Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 29, 2012


Host: Ted Simons

Post-Primary Election Analysis

  |   Video
  • Get post-election commentary and analysis from political consultants Stan Barnes and Bob Grossfeld.
Guests:
  • Stan Barnes - Political Consultant
  • Bob Grossfeld - Political Consultant
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: elections, primary, results, returns, analysis, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The ninth circuit court of appeals today gave the owners of the "Phoenix New Times" the go ahead for a federal civil rights and conspiracy suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and a special prosecutor appointed by former County Attorney Andrew Thomas. The suit involves the arrests of Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin after new times published information about Grand Jury subpoenas issued by the prosecutor. Lower courts ruled against new times but the ninth circuit disagreed and allowed Lacy and Larkin to sue for false arrest and violations of their first and 14th amendment rights.
Ted Simons: Last night's primary election is over, which in many cases makes the general election procedural at best, but there are some competitive races set for November. Here to talk about that and review the results from last night are political consultant Stan Barnes and Bob Grossfeld. Good to see you both. Thanks for joining us on the day after the day. Let's start with what we asked last night, in general overview, any surprises, any shocks?
Stan Barnes: Yeah. From my point of view there was a lot of Mormon on Mormon violence out there in the political sphere. [laughter] I work on that all afternoon.
Ted Simons: Good for you.
Stan Barnes: You the surprise for me was the -- what I think is historic loss by Cardon in that senate race. Have we ever seen someone spend so much money and only get 20%? The candidate -- as a gauge, the candidate that ran against Trent Franks in the primary in the west side, no one can knows his name, he didn’t spend any money and he got 17% of the vote. So Will Cardon showed us something, and I'm trying to figure out what the lesson is, that you can spend that much money and only get 20% of the Republicans to go with you and he's running against a guy who is great candidate Jeff Flake, but not the incumbent- not a US Senator. I thought it was a surprise to me.
Ted Simons: Surprise. Shock. What did you see out there?
Bob Grossfeld: The total amount of money and especially the cash going into the races generally from independent expenditure committees, super Pacs, an enormous amount of money. Just totaling up the candidates, for instance, in CD-9, they were spending well over $2.5 million. And that doesn't include all of the outside groups.
Ted Simons: Was the money well spent? Did it make a difference? A positive difference for those who wound up being the recipients?
Bob Grossfeld: I think in some instances it did, in others it was probably waste. But something that consultants I'm sure were very thrilled to get.
Stan Barnes: Bob makes a great point. There was -- this is a very expensive race. The Cardon money aside, there was so much independent expenditure, not only the congressional level, but in the legislative level. Something along the lines of a half million dollars. And in the legislative races alone, there was independent money, not the campaigns. That's a big number.
Ted Simons: Is that the new normal?
Stan Barnes: I think you're on to something. Post the Supreme Court, Citizens United -- I think that's the new normal.
Bob Grossfeld: Exactly.
Ted Simons: Do you think -- going back to the Cardon Flake race, that is a lot of money to spend, those ads were hard, sharp, they were never ending, and it was an absolute and complete blowout. At what -- it's almost saying you can -- you can't spend all the money in the world and buy yourself an election. True?
Bob Grossfeld: You can. He couldn't. And I think there isn't -- therein lies the difference. I look at that race and I go, where were his friends and family before he did this who could talk him out of it? Somebody should have at least given it a try. But he just took a bath.
Stan Barnes: Another way to look at it, Ted, from the reverse. Jeff flake did really well. And then today the day after, I think has a lot of wind in his sails, and there's not a real rift within the Republican electorate on the U.S. senate seat that he needs to heal. I think he's in a great position.
Ted Simons: what about other rifts? Talk about the impact of the Tea Party, the impact of some of these really difficult races we saw in legislative district one and we'll get to the others, but there's some nasty stuff going on out there and it's interparty stuff.
Stan Barnes: It is. Intraparty. The Republican party is in a bit of a civil war. And that battle ground is at the ballot box. And that played out. You saw it in the speakers' race in the Yavapai north Maricopa race with Lori Klein getting into that house race with him, and you've seen it in pockets all over the state, particularly in rural Arizona. And this cycle did not settle the issue. I think it's still very much a civil war, and you'll see it play out when leadership is chosen in the state senate and in the state house the day after the general election.
Ted Simons: Did you see Tea Party influence out there at all?
Bob Grossfeld: In some instances. I think what's happened, at least from my side looking at things, there's Tea Party influence throughout the Republican party now. I think some just label themselves that way and others don't. But in terms of the positions, they're pretty darn similar. I think what we're seeing and what I think what Stan observes is this is pretty normal after redistricting. It's throwing all the marbles up into the air and seeing where they land, and they don't always land in convenient places.
Stan Barnes: Excellent. Democrats have the same problem. We were landing on Republicans here, but think about some of the intraparty feuding that has gone on in some of the legislative districts and in the congressional races like in district 9.
