cases, once all the votes are collected and counted, it’s a pesky procedure that keeps candidates and canvassers up at night for days or weeks: the recount.
Recount laws vary by state, so we’ve rounded up what triggers one and any notable fine print in states with anticipated close contests.
Sen. Mark Begich (D) vs. Dan Sullivan (R)
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Tilts Republican
Trigger: Only an exact tie triggers a recount in the El Dorado of the North. But if the race does not end in a tie, a losing candidate or 10 qualified voters can still request a recount.
Fine Print: In a statewide election, the recount requestor must deposit $15,000 with the recount application, unless the margin is less than 0.5 percent, at which point the state covers the cost. The deposit is refunded if the recount changes the election results.
October 24, 2014
Every week after President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, the Republicans get a chance to respond. Because they don’t, of course, have a singular figure who would naturally address the nation each week, the speakers vary. So far in 2014, 11 Republican candidates — four House hopefuls and seven vying for Senate seats — have had the honor to take to YouTube and spread their party’s message.
In the fall of an election year, the GOP weekly address is an opportunity for Republicans to showcase some of their hopefuls on the ballot to a broader audience than the candidates can normally reach themselves — because not everyone pays attention to every Senate race, or to New York congressional campaigns.
“The weekly address is a great opportunity to showcase our diverse and talented group of candidates to the country,” said Michael Short, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which coordinates the speeches. He said the party’s “tremendous slate” allows the GOP to contrast its record with the president’s.
There are some common themes mentioned time and time again: dissatisfaction with the president’s job approval, the desire to expand domestic energy production, repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting government regulation.
Saturday’s address, posted at 6 a.m., will feature Will Hurd, the GOP nominee for Texas’ 23rd House district.
Here is a summary of the others.
October 23, 2014
TUBA CITY, Ariz. — The Grand Canyon State’s 1st District is so vast and diverse that running for political office involves time travel.
It’s also helpful to pick up a little of a language so difficult to master it formed an unbreakable code that helped the United States win World War II.
But first, the time travel.
When visiting the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona, the largest tribe of a dozen in the district, Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and her Republican opponent, state Speaker Andy Tobin, have to build in an extra hour.
Why? A befuddled cellphone won’t pick up on it, but the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Saving Time. The rest of the Grand Canyon State, brandishing its contrarian streak, never changes its clocks.
So to ensure Kirkpatrick was in line for the Western Navajo Nation here at 9 a.m. DST on Oct. 18, the usual 90-minute ride from Flagstaff became a two-and-a-half hour journey.
Tobin had to factor in the same math on a visit he made here the day before the parade, as the Western Navajo Nation Fair was getting underway.
On the flip side, when heading somewhere else in the district from the Navajo Nation, even to the Hopi Nation, which is completely surrounded by Navajo land, one gets that hour back. Surrounded by Navajo land, you’re back to the past, or at least, back in the rest of the state’s time zone.
Confused? That’s just the start of the logistics involved in a campaign here.
October 20, 2014
House Republicans are on track to make gains this cycle, but two weeks before Election Day, it’s still unclear whether the party will procure a wave of double-digit gains in their quest to extend the majority.
Members of Congress and operatives alike note this is a toxic time for Democrats on the ballot that should result in huge losses for the president’s party. But a race-by-race evaluation of the House map shows Republicans are more likely in a position to pick up a net of around six seats this cycle.
“After two successful cycles for House Republicans, the playing field confines the upper limits of pickups that can be had,” said Brock McCleary, a Republican pollster.
Public surveys show President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, as events in the Middle East and Ebola on the home front drag down Democrats coast to coast. House Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans this cycle.
But this midterm is shaping up to be one of the most perplexing in recent memory. Both parties are on offense, and both parties are on defense. In private polling, dozens of races are too close to call. Given the unpredictability, it’s also possible the next 14 days could exacerbate Democratic losses.
Here’s why most political operatives estimate Republican will have a net gain in the mid-single digits:
October 14, 2014
Meet the cycle’s biggest candidate disappointments.
They are the congressional hopefuls who just didn’t live up to their hype. Once touted as top recruits, these House and Senate candidates are headed for defeat on Election Day in all likelihood. Some of these candidates tanked so early in the cycle, their races never got off the ground.
The reasons for their declines vary — from poor fundraising and stalking allegations to plagiarism and missteps on the trail. Whatever the reason, don’t expect to see these faces when the 114th Congress is sworn into office next year.
