Thursday, January 26, 2012
Arizona Redistricting - 2012
The smoke has cleared and we now have nine newly formed congressional districts, subject DOJ approval. We will actually have some competitive races, probably three, I expect all to go Democratic in 2012.
David Schweikert and Ben Quayle both covet the 6th District (NE Phoenix, PV, Scottsdale), which will be safe for the GOP and an almost certain five terms. The 9th District (Ahwatukee, Tempe, North Central Phoenix) will be competitive, with a slight advantage for the Democrat (hopefully, Kyrsten Sinema). Quayle lives in D9, but most of his current district is in D6. Right now he has to decide if he will challenge Schweikert in the D6 primary or take his chances in D9. I hope he goes for the latter. Either way, I doubt he will serve in the next Congress.
Paul Gosar (R) is going to move west so that he'll reside in the new D4 (Prescott, Havasu, rural west), which should be a safe seat. D1 (Flagstaff, rural north and east) will be competitive and likely will end up being served by Ann Kirkpatrick (D).
Gabby's D2 will be competitive but should remain in Democratic hands. Grijalva (D) will keep his seat in the new D3, as will Pastor (D) in D7. The GOP will keep Flake's seat in D5 and Franks (R) will cruise to re-election in D8.
Even though Democratic winds will be blowing, I expect the Senate seat to remain Republican as Jeff Flake will be an excellent candidate. The guy should be able to unite the establishment and Tea Party and was principled before it was cool. So far, the potential Democratic candidates are wanting. If not for the intervention of Jared Loughner, Gabby Giffords would probably give Flake quite a race.
Can Obama win the state? Absolutely. In fact, he may well have won in 2008 had a favorite son not appeared on the ticket. Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado were all blue in '08. Obama would not have been here yesterday if he didn't feel the state was in play. What are his chances? Against Romney, probably 40%. Against Gingrich, 80%.