Ted Simons: Let's get to some of the races in particular. We'll start with CD-1, the Republican primary with Jonathan Paton winning as expected and in CD-1 the Democratic primary Ann Kirkpatrick winning as expected. Did they win by enough of margin, do we see both pretty strong going into general?
Bob Grossfeld: I think they came out of their respective races pretty darn evenly matched. And I suspect that will be one where there will be an enormous amount of outside money going in.
Stan Barnes: The Republican national committee announced a couple weeks ago they reserved $900,000 in television time in Arizona for that district. There's going to be so much money from all over out of Arizona, because that's one the very few districts around the country that's in play.
Ted Simons: Ann Kirkpatrick winning, some expected her to win more. Who was Baldenegro? 64-39, whatever, pretty sizable, but we had some folks saying they expected even more.
Bob Grossfeld: Some folks are going to do that. Her opponent is actually pretty well qualified, intelligent, well representing of herself. But you have somebody who was an incumbent, well known, and well funded. And so Ann was -- she was going to take the seat, one way or the other.
Ted Simons: Campaigning since the last election.
Bob Grossfeld: Exactly.
Ted Simons: CD-2. This is another one we're expecting a lot of outside interests and help from national political parties on the Republican side, Martha McSally who we keep hearing is a rising star in the Republican party, wins and wins big.
Stan Barnes: Yes, she did. That is up here in state of Maricopa, we hear echos from southern Arizona that Martha McSally is the real deal. And Jesse Kelly, the former nominee for the Republicans against Ron Barber got out of her way and let her have the day. I think conventional wisdom is this is still a Democratic spot, Ron Barber is still a strong candidate. He defeated his primary opponent, state representative Matt Heinz, something like 80-20 or something.
Ted Simons: Which raises the question you brought up, friends giving advice, shouldn't anyone have mentioned to Mr. Heinz this was a tough hill to climb here?
Bob Grossfeld: I think he was getting that advice, but prior to the time of the special election. And I think he just was on momentum and just stayed into it.
Ted Simons: Barber's race to lose?
Bob Grossfeld: I think so. Although I would caution against Democrats getting lazy about that one. The voter registration numbers are not that significant, the differences aren't all that significant. And it's going to be one that the Republicans are going to play in, because they've got a very good candidate.
Ted Simons: CD-4, Gosar, Gould this one not as close as maybe some had expected.
Stan Barnes: This one excites me. I'm really proud of congressman Gosar. He with stood nearly a million dollars of out of state money shooting at him in Phoenix TV and radio for I think really unfair reasons. The club for growth decided to go all in against him. And it's the only reason Ron Gould even got 31% of the vote because Gosar should have really just walked into this race. For some reason he infuriated this group, they waste add million dollars on him, he still did well. So good for him.
Ted Simons: Are they going to bother with him now? Granted, you win that as a Republican and you're pretty much set I would think for the next 10 years. Are they going to bother with him again, or do we remember Gosar for quite a while?
Stan Barnes: I think we've got congressman Gosar as long as he wants to be there.
Ted Simons: Let's talk about CD-5, the Kirk Adams Matt Salmon race and this one again, pretty convincing win for Salmon. Late push I guess for Adams, pretty convincing otherwise.
Bob Grossfeld: Absolutely. And this one always struck me as the old boys club versus the new. And you had McCain, Kyl coming down in support of Adams, and somehow Salmon being this renegade. Which just is preposterous on the surface, but I think that's how it played out. And he just walked with it.
Stan Barnes: I think what happened out there, I live in that district, I think it's the old adage that high name I.D. and money equals winning an election. Kirk Adams is a fantastic guy and fantastic candidate and raised good money, but Matt has significant name I.D., had a money advantage, and that momentum carried him.
Ted Simons: Where do we see Adams next?
Stan Barnes: The man has a bright future. He's young, he's now tested, you're not a real politician until you lose a good race. So I know he's coming back, I just don't know where.
Ted Simons: That makes Ben Quayle a real politician. Correct?
Bob Grossfeld: I think that makes Ben Quayle the guy who -- I've never spoken to the guy. But it's always struck me as, this is the fella who was pulled into the family business and never really wanted to be there.
Ted Simons: Do you think so?
Bob Grossfeld: Yeah.
Ted Simons: Do you get the same impression?
Stan Barnes: No. I don't get that impression. I get the impression that it's fun to be a congressman, and it's fun to be a young man with the advantage of an establishment name. So I think he enjoys it, and would like to do it again, where he goes next I don't know, but in this race the real story is David Schweikert. He proved to be the toughest guy in the battle and that's saying a lot because there was a lot of mud in that deal.
Ted Simons: There was a lot of mud. We had some analysis suggesting the mud is not going to wipe off that quickly and cleanly. How -- what kind of -- we're talking the same thing with Gosar, Schweikert can be there for the next 10 years I can imagine unless feelings were really hurt and something bubbles up. How difficult was this?
Stan Barnes: I think this -- if you ask David I bet he'll tell you it's -- it was the most difficult race he's run. There's so much money poured into negative ads, and it affects you as a human being. And then to be condemned by people that we respect, like McCain and Kyl, about his campaigning, which I thought was unfair. I thought his campaