NRCC Memo: Arizona Primary Results

August 27, 2014



DATE: AUGUST 27, 2014


Arizona’s three vulnerable Democrats share one thing in common: They fundamentally don’t fit the districts they represent. Ann Kirkpatrick, Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema narrowly won their races in 2012 – two of them with under 50 percent of the vote – by telling voters they’d be independent. But over the last two years they’ve been anything but. With President Obama’s numbers plummeting in Arizona, and the border security crisis a real-life issue in this state, all three will have to answer for their loyal support for the president and opposition to common-sense solutions in Congress.

AZ-01: Andy Tobin OR Gary Kiehne, R v. Ann Kirkpatrick, D

As of this morning, the Associated Press has yet to call this close race.

The winner will face Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who is one of the most vulnerable Democrat incumbents in the country. After getting ousted by voters in 2010 for voting for ObamaCare, Kirkpatrick has consistently voted against bipartisan fixes to this broken law since she’s been back in Congress. She even called ObamaCare her proudest vote. Kirkpatrick is abusive with taxpayer dollars – getting caught for paying campaign staff with her official congressional office budget. And on border security she has a long record of opposing efforts to keep Arizonans safe. In the Arizona Legislature, she voted against National Guard at the border, and she reaffirmed that vote again recently in Congress, voting against a common-sense border security package.

Geography: PVI: R+4; Romney 50.4% – Obama 47.9%. This massive congressional district stretches from metropolitan Tucson to the Grand Canyon, taking in dozens of rural towns and several Native American communities. The Obama administration’s regulatory overreach is playing out here for Arizonans in real time. Both Cook and Rothenberg rate this race as a Toss-Up.

AZ-02: Martha McSally, R v. Ron Barber, D

Ron Barber is more of a bystander in Washington than a congressman, and that’s having a devastating impact on Southern Arizona. For example, he ignored the threat to the A-10 for months, a critical economic issue in this district. Most recently, he voted against a common-sense border security package that would have provided desperately needed resources for Border Patrol and National Guard. He’s so out-of-touch, Barber praised the cuts ObamaCare made to Medicare Advantage. And often he won’t just be honest with Southern Arizonans – he wouldn’t even admit he was supporting President Obama in 2012 until the national media shamed him into fessing up. Southern Arizona is ready to move on and elect a representative who will put partisanship aside and do what’s right for the community.

Martha McSally has spent her life defending our country in uniform, fighting for women’s rights in the military and breaking glass ceilings. Now, she’s ready to advocate for Southern Arizonans in Congress. The first woman to fly in combat, McSally has a history of bucking her own party. She sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and successfully overturned a policy that treated women in the military as second-class citizens by requiring them to wear Muslim garb. McSally defied the odds in 2012, nearly defeating Barber in a campaign that no one in the country considered in play. Why? Because McSally’s message of independence resonates in Southern Arizona, which has a history of dynamic representatives in Congress.

Geography: PVI: R+3; Romney 50% – Obama 48%. This Southern Arizona district takes in much of metropolitan Tucson and Cochise County, to the south. With two major military installations in the district, and the University of Arizona a major economic engine, policies coming out of Washington have a significant effect on jobs and industry here. The border crisis is real-life for Southern Arizonans, and ensuring the border is secured is an issue that crosses party lines for voters. Both Cook and Rothenberg rate this race as a Toss-Up.

AZ-09: Wendy Rogers, R v. Kyrsten Sinema, D

Kyrsten Sinema just can’t be trusted. As Arizonans struggle with the impacts of ObamaCare, they’re going to be reminded that Sinema was personally selected by the White House to craft ObamaCare. While selling the law to voters, she repeated President Obama’s 2013 Lie of the Year: “if you like you’re healthcare plan, you can keep it.” She also proudly attended the bill signing and said “the fundamentals of the law are good.” The law’s unpopularity has reached record levels. Why would Arizonans reelect someone who helped craft it? When it comes to the recent VA scandal, Sinema’s leadership has been nonexistent. Remember, she advocated for an ObamaCare plan identical to that of the VA. She was even caught red-handed fundraising off this horrible crisis. For Arizona veterans, it was personal. For Sinema, it was an opportunity to raise campaign cash.

Wendy Rogers is ready to hold Kyrsten Sinema accountable for her broken promises. Unlike Sinema, Wendy hasn’t spent her life in politics. In fact, she spent her life in service to this country as one of the first 100 female pilots in the Air Force. That’s the type of leadership we need in Washington. The choice for Arizona couldn’t be clearer: a leader who has spent her life in service to our nation or a career politician.

Geography: PVI: R+1; Obama 51% – Romney 46.6%. This Phoenix-area, urban/suburban district is home to Arizona State University. Cook rates this race as Lean Democrat.