Ted Simons: Yesterday was the filing deadline for Arizona candidates to turn in their signatures, and that means that today the field is set for statewide, legislative and congressional races. Political consultants Stan Barnes and Bob Grossfeld are here to discuss the upcoming campaigns. Good to see you both here. It's that time of year again or season again. Let's just start with the 30,000 foot view here. Are we going to see some surprises?
Stan Barnes: Yeah. Bob and I, other nerds watching this program, we love this kind of thing. This is Christmas in the summertime. There's something like 70 people running for the House or the Senate and 130 running for the House, so we're going to see new personalities, we’re going to see missteps, we're going to see smear attack ads, we're going to see some bare knuckle, we’re going to see some belly flops, we're going to see some people raising a lot of money, we're going to see people raise no money. It's going to be a very interesting thing. There's a long way to go between here and the primary and then the general.
Ted Simons: Are you thinking we're going to see some surprises some November?
Bod Grossfeld: Oh, yeah, absolutely. The issue right now is who and what. The what I'm looking at, everybody's looking at, the Republican gubernatorial primary. You've got seven people there. Somebody's going to win this thing with 30% of the vote.
Ted Simons: Impact of having that kind of a crowd in there. Could you have a dark-horse come out of that? Or could the dark horse just simply impact the other races?
Bob Grossfeld: I think there will be some impact. Who's going to steal votes from whom? But just at a minimum, somebody could pick up 10% of the votes just by breathing.
Stand Barnes: There's a lot of analogy to the national presidential race in 2016 and the Arizona gubernatorial race in 2014. On the national scene, we have Hillary and all things Hillary on the democratic side, and then we have a plethora of Republican governors and U.S. senators going to run for president. In Arizona, Fred Duval is the lone democrat and he’s united his party, and there's seven real candidates who are all over the spectrum -- the money spectrum, all over the philosophical spectrum and all over the personality spectrum. It's going to be very interesting.
Ted Simons: Does that help or hurt Duval?
Stan Barnes: He loves it. This is how Janet Napolitano got to be governor in 2002. This is the democratic playbook. When you've got fewer registrants than the other party, you hope that the other party has its own civil war, and Republicans are in the midst of a civil war and some of that is going to come out in the primary.
Ted Simons: Do you agree with that? Because people still don't know who Fred Duval is.
Bob Grossfeld: I know. [ Laughter ]
Ted Simons: Your answer is in your smile I guess there. Isn’t it?
Bob Grossfeld: Look, Fred now has an opportunity to go around and run the campaign he wants to run without having to think a whole lot about what a November opponent's going to say within reason and he's doing that. He's been incredible successful so far. Much more successful than I think most people would assume somebody without a primary would have. He's running and he's running very hard.
Ted Simons: Alright, we've got to get to the Attorney General's race here. Will the incumbent get out of the primary?
Stan Barnes: That is the echo chamber conversation being had in all hallways at the Capitol today. Certain lawmakers, Republican lawmakers came out and asked him to resign. They're following a trail of U.S. senators and Congressman Salmon. I think the answer is probably, no. He seems to have what I describe as a Churchillian manner of sticking with it and never giving up. You can give him that credit. He's not giving up. However, a great many Republican thinkers myself included believe that if he's the nominee he cannot win the general election so as long as he's in the race all he's doing is hurting the Republicans.
Ted Simons: Is he hurting the Republican Party, is he hurting other candidates?
Bob Barnes: Yes, yes, and yes. If he happens to survive the primary then whoever wins the primary for governor and for other officers they have to campaign together and they'll be explaining him wherever they go and that's not a good scene.
Ted Simons: Felicia Rotellini, Democrat, you're smiling again over here. We got the first of two smiles of the evening. But again, Rotellini, can she beat a Brnovich? Can she beat a Horne?
Bob Grossfeld: She definitely can beat a Horne. Brnovich is an unwritten script so far. Nobody knows much about him. He hasn't been campaigning that anybody I know can see. And unless he's raising money very quietly, there's not much of a campaign there. And I suspect he's probably holding back waiting for Horne to just explode.
Ted Simons: Do you think she would be able to, Rotellini, would be able to pick off enough Republican votes out there to beat an unknown like Brnovich, who we’ll know more about should he get out of the primary?
Bob Grossfeld: I think so. She's very popular. She's very well liked and there's still that bad taste left from four years ago where she got clobbered and that's all coming back out again now because of the Horne missteps.
Stan Barnes: It's an important theme that is going on here with all the top executive offices, save for the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Democrats have one candidate no primary, Republicans have primaries that are sure to be nasty and not pretty. And, you know, there's a lot of chatter about the Duval, Goddard, Rotellini, one, two, three on the democratic side, those are three great candidates and you've got a united democratic party backing some seriously good candidates, Republicans have got to watch out. They might find themselves on the wrong side.
Ted Simons: Is that Secretary of State race Goddard's to lose?
Bob Grossfeld: I think so. He's so well-known, and his positives are up where they ought to be, that if he runs a decent campaign, he's there.
