Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top Congressional races in AZ ...

... as viewed by Rothenberg and Gonzales (at Roll Call).

Arizona’s 1st District: Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s Senate bid creates an open-seat headache for Democrats. But Republicans have a crowded primary including state Speaker David Gowan, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and wealthy rancher/2014 candidate Gary Kiehne. Democrats look poised to nominate former GOP state Sen. Tom O’Halleran. The late August primary virtually guarantees the campaign committees will shoulder much of the financial burden in the general election.

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup.

Arizona’s 2nd District: To some Democrats, this seat still belongs to former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, but they will have a hard time taking it back from Republican Martha McSally. She lost a close race to Democratic Rep. Ron Barber in 2012 and came back to defeat him in 2014. McSally had a whopping $1.7 million in the bank on Sept. 30 while Democrats are headed for a late August primary between state Rep. Victoria Steele and former state Rep. Matt Heinz.

Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating: Leans Republican.

I won't sugar-coat this one. Remember those 167 votes that got McSally the CD2 seat? If Rothenberg and Gonzales are right, regardless of who takes the Democratic primary, we will need even more than a 167-vote difference to beat McSally.

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