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%.


Jim G. said...

thoughtful....will be influenced by the Presidental race.

I think Reps. keep them all.

even a small chance for Giffords.

Baxter said...

Doc - you are absolutely correct about the influence of the presidential race. That said, Quayle barely won in the 2010 wave election and his district will be a lot more blue. I think Romney will probably win the state while D9 goes Democratic.

Gabby's seat leans a little bit left - it contains Tucson minus the west side HIspanics - and the GOP will likely have a very conservative candidate. It takes a Jim Kolbe Republican to win that seat and there aren't any in sight. The special election in June will probably determine November.

D1 is not particularly hospitable for the GOP or a Republican incumbent would not be fleeing his Flagstaff home for Prescott. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) was popular there and barely lost in the 2010 wave. It's hard to see her losing a district in 2012 that is more Democratic after redistricting.

These three seats should be pretty competitive every cycle, which means the advantage will go to the incumbent, particularly if they are moderate. We shall see!