Okay after seeing diaries looking at the post-redistricting diaries on the Arizona State Legislature by Xenocrypt, and the Congressional Districts by King of Spades, I decided to look a bit more closely at how well we will do in Arizona in 2012.
Why did I do this diary ?
I guess I am also inspired by:
- the parade of strong Democrats jumping in to the AZ-09 Race and the cowardice shown by Ben Quale and David Schweikert.
- the strong candidate for AZ-01 (Kirkpatrick) and the cowardice shown by Rep. Paul Gosar.
- the confidence shown by Team Obama in seemingly making a play for the Arizona vote, or at least a play for the Latino vote.
- the March 2012 Lake Research Partners Poll showing several Republicans vulnerable in new Legislative Districts.
- the outrage by Brewer and the Republicans against Colleen Mathis.
- Team Obama encouraging Richard Carmona to get into the race (they must have had a plan).
- The recent Dem wins for the Phoenix and Tucson Mayoral races.
- the repudiation of at least the rhetoric of Russell Pearce by the Mormon Church, who have not once but twice put up strong conservative candidates against him (this is a speculative statement of course - no proof).
What Am I Trying to Prove Overall
These factors give me a great gut feel that we will do well in Arizona at all levels. My main hypothesis for this diary, is that I think most of the newly Democratic or Competitive Legislative Districts are contained within the newly competitive Congressional Districts, and a concerted effort could see big gains in both arenas.
Arizona has Legislative Districts which elect one State Senator, and two State Representatives, rather than having separate State Representative Districts. Arizona also has all State Senators up for election each two years, the same as the State Representatives, so each election can result in the whole State Senate changing hands.
What Am I Trying To Prove In This Diary ?
This Diary is the first of a two part series looking at how the Democrats are traveling in taking the Arizona State Legislature (the State Senate in particular) and the implications for the open 1st and 9th Congressional Districts. This Diary will focus on the Rural based 1st CD, and the Tucson based 2nd and 3rd CDs, and those State Legislative Districts "nested" within them.
The next diary will look at the Phoenix based State Senate seats in greater depth as well as the 7th and 9th Congressional Districts. In particular what lessons can be learnt from the amazing GOTV effort by illegal immigrants for the Phoenix Mayoral Race (no not voting themselves). Oh and also what bearing Mark Mitchell's (son of Harry Mitchell) run for the Tempe Mayoral Race will have on the Dems chances at taking the open 9th CD.
What Are My Preliminary Findings ?
My overall prediction is that we will win 15/30 State Senate seats, as well as 5 of the 9 Congressional Districts: the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 9th. However, I can certainly see us falling short by one in the State Senate if we don't spend some time and effort on the Tempe South based 18th Legislative District.
Given the Legislative District by District research below the line is a bit lengthy, in summary the results that I have found is that there are 12 clearly Democrat seats that we are almost certain to retain or win. These include the seats of all 9 incumbent State Senate Dems (5 Phoenix, 3 Tucson Reps and 1 Navajo Nation Rep), as well as a new Yuma based Hispanic VRA seat (4th District), a reconfigured East Tucson seat (10th District), and a new Hispanic VRA Phoenix West Valley seat (19th District). There is also a very competitive Pinal County seat (8th District) that is historically Democrat (various members of the Rios family have represented the area for the past 30 years). None of these 4 new seats will have an incumbent Republican State Senator challenger, as they have all fled elsewhere (well Antoneri is running for higher office). 13 Likely Dem victories in a presidential year with a strong hispanic GOTV effort.