Stan Barnes: There are three Republicans running: Will Carden, Representative Justin Pierce, and Senator Michelle Reagan. You know, just picking out of thin air, but if your name is Reagan and you are a woman and you have a great reputation like Senator Reagan does, that makes you pretty formidable. But she has to get through a primary with two other good candidates both of whom would make great Secretaries of State. I don't know who Terry Goddard wants to run against, but I bet it's not Michelle Reagan.
Ted Simons: Interesting. Superintendent of Public Instruction, will the incumbent get out of the primary?
Stan Barnes: Yeah, I think he will. I think there's a lot of focus on that race in very small circles, but if you get out of the very small circles, very few people are focused on the dramas that may be there and Huppenthal has never lost an election, he’s got great name-ID, he’s done good things for the office, and so I think he's going to do a lot better than people say.
Ted Simons: What about David Garcia? Can he pick off enough Republican votes? Is that going to be a race? Or, again, is that Huppenthal’s to lose?
Bob Grossfeld: I think in a way it's Hoopenthal's to lose because he's made some missteps. The fact he's been labeled as the “Superintendent of Private Instruction” and that's caused a significant constituency for public schools to get very up in arms and energized in a way that they haven't been in a very long time.
Ted Simons: Alright. As far as the treasurer's race again lots of -- Hugh Holman is the only name that anyone recognizes in that race.
Stan Barnes: Yeah, Randy Pullen, who was the party chairman and is a decent fellow. The funniest part about that office is –- it plays to my own personal biases -- is Republicans have held the Treasurer's job in Arizona for almost every term since 1948. And Republicans weren't in the majority in the state until late 80s. In other words, people trust the Republicans with the money is my logic so -- [ Laughter ] It's going to be a Republican that wins. I don't even know if there's a democrat filed in the Treasurer’s race.
Ted Simons I don't think there is no democrat is there?
Stan Barnes: It’s to my point. It's not even worth running as a Democrat.
Ted Simons: But to get out of a primary, you mentioned Randy Pullen, you've got a lot of connections there. Can Holman get out of that primary?
Stan Barnes: I'm just guessing like everybody else. I think he probably can. He's got more name-ID straight up. Pullen might spend more money and change that dynamic, but there's a lot of randomness to this thing as voters go down the ballot and we'll see.
Ted Simons: CD-1. How strong is Anne Kirkpatrick?
Bob Grossfeld: She's very strong and has been working the grassroots like in a way that people don't see, especially with congressional races. The constituency work, the going around from town to town doing it consistently every weekend, that's something that don't show up and that's what she's been doing. She's been working hard.
Stan Barnes: It's another circumstance, Ted, where Republicans are going to have a nasty primary, are having a nasty primary and Democrats are united and are coasting and so we'll see. I think speaker Tobin is likely to be the nominee for the Republicans. And he's having a fundraiser this week with Mitt Romney leading the event. I think he's going to have the resources. With Anne, who's a great Congresswoman in her own right, what she's vulnerable on is this is a non-presidential year, the Republicans turn out in higher percentages than Democrats, and she's really got to hold every single Democrat and cut into the Republican base in order to hold that thing. I don't know if she will.
Ted Simons: Last time we had the discussions regarding congressional district nine, the consensus was Kyrsten Sinema might as well start campaigning now because they're going to be coming after her right and left. She seems relatively secure in this race.
Bob Grossfeld: They're coming at her right and right, not right and left. They're beating her up already. I don't see any movement. She's holding strong. And she's doing everything right.
Ted Simons: What do you think?
Stan Barnes: I think have you sensed a theme? Republicans are going to have another nasty primary here, be divided, it hurts their fundraising, it hurts their messaging. They both have to play to the right because they want to win the right and they can't play in the center where Sinema wins that election.
Ted Simons: Well, let’s get then to what could be a Democratic nasty race and that’s CD-7 Mary Rose Wilcox, Ruben Gallego. What goes on there? Is that the old guard versus the new guard?
Stan Barnes: That is old versus new, but it's also –- there’s much more strata in it. There's four or five candidates that have filed.
Ted Simons: Actually, you're right.
Stan Barnes: And I think all of them end with a vowel, I think they’re all Hispanic, they all lay claim. One of them is named Caesar Chavez, they all lay claim to that mantra. Only one has Ed Pastor’s endorsement and that’s Mary Rose Wilcox. Ruben Gallego is a hustling, hard-working guy who's going to raise a lot of money. But the others are going to cut in. So no one really knows how that’s going to play out.
Ted Simons: What do you think is going to happen over there?
Bob Grossfeld: Right now Reuben's got the ground game going for him. Much more so than anybody I think understands. He's got his folks going door to door, but not carrying paper. They've got little palm pilot type things, boy that dated me, iPhones. They're doing iPhones. And having the voter file on it. So when they go door to door, they're ticking off who they talked to, what kind of response they've gotten. I mean it's high tech like nobody's ever seen before.
Ted Simons: Before we get you guys out of here, very quickly will the state legislature change noticeably?
Stan Barnes: No. It will be ‘R’ and ‘R’ in both chambers and the personalities will shift.
Ted Simons: What do you think?
Bob Grossfeld: Pretty much the same.
Ted Simons: Pretty much the same. Alright, guys, we look forward to speaking with you some more as the season progresses. Good to have you both here.