Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Arizona CD-8 The Beat Goes On

The Arizona Daily Star poll shows Gabrielle Giffords handily beating retired anchorwoman Patty Weiss by 17 points, a figure that’s basically unchanged since the Tucson Weekly poll. This probably explains why Weiss has recently pumped her own money into the campaign…she needed to pay for the latest hit-piece mailing against Giffords.

A short quote from the Star report:

(Weiss) Campaign spokesman Andrew Myers said the campaign is betting on "occasional voters," those who did not vote in the 2004 primary but are enthused by the competitive race and Weiss' local celebrity status.
"I think the strategies of the campaigns have been very different," he said. "We know that we're going to live and die by occasional voters."

Provided those voters don't turn out, Weiss would need to claim 93 percent of the undecideds in order to win, which would be a rarity, pollster (Carol) Zimmerman said.

Read the entire Star report here.


Still, everyone thought Dewey would beat Truman. It’s best to wait until the fat lady sings next Tuesday and for the Giffords campaign to keep its nose to the grindstone. Here's an odd thought: Perhaps, thanks to early voting, someone has already won.

I caught the DCCC anti-Huffman ad on the tube yesterday. Does that mean Rahm Emanuel thinks Huffman would be the CD-8 Republican hardest to beat? Must be…and the Star poll would seem to indicate that. Yes, but which
Huffman, the middle-of-the-roader or the newly minted super conservative?

Incidentally, there’s some very interesting commentary and debate going on over at Arizona 8th.


Kralmajales said...

Hello Art...thanks for posting this!

You are right to say that it is no reason to rest.

As for the latest attack mailer....

Over the years I have learned that in the last week of an election, you need to tell voters who you are and why you want to be a public be a representative.

It is time to be gracious and pto be a class act even if you have been mixing it up for weeks.

It is a time to ASK for votes not demand them.

The way to ASK for votes is not to say vote for me because my opponent is...x, y, z.

When attacks come in the last week of an election they show desperation...and generally leave a distaste in the mouths of voters.

I have been saying this a lot today, but it is worth a reminder. Giffords has not attacked her opponents in a single mailer or a single TV ad.

Unlike the Republicans, who are tearing each other up, her campaign has kept their eye on the ball and have asked for support. I hope voters will remember that when the vote and I hope that whomever loses will remember that on September 13th when when the winner asks for your support.

x4mr said...

Well, go ahead a scold if you want, but lottery ticket odds are necessary for the democratic nomination to go different from current projection. I want to know where the party is Tuesday night.

Have gotten pretty good at making those margaritas, Art. What I think makes the biggest difference is 1) super fresh squeezed juice, 2) clean simple sugar, and 3) use of a shaker. An excellent drink.

What is fascinating is the Republican side of this thing. Looking back, I can now say that those ultra-confident Huffman people speaking to me must be those connected to Click's business folk who were convinced this thing would be easy.


It gets better. They were so confident they were talking about ability to fix blue side to face Weiss.

Somewhere in town there are some angry and embarrassed people. I wonder when it became apparent that things were starting to go wrong. Very wrong.

I consider it safe to say that no matter what happens, on 9/13 there are going to be some seething R's hungry for blood, and this bifurcation is not going to be easy to repair.

If Huffman prevails, I have already been told to my face of votes for Noland (L), just staying home, and one spoke of organizing R's for Giffords out of protest, and I'm not referring to a blogger that has also suggested this.

I think Graf prevailing, at this point, will give them a better shot. Graf can credibly say he "earned" the nomination, now with some sympathy support to boot after facing national assault.

I have flipped completely from my view of June, which was a nightmare if Giffords/Huffman and a not so tough Giffords win against Graf. Now I think Graf would be the tougher race, and perhaps shy of a nightmare, no walk in the park.

I've seen enough of the Giffords camp to know that these R antics won't take their eyes off the ball for a second.

Rex Scott said...

Art, the DCCC is joining the pile atop Huffman because his bags of money and dirty tricks would bulge to overflowing in a general election. He would put into operation all of the expected GOP tactics in order to divide the electorate, play on their fears and then cynically exploit those divisions and concerns. I think this is a wise expenditure by the DCCC and it shows that Democrats have learned some hard lessons after years of being smacked around first by Gingrich and then by Rove.

SonoranDesertRat said...

I also share the opinion that Graf is going to be tougher than many Democrats thought. The Republicans will play dirty - don't ever underestimate them. He's dangerous. And those DCCC ads are going to come back to haunt us, I do believe. By running those ads, the Democratic Party lost their moral high ground on Graf.

Rex Scott said...

I don't underestimate the GOP primary. In a general election, his appeal will be limited. As the GOP nominee in the other Republican districts in this state, he would be a formidable opponent. In this area, there are places he simply can not win.

Upside down pictures of Bush will not be what voters care about in the general election. Graf's voting record in the Arizona House speaks to his ignorance of the pressing needs in this state. It will be simple to tie him to the skewed priorities of the leadership of BOTH the Arizona Legislature and the U.S. Congress because he is the poster boy for their unpopular and intolerant views.