Okay the next two two seats are much tougher - they involve winning Competitive seats with entrenched Republican incumbents. The 6th District (with nutjob teabagger Sylvia Allen, the President Pro Tem from the town of Snowflake) has been made 12% more Dem by the addition of liberal Flagstaff. This seat has a top tier challenger in existing State House Representative Tom Chabin (of Flagstaff) who has been drawn into this district by redistricting (previously Flagstaff was gerrymandered into the Navajo Nation seat). This district only has 25% of Allens old 5th District, despite having her home town of Snowflake. This district is one of three key districts located entirely within the 1st CD. Winning this one (or going close), means Kirkpatrick will win the 1st CD period. Then there is the very competitive (on paper) 18th District (48.5% Dem) but with a strong incumbent (John McComish) who was not challenged in either the primary or general elections in 2010, and who has yet to attract a single Dem challenger, with no House District Dem challengers either (unlike all the other Dem or competitive Districts). However this seat is located in the 9th CD and given the huge competition for that seat I believe it likely that at least one person will drop down from the 9th CD into this race (not Sinema or Schapira obviously who left safe state senate seats for the 9th CD race and wouldn't go back to a potentially competitive swing seat).
What Have I Relied Upon
The key resources I have checked include: the new maps and statistics from the Independent Redistricting Commission, the old maps, the candidate filing summaries, the 2010 State Senate Results on Ballotpedia, the 2010 State House Results on Ballotpedia, and to a lesser extent the candidate filings on the Arizona State website and a recent poll.
This poll was by a firm called Lake Research Partners has done a poll on how the Republican incumbents are faring in 8 Legislative Districts. What does this poll mean ? Not much, but probably as good a poll as can be done at this point. Seems to show that none of the Republicans are very popular in their districts, and the more moderate Crandall is popular in the 25th District (which he is not going to run in) and that Sylvia Allen has very low approvals (this may be that only 25% of her new district is contained within her existing district however).
Lake Research Partners conducted the automatic telephone surveys in the newly drawn Legislative Districts 6, 13, 18, 20, 23, 25, 26 and 28 on March 28-29, 2012. The surveys had a margin of error ranging from +/- 4.9% to 5.8%. The poll has a margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points.Please note that Sen. Linda Grey is term limited and Sen. Richard Crandall is running in the open 16th District (Mesa East). This diary is only looking at the 6th District however, Part 2 will look at Greater Phoenix.
The Arizona State Senators currently representing the newly drawn key districts surveyed, and their approval ratings, are:
District 6 (Flagstaff) ------------ Sen. Sylvia Allen, R- Snowflake, 22%.
District 13 (Yuma) -------------- Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, 34%, and
------------Sen. John Nelson, R-Litchfield Park, 31%
District 18 (Phoenix/Tempe Sth)---Sen. John McComish, R-Phoenix, 30%
District 20 (Glendale Nth)---------Sen. Linda Gray, R-Phoenix, 30%
District 23 (Scottsdale)-----------Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, 36%
District 25 (Mesa)-----------------Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, 42%
District 26 (Tempe Nth)-----------Sen. Jerry Lewis, R-Mesa, 35%
District 28 (Paradise Valley)-------Sen. Adam Driggs, R-Phoenix, 31%
Probably the most useful was the declared Democrat candidates on the Arizona Democratic Party website.
This shows 8 LDs without Dem Challengers that are ranked the least Dem seats in the State (in brackets): 18th (14), 1st (21), 15th (23), 23rd (24), 22nd (25), 25th (26), 13th (27), 12th (29). So apart from the competitive swing seat the 18th, all of the seats without Dem Challengers for Senate or House seats are pretty red rump Republican. All the seats with "full" slates of Senate and House are with one exception - the 14th (30) Dem or competitive. The 14th LD is where Steve Pierce, the recent replacement for Russell Pearce as State Senate Majority Leader is going to run (I guess the local Dems are trying to prove something in the most republican of seats !).
The 10 Dem/Comp seats are: 27th (1), 3rd (2), 19th (4), 24th (5), 29th (6), 1nd (9), 4th (10), 9th (11), 10th (12), 8th (13). There are a few seats with a nearly complete slate: 7th (3) - Missing a candidate for a House Seat to replace Chambin who is running against Allen, 26th (7) - Schapira's vacant seat that Republican Jerry Lewis might gun for, 30th (8) - full slate of House Candidates but Robert Meza hasn't signed up for another Senate term yet. This leaves 8 other seats that have a partial slate: 6th (15) - only 1 House candidate so far, 28th (16) - incumbent House Dem Eric Meyer to run for House again (seems likely that this is the best outcome we can achieve in this district), 17th (19) - missing 1 House candidate. Then there are 5 seats with only one Dem challenger: 20th (17), 21st (18), 11th (20), 16th (22), 5th (28). Obviously this list may or may not be updated regularly enough - so some candidates might be officially in. The filing deadline for both the Legislative and the Congressional Districts is 30 May 2012, which may mean more candidates might run for Congress, or alternatively drop out prior to the 30th, and run in the Legislative elections. The primary election is on the 28th August 2012 primary election.
