As I’ve said previously, I’m gearing up for this year’s Primaries. Just to get my feet wet, I went to the stats for Arizona’s 8th District, a pre-Primary special election to replace Congressman Trent Franks.
A reminder: Franks resigned on December 8th, in response to a sexual harassment scandal that broke in early December, 2017.
Yes, I know I said not to pay attention to the Special Elections this year, but this is a teaching moment. I want you to take a good look at the returns from the special Primary, held on February 27th.
Here’s the site: Arizona Secretary of State (current data, not final yet, as of 3/5/2018).
See those blue and red percentage bars? (If not, go read this on your desktop. I tried to get a PDF version, but they don’t show up.)
It looks on first blush like more Democrats showed up than Republicans, doesn’t it?
Yeah, well, about that…when I run the numbers for total votes cast for the Democrats in the Primary, I get this:
38,452. Okay. So now, if I use just the numbers for the two front runners in the Republican side, I get this: 45,592. Difference isn’t that big, right?
Except that this summary doesn’t tell the whole story. There were a total of 12 candidates for the Republican side. And three of them got over 10,000 votes.
You can see those numbers yourself if you click on the “View More” link on the right, above Phil Lovas’ name. Then click on “By County” for the totals. Let’s add those numbers together instead: 76,419.
That, friends, represents a ratio of nearly 2:1 for Republican vs. Democratic votes.
This is really no surprise. It’s Maricopa County, home of Joe Arpaio.
A little recent redistricting history (which I’ll return to shortly): While it appears the seat was once Gabby Giffords‘, (she had to resign in 2012 after she was nearly assassinated in 2011), the reality is that Trent Franks was in office in that seat, starting in 2003, originally serving in the redistricted 2nd District before the GOP Redistricting Panel changed it to the 8th.
This move wiped out two Democratic seats at the same time. (Martha McSally won the 2nd District in 2014, replacing Ron Barber, who served only one term.) But I digress.
So who do I think will win this election?
I’m presently betting on the Republican front runner, State Senator Debbie Lesko. While I love that two Democratic women showed up to run for the nomination, I’m not holding my breath for a good outcome. I’m not alone:
Associated Press: GOP winner of Arizona primary expected to win US House seat
Think I’m wrong? There’s one more thing I found while searching for resource material:
Associated Press: Arizona Senate approves GOP plan to revamp redistricting panel
Bottom line: If you’re looking at the returns on your own, look at ALL the details, not just the summary. Summaries don’t show the whole picture and you can’t base your assumptions on them.
And show up every time, regardless of the election in question. Out of 456,000 Registered Voters, only 116,688 votes were cast, and that’s a turnout of just 25.59%.
One hopes there will be more at the Special Election in April, but we’ll see what those numbers look like in August, when the real Primary happens in Arizona.
On to Texas, tomorrow.