Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Close Race Decided in AZ-1; Post-Primary Polls in Four Key States

In Governor, House, Polling, Senate on August 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm

AZ-1

The closest race of Tuesday night’s primary now looks to be concluded. State House Speaker Andy Tobin appears to have captured the Republican congressional nomination over rancher Gary Kiehne and state Rep. Adam Kwasman. With still two precincts not fully reported, but from an area where Tobin did well, the state legislative leader has a 36-35-29 percent margin, a 480-vote spread over his closest competitor, Kiehne.

Though this is a tight contest, such a margin is probably too large for Kiehne to overcome. So, unless there are uncounted votes elsewhere – which, often seems to happen – look for Tobin to become the Republican nominee.

Assuming the supposition of an official Tobin victory is true, the state House Speaker will now face vulnerable Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) in what will likely be a toss-up campaign. Kirkpatrick was first elected in 2008, but lost in the midterm election of 2010 by a wide margin. She returned to win the seat again in 2012 after the man who defeated her, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-4), sought re-election in another district.

New Polls

General election polls have now been released of several races where voters nominated candidates during the past week, even through Tuesday night.

• In the newly formed open Arizona governors’ race between former Clinton Administration official Fred DuVal (D) and state Treasurer Doug Ducey (R), both of whom became official nominees on Tuesday, Public Policy Polling immediately tested the Arizona electorate (Aug. 24-25; 588 registered Arizona voters via automated response system). With Arizona normally falling into the Swing/Lean Republican category, this first general election survey places the candidates within such a realm. According to the responses, Ducey maintains a slight 34-32-10 percent edge over DuVal and Libertarian candidate Barry Hess. Adding those respondents leaning to each candidate’s total, the adjusted ballot test evolves into a dead heat, 35-35-12 percent.

• Turning north to Alaska, Rasmussen Reports (Aug. 20-21; 750 likely Alaska voters) tested the new official general election pairing between Sen. Mark Begich (D) and former Attorney General and Natural Resources Department director Dan Sullivan (R). RR gives Sullivan a two-point, 47-45 percent lead in a race that could determine which party controls the Senate majority.

• The official Connecticut governor’s race is underway as well, and Rasmussen Reports also surveyed that campaign. In 2010, Gov. Dan Malloy (D) defeated former US Ambassador Tom Foley (R) in the closest gubernatorial race of that particular election cycle. The re-match, according to the new Rasmussen data, favors Foley as the challenger is off to a quick start in the general election. According to their poll (Aug. 18-19; 750 likely Connecticut voters) Rasmussen gives Foley a 45-38 percent lead over the incumbent governor. These are poor numbers for an incumbent, but Connecticut’s Democratic nature will certainly give Malloy a major boost.

• Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) won his primary against two GOP opponents with a rather weak 57 percent majority. But, the nomination contest should be the governor’s toughest of this cycle. The Wyoming Rasmussen poll (Aug. 20-21; 700 likely Wyoming voters) lends credence to such an analysis. Paired with Democratic nominee Pete Gosar, a state Education Board Member, the governor easily sets the pace, 55-34 percent. Rate Gov. Mead as a sure bet for re-election.

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