We're watching Tuesday's special election in Arizona closely, not because we expect the Democrats to stage an upset, but because Republicans are showing concern over the outcome.
The district is deeply red.
Debbie Lesko, a former Republican state senator, is facing the Democrat Hiral Tipirneni a doctor, in the Republican presidential nominees by large margins.
Margin Presidential election
Arizona's Eighth District
Arizona's Eighth District
Sources: Federal Election Commission and DailyKos | Note: The margins for Arizona's Eighth District for 2008 were calculated based on its current boundaries. In 2016, Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, won the popular vote, but Donald J. Trump, a Republican, won the electoral vote.
Donald J. Trump won the district by 20 percentage points in 2016. Four years earlier , Mitt Romney had it by almost 25 points.
The Eighth District seated by Representative Trent Franks, a Republican who resigned after being offered $ 5 million to an aide in exchange for carrying his child. [19659011
Ms. Lesko's race, taking a variety of precautionary measures, like spending money on ads and deploying robots calls from Mr. Trump.
The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee have spent more than $ 900,000 to boost Ms. Lesko.
Money spent to boost each candidate
Congres sional Committee
Republican National Committee
Source: Federal Election Commission | Note: Numbers are as of April 23.
The House Democratic and Poor Majority PAC – the best-funded House Democratic PAC – have not supported Ms. Tipirneni to the same extent. It's unlikely that the seat will flip Democratic, but a close margin is possible.
Two metrics offer otherwise-nervous Republican officials the most reassuring in a district where many of the ballots are cast early: Most people who are already voted are Republicans, and the median age of voters is 67.
Since early voting began on April 2, nearly half of the 150,000 Arizonans who have sent ballots are Republican, a sign that Ms. Lesko is most likely leading by a substantial margin.
Party affiliation of early ballots cast, as of April 20
Source: Arizona Secretary of State |
Nearly a quarter of voters are independents, meaning Ms. Tipirneni would have to capture some Republican voters and win overwhelmingly among independents to claim victory.
Unlike with the House seat That Democrats won in Pennsylvania last month, where a Libertarian won 1.379 essential votes, there is no third-party candidate on the ballot to make it easier for Ms. Tipirneni to prevail without a majority.
Most voters sending in ballots are nearing or enjoying retirement. Seniors are both the most conscientious and voters, in this district, largely conservative-leaning.
Source: Arizona Secretary of State. | Note: Dates reflect dates of tabulation and may not be when votes were cast.
But in the final days of the race, the median age of voters has grown slightly younger – an indication that the contest has closed. The uptick in younger voters suggests the race has more attention, more politically mixed electorate.
This race is on no one's list of seats. But the closer the margin, the more alarmed Republicans wants to be about the enthusiasm gap between the two parties going into November.