What I am Less Interested In
I don't really plan to look at how well Russell Pearce will do in the new 25th District or how much influence Joe Arpaio will have. I find that research was made tougher by the endless articles on these clowns rather than on the rest of the Republican team.
I am also not really making a State House prediction - I largely look at the House Dem Incumbents and Challengers for signs of how competitive the Senate race will be. There is a party primary for each seat, before the 2 highest vote getters for each party then proceed to the General, where the two highest vote getters, regardless of party affiliation win. If a party fields only one candidate then there seems to be a much stronger chance that they will win. In two otherwise Republican seats, two strong Dems (Eric Meyer and Lynne Pancrazi) won. Meyer by virture of being the only Dem candidate, and the reverse happened in the Pancrazi's district where the Senate race was narrowly won by the Republicans, and a lone Republican House candidate got more votes than Pancrazi's House running mate.
What Do I Think of Obama's and Carmona's Chances
I think both Obama and Carmona have a chance at winning the State, and I think team Obama will give it a red hot go - I strongly believe he will go for a combined Western/Expansion Path, to try for the sweeping victory and maximise the Hispanic vote. Obviously at the moment he would appear to have the money for a genuine 50 State Strategy. But if he tries and loses by a small margin then he would have likely set the State well underway to becoming a Blue State come 2016. Obama and Carmona probably lose but make it respectable (52%-48% territory).
Please See Over the Fold for the State LDs Details, Seat by Seat and happy to accept any criticism - I am not a resident of Arizona
The process I followed was:
- Looked through the data on the Independent Redistricting website to rank each seat. Basically each seat that had Democrat voting % of at least 45% Democrat was potentially competitive, any seat greater than 50% Democrat was Lean Dem or Likely Dem (for the 2012 elections only), with any seat 55% Dem or above being Safe Dem.
- Determined which State Senate Legislative Districts were "nested" within each Congressional District. Low an behold all of the Dem seats and all bar one of the potentially competitive seats were "nested" within on of the Congressional Districts that are either Democrat held (3rd, 7th) or are prime targets (1st, 2nd, 9th).
- I then looked at the Arizona Democratic Party website to see which Dems had been listed as running for the seats, and looked at the history of the seats to see which ones had been historically Democrat.
- I then checked various news sources to see which Republican incumbents had voted with their feet an moved to other seats rather than contest newly made Democrat seats.
- I looked a little bit at the candidate filings, but many of these are speculative and for outdated district numbers given that redistricting barely finished late last year.
Now onto the 1-3rd CDs and their Legislative Districts.
The Tucson area has some potential big wins for the Democrats in the Arizona State Legislature, with two Republican held seats turned into likely Democrat seats. These two gains involve two of the three seats lost by the Dems in the 2010 elections - the old 24th District Seat (Yuma) previously held by Amanda Aguire a Yuma based conservadem exploring a challenge to Grivalja and the old 25th District seat (Cochise County & Rural Pima) previously held by Manuel Alvarez.
There are 3 Legislative District seats in the 3rd Congressional District area where Raul Grijalva is the incumbent 3: the 2nd and 3rd Senate Districts based in Tucson, held by Democrats Linda Lopez and Olivia Cajero-Bedford and the largely Yuma based 4th Senate District, an open Hispanic VRA seat with a notional incumbent, Republican Tea Bagger Don Shooter who will run elsewhere.
The 2nd Congressional District is currently open with Gabbi Gifford's retirement. There are also 3 Legislative District seats in this district: the 9th and 10th Senate Districts based in Tucson, with potentially no incumbents. Democrat Paula Aboud and Republican Frank Antenori are trying for the open Congressional seat vacated by Giffords, with Aboud dropping out of the race recently. Both seats have been significantly changed in redistricting, and have a Democratic lean, making an Antoneri comeback unlikely. The last seat in the district is the largely Cochise based 1st Senate District, which incumbent Republican Gail Griffin of the old 25th District will run for.
So overall the Tucson area should see the Democrats win back two LD senate seats previously in rural southern areas (Yuma and Cochise). There are two wildcards in current 29th District State Reps Matt Heinz (Dem) who is running for the 2nd CD against Ron Barber, and former Dem turned Independent (and troubled individual) Daniel Patterson.
The 1st Congressional District will be open due to Gosar's cowardice, and it has the last of the three Legislative Districts (the old 23rd LD) that saw an incumbent Dem State Senator lose in 2010 (the picturesque Rebecca Rios). It has 3 LDs that are pretty much entirely within the 1st CD, and one other (the 11th) that is a leftovers LD that is partly within the 1st CD. Basically the 7th LD is Safe Dem, there are two competitive districts (6th, 8th) and the 11th is red rump Republican.
Table 1: Senate Seats within the 2nd Congressional District (OPEN - Giffords)
|#||Rank||Ave Results (REP%/DEM%)||Locality||Who's running?
||Seat Notes||2 Way Reg (R%/D%)||VAP (W%/H%)|
|14||21||61/39||Cochise||Gail Griffen (R-inc)(25th)||Likely Republican||57/43||65/27|
|9||11||47/53||City of Tucson, Tucson West||OPEN - Dem Retain
Steve Farley (D-State House inc)(28th)
|10||12||48/52||City of Tucson, North East Tucson||OPEN - Dem Gain
Dave Bradley (D-Former State House)(23rd)
Todd D. Camenisch (Dem)
9th District. With State Senator Paula Aboud considered unlikely to seek re-election, it is considered likely that incumbent 28th District House Rep and Assistant Minority Leader Steve Farley will be the favourite to win the Dem primary (so far no one seems to have lodged against him). There are three runners for the two house spots: The first is Dustin Cox, a competitive Dem primary candidate for the old 27th District. The second is Mohur Sarah Sidhwa (who agonizingly narrowly lost out to Bruce Wheeler in the 2010 primary for the old 28th District). The third is Victoria Steele, a Tucson City Counselor running against the war on women. All are newcomers at this stage with existing Tucson State Reps running elsewhere or for higher office.
10th District. Former 28th District Rep. David Bradley (D-Tucson), an ex-navy , CEO of a non-profit org, has filed to run for the Senate. Bradley will be favourite to win the primary, with one challenger so far, Todd D. Camenisch, a seemingly decent candidate who lost to Frank Antoneri in 2010 for the far more conservative former 30th District (East Tucson). This seat has a Dem party registration advantage and has a large Hispanic minority. Very promising target. There are 3 runners for the 2 house seats: incumbent 28th District Rep, Bruce Wheeler, along with Stefanie Mach, and Brandon Patrick.
Table 2: Senate Seats within the 3rd Congressional District (Grivalja)
|#||Rank||Ave Results (REP%/DEM%)||Locality||Who's running?
||Seat Notes||2 Way Reg (R%/D%)||VAP (W%/H%)|
|2||9||43/57||Tucson South, Santa Cruz||Linda Lopez (Tucson)(D-Inc)(29th)||Safe Democrat||37/63||41/53|
|3||2||31/69||Tucson (West)||Olivia Cajero-Bedford (Tucson)(D-inc)(27th)||Safe Democrat||26/74||40/50|
|4||10||46/54||Rural Pima County||OPEN
Margaret Lynne Pancrazi(D-Inc. State House)(23rd)
3rd District. Despite the fact that this seat was made up almost entirely of her old 27th District, Cajero-Bedford was unhappy with redistricting as her house was shifter into the nearby 11th District. So she is moving into another house she owns that is within the district ! She will potentially have a primary challenger in Maria de la Luz Garcia, but she may not actually run, with a local blogger speculating she may have only filed for campaign financing purposes. Incumbent 27th District Representatives, Sally Ann Gonzales and Macario Saldate IV will both run again for the new 3rd District House seats.
