Not so fast!
Just days ago, the GOP appeared poised for a clean sweep of Arizona statewide offices. While many races have been safely called for Republicans by now, a large influx of ballots processed late this week have shifted some key races in the Democrats’ favor.
Most notably, Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema has pulled ahead of Congresswoman Martha McSally by half a percentage point in the ongoing rollercoaster race for U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman has pulled ahead of Republican Frank Riggs. Given that hundreds of thousands of ballots remain to be counted, most of which are in Maricopa County, it appears the tabulation process will continue well into next week, if not beyond.
Here’s what we know already:
Governor Doug Ducey easily defeated Democratic challenger David Garcia by nearly 17 points, earning Ducey another four years representing the state’s highest office. Attorney General Mark Brnovich will also keep his seat, defeating Democrat January Contreras. Republican Kimberly Yee has been elected state Treasurer, easily topping Democrat Mark Manoil.
Assuming votes hold, the Arizona House of Representatives will narrowly remain in Republican control . . . but the GOP will cede at least four seats. New makeup of the House looks to be a 31-29 advantage for the GOP, compared to the current 35-25 margin.
Meanwhile, the Arizona State Senate will most likely remain 17-13 in Republican control. Perhaps the only state Senate seat still in question is home to Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (R-Paradise Valley), who as of Friday afternoon clung to an 808-vote lead over Democratic challenger Christine Marsh, of Phoenix.
ICYMI: Veridus campaign pros Matthew Benson and Jason Barraza reflect on Election night
Chamber Business News
Maricopa County official reports strong voter turnout
PHOENIX (KSAZ/AP) - Maricopa County's top election official says the Election Day turnout at polling sites in metro Phoenix is almost on par with a presidential election.
As of 5:30 p.m., County Recorder Adrian Fontes says more than 240,000 ballots were cast at polling places Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Fontes says lines at some locations left people waiting for a voting booth, but not to check in. He says there have been some hiccups at a few of the some 500 voting sites.
The hiccups included technical glitches at one in Mesa and a foreclosure that locked up one in Chandler.
Fontes says the Chandler location is being set up at an alternative site elsewhere in the same property. Officials had planned initially to relocate to a high school.
On Monday evening, FOX 10 learned that 72 polling places across the Valley were not ready for Election Day.
Maricopa County has over 500 polling locations.
Doug Ducey soundly wins re-election
Arizona Capitol Times
Gov. Doug Ducey, the Arizona Republican with perhaps the biggest target on his back this year, defeated Democrat David Garcia Tuesday, according to early vote totals.
Despite facing a spirited Democratic opponent, an unusually energized Democratic electorate and scores of teachers still fired up by the Red for Ed movement this year, Ducey emerged victorious this election cycle.
In fact, Ducey crushed Garcia Tuesday by more than 17 percentage points — a wider margin than when he defeated Democrat Fred DuVal in the 2014 governor’s race.
But Tuesday’s election results aren’t exactly surprising. Weeks out from the election, Ducey was poised to easily win the election. Most political pundits had written off the contest long before Election Day.
In his victory speech at the Arizona GOP watch party, Ducey struck a bipartisan tone as he talked about successes in his first term, namely pulling the state out of a $1 billion budget deficit.
[...] Read more HERE
Democrats Just Won the House. Here's What They Plan to Do First
Scarred by the 2016 election, many House Democrats had been incredibly cautious about publicly discussing what they might do if they regained the majority after the midterms.
But in the past week, with polling swinging in their favor and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi publicly projecting victory, some details began to trickle out about the party’s plans now that it is back in power in the lower chamber.
Although the exact margin has yet to be determined, Democrats are now projected to hold a majority, thanks to voters unhappy with the Trump Administration, and the first order of business will be highlighting transparency and accountability.
The first major legislative effort will be an ethics reform package that is expected to incorporate proposals for campaign finance reform, voting rights and ethics and accountability. The bill is still being drafted, but Democrats are expecting it to introduce it early in the new Congress. Other top priorities include infrastructure and reducing prescription drug prices. All of these topics theoretically have potential for bipartisan cooperation, although it remains to be seen whether that will actually come to fruition.
At the same time, the incoming chairs of 21 House committees will be looking for ways to hold the Trump Administration officials’ feet to the fire, mainly by pressing forward on investigations they feel were ignored under the Republican majority.
[...] Read more HERE
A Green Ballot Trouncing
Voters reject a carbon tax, energy mandates and drilling restrictions.
Wall Street Journal
Tuesday’s election highlighted that more voters like Donald Trump’s policies than like him. Consider this week’s voter embrace of Mr. Trump’s pro-growth energy positions, via nationwide rejection of initiatives to raise energy costs.
Most notable was Washington State’s defeat of a carbon tax for the second time in two years. Climate activists designed the 2016 measure to be “revenue neutral” in hopes of masking the costs but still lost big. This time they aimed to win over progressives by promising to earmark carbon tax revenue for green subsidies and other spending.
Veridus clients in the news
The tax would have raised gas prices by 13 cents a gallon in 2020 and 59 cents a gallon by 2035—in a state that already has some of the highest gas prices in the country. While Seattle residents bought it, suburban and rural voters killed the measure 56%-44%.
[...] Arizona voters obliterated Proposition 127, which would have required the state to derive 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This would have more than tripled Arizona’s current mandate of 15% by 2025, even as it barred utilities from counting nuclear and most hydropower. The 70%-30% vote was a rebuke of California billionaire Tom Steyer, who funded the measure.
[...] Mr. Trump gets some credit for Tuesday’s good initiative results as an unabashed cheerleader for America’s energy revolution. Voters are beginning to see the economic fruits of smarter environmental policy and are more reluctant to indulge regulatory schemes.
Read more HERE