To be sure, there are a few more candidates who could have easily made this list, but they’ve been boosted by districts or states that favor their parties, as well as outside spending keeping them afloat. The prime example is Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, a poor fundraiser who barely won his August primary but is nonetheless in a strong position to challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st District, which slightly favors the GOP.
In alphabetical order, here are the rest of the 2014 cycle’s most disappointing candidates:
October 7, 2014
The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.
Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.
Gubernatorial races have less of an impact on Senate contests, where candidates are similarly well known by voters. But they often can make a difference in a close House race.
In alphabetical order, here are six states where the impact of a gubernatorial race could drip down the ballot: Full story
October 6, 2014
House Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to electing Democrats to the House, released new TV ads Monday in six districts across the country.
All of the spots are part of previously announced airtime reservations and all but one are in districts Democrats are defending.
Arizona’s 1st District
This ad targets state Speaker Andy Tobin using b-roll of video posted on the Tobin campaign Youtube channel. He is challenging Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. It will air on Phoenix broadcast and has $422,888 behind the ad this week. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story
October 2, 2014
With a month to go until Election Day, House Republicans are poised to add at least a handful of seats to their majority in the midterms.
Need proof? Look no further than this month’s list of Roll Call’s 10 Most Vulnerable House Members, plus the four incumbents who got honorable mentions: The majority of the names are Democrats facing slogs to re-election in tough districts.
What’s more, nearly all of the Republicans on the list made it due to isolated issues — like campaign problems, personal and legal missteps — instead of the national political environment.
The list does not include competitive open-seat contests, where Democrats could stave off major losses.
Since CQ Roll Call last published this feature in September, two incumbents — a Democrat and a Republican — dropped to the honorable mention category. Both are still as vulnerable as they were in September, but a few of their colleagues now face greater political peril than they do.
Roll Call will publish this list one more time, in the week before Election Day. For now, here is the updated list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in alphabetical order:
September 8, 2014
The National Republican Congressional Committee announced Monday nine more candidates had achieved “Young Gun” status, the top tier of their candidate recruitment and training program.
The new members increases the number of “Young Gun” candidates this cycle to 43. These candidates have met unannounced fundraising and organizational goals. In return, the NRCC gives them fundraising and strategic help.
House Democrats would have to pick up a net of 17 seats to win the majority in the next Congress — a nearly impossible scenario. Instead, House Republicans are poised to pick up a few seats, thanks in part to the president’s unpopularity.
“Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a news release. “These candidates will fight to stop the harmful consequences of ObamaCare, grow the economy and get Washington’s spending under control.”
The new Young Gun candidates are:
September 2, 2014
Arizona state Speaker Andy Tobin will take on Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick after his closest GOP primary opponent conceded the race Tuesday.
Tobin led rancher Gary Kiehne by less than 500 votes Tuesday, a week after the Aug. 26 primary, according to The Associated Press. The race remained too close to call when Kiehne stepped aside in a show of party unity.
“This was a hard-fought and very close election that we fell just short of winning,” Kiehne said in a statement. “But that doesn’t take away from how proud and grateful I am to my supporters for everything they did to help our campaign.” Full story
August 27, 2014
The GOP primary remained too close to call Wednesday morning in the race to challenge vulnerable Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat, in Arizona’s 1st District.
State House Speaker Andy Tobin had 36 percent of the vote, while rancher Gary Kiehne trailed with 35 percent, according to The Associated Press. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 291 votes separated the two Republicans.
State Rep. Adam Kwasman followed with 29 percent of the vote.
August 25, 2014
The end of the midterm primary season is nigh, and Tuesday marks the penultimate date of intra-party brawls this cycle.
Most notably, Rep. Ann Kirkptrick, D-Ariz., will at last her learn her general election rival as 1st District’s GOP voters pick a nominee in this competitive race. To the west, suburban Phoenix Republicans will nominate their challenger to freshman Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Another pair of House contests in Arizona and Oklahoma will almost certainly pick future House members in districts with highly partisan voting populations. EMILY’s List and a GOP effort to help female candidates also have skin in these contests.
Florida polls close at 7 p.m. EST, while Oklahoma’s close at 8 p.m. EST. Arizona latest polls close out the night at 10 p.m. EST. Check out Roll Call’s “At the Races” blog for live results as soon as the first polls close.
Here are the four things to watch on Tuesday evening:
1. Which Republican will Kirkpatrick face this fall?