4th District. This seat is now open, with Yuma now split into two seats, one half merged with Phoenix exurbs of Buckeye and Goodyear, to create the strongly conservative 13th District and the other half merged with rural Pima District to create a Hispanic VRA District. As a result the notional incumbent for the seat, Republican Tea Bagger Don Shooter will move to the 13th District where he could have a primary challenge from Buckeye incumbent John Nelson. The Democrats have a strong recruit for this newly made Democratic seat in incumbent 25th LD Democrat representative, Margaret Lynne Pancrazi. She is one of just two Democrats in the State House to hang on in an otherwise Republican LD (the other House Rep and the State Senator for the LD are Republican). Pancrazi has publicly raised concerns about Democrat colleague Daniel Patterson, saying she needs a gun beside her to sleep at night. Patterson could be expelled from the House. There are two Democrats running for the two House Seats: Yuma Democratic Party Chair, Charlene Fernandez (who manages the Yuma office of Raul Grijalva) and Lisa Otondo (Yuma, New Democrat and one time Primary Challenger to Grivalja).
Table 3: Senate Seats within the 1st Congressional District (Go Ann Kirkpatrick !)
|#||Rank||Ave Results (REP%/DEM%)||Locality||Who's running?
||Seat Notes||2 Way Reg (R%/D%)||VAP (W%/H%)|
|6||15||55/45||Flagstaff||Sylvia Allen (Snowflake) (R-inc)(5th),
Tom Chabin (Flagstaff) (D-State House Inc)(2nd),
|7||3||36/64||Navajo Nation||Jack C. Jackson Jr (D-inc)(2nd)||Safe Democrat||26/74||29/5|
Barbara McGuire (D-Former State House)(23rd)
|11||20||59/41||Tucson North, Pinal South||Al Melvin (R-inc 26th)
Jo Holt (Oro Valley)
7th District. This seat is 63% Native American Indian - the Navajo Nation seat. Liberal Flagstaff has been removed from this district making it 10% less Dem (although still Safe Dem), with incumbent Jack C. Jackson Jr to run again. Incumbent 7th District House Representative, Albert Hale will run again (he is a former State Senator term limited out of the senate), but there is no replacement yet for Chabin.
8th District. This Pinal County District is without doubt the most competitive in the State Senate. It is based on the old, traditionally Democratic 23rd District which grew rapidly so that it is split over the 8th and 11th Districts. In addition to Barbara McGuire, Rebecca Rios (Apache Junction) the former 23rd District Senator defeated in 2010 would also be a strong challenger for this seat, although her home (Apache Junction) is presumably in the new 16th (her father, Sen. Peter Rios first held a Pinal based seat in 1982, and was the first Hispanic Senate State President for Arizona). There are also 3 Dem challengers for the two State Rep positions: George Arredondo, Sr., (former Coolidge City Councillor, and a first time Legislative candidate with a campaign website) Ernest Bustamante (losing 2010 candidate for the old 23rd District along with McGuire), and Emily Verdugo (another Coolidge City Council Candidate with a website under construction). Coolidge only has 11,000 people or less than 10% of the LD population, so not sure why it has two candidates. This seat has a Dem party registration advantage (57.1% - the only competitive seat to have such a reg advantage) and has a large Hispanic VAP minority (31.3%). Very promising target.
11th District. This is a leftovers district that is only partly in the 1st CD and could see a great primary battle between two Republican incumbents. 23rd District Incumbent Steve Smith was considered very likely to challenge Al Melvin for the Safe Republican 11th, however will instead run for a House Seat. Democratic challenger Jo M. Holt of the Oro Valley Democratic Club has a campaign website here, but I don't know how strong a candidate she is.There are no Democratic House Challengers for this seat as of yet, which is not promising.