Graf is also more likely to cause Republicans of certain stripes to bolt the party, much as Matt Salmon did four years ago versus Janet. The Star poll shows this fact and Southern Arizona is the last refuge of the moderates in this state. He will try to make the Democrat look like a blinkered leftist, but that will be impossible as we are likely to make the wise choice of backing Giffords. She is not someone who can be categorized so easily and she has shown a willingness to fight back when unfairly maligned.

phx kid said...

“There are places he simply cannot win.” Same could be said of Giffords. I would like to see how she does in Oro Valley or in parts of Cochise County. After the election check her scores for Saddlebrooke.

Kralmajales said...

Interesting, I just got an anti-Graf robodial paid for by Huffman. The gist...Randy Graf is who Howard Dean wants to face, Randy Graf hung President Bush's picture upside down and it basically said vote no on Graf.

Is that all Huffman has? And why is he calling an independent with this message. I don't particularly like President Bush...most independents do not. I have a feeling that their robodial is about a silly and poorly targeted as they get.

Finally, unless you are losing big time, I can't imagine negative ads like this in the weekend before the election.

phx kid said...

Got the same call today, along with several others. The Dean call contained quite a few points and did not make much sense. I think most people hang up pretty quickly anyway.

I think the only call that would be effective at this point is “Hi, I’m ***** and I would appreciate your vote this Tuesday, September 12th.”

x4mr said...

Am I pointing out what everyone already knows when I call your attention to this Huffman piece?

phx kid said...

That's the one. Thanks for the link.

Dogma said...

Here's a write up from CQs website, who recently changed their rating of our little contest in CD8 (Aug. 10) from "Leans Republican" to "No Clear Favorite."

Arizona 8
• New rating: No Clear Favorite
• Old rating: Leans Republican
This southeastern Arizona district, which includes most of Tucson, is not the state’s most solidly Republican district — Bush took 53 percent there in 2004 — and 11-term Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe’s decision to retire put the seat in play. A deep philosophical rift within the district’s Republican Party, underscored in the three-way Sept. 12 primary contest, has made it more so. Republican primary voters will choose among former state Rep. Randy Graf, a conservative activist who challenged Kolbe in the 2004 primary and highlights his opposition to illegal immigration, and two more moderate candidates, former state party official Mike Hellon and state Rep. Steve Huffman. Huffman has the endorsement of Kolbe, who has publicly expressed concerns that Graf is too far to the right to hold the seat. Democrats will have a highly competitive nominee, with former state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords the clear front-runner in their six-candidate primary field.

Dogma said...

Just got a robo call from the Weiss campaign. I was pleasantly surprised that it was just about Patty and didn't mention any other candidate ;-) Its only message was about border security, a BIG issue in Cochise County, and politely asked for a vote.

x4mr said...

Thanks, dogma. Glad to hear the call is positive. Weiss is hitting by mail, two pieces that are old news for bloggers like Walmart SB1065 and so on. A good description of one of them is at Stacy's, and the other is saying same stuff.

As I calm down about the fiasco on the red side of this race, I am flipping again. It's easy to get caught up in the drama of this thing.

Now my perspective is the following:

Graf cannot win. He just can't, even against Weiss, and the "smart" Republicans know this.

So they chose Huffman, and hindsight now suggests this was a serious F-up, because Hellon was right there as a very viable option.

But they chose Steve and threw him half a million or so and considered it done. Then Steve floundered and failed to deliver.

The luxury of sitting confident and playing with D primary bought the farm (except for $13K), and now they are scrambling like crazy to salvage Steve.

The wounds and rage left in the wake of a Huffman victory 9/12 will subside for 95% of population in less than two weeks, just in time for Rove to fly into town.

My nightmare has returned front and center: Huffman vs. Giffords and an ugly mess.

There are times I would love to be wrong. GO RANDY!!

Randall Holdridge said...

Assuming that Graf will win the Republican nomination, I don't see any serious downside for either major party candidate in their national parties' entry into the primary brouhaha.

Surely Graf supporters won't complain about the DCCC ads, and Hellon has praised them.

If Huffman were to win, or Hellon, then I think they will add to the Republicans' problems getting together, which were always serious. It's commonly understood that a Graf victory will bleed off moderate and liberal Republicans, and his views on scientific, marriage, and women's issues are going to kill him among the educated and libertarian voters in the district, which I believe will be the bulk of the Independents who vote.

Graf doesn't have any choice but to bury the hatchet with the national Republicans, and it's already clear he will. Graf supporters should note, he will also have to go kiss the rings of the Tucson Country Club panjandrums and trade his "principles" for their money.

Should Huffman win, the DCCC attacks on him cost the Dem candidates nothing. Only one has a record on the border issues covered in the DCCC ad, and any Republican would rather have hers than Huffman's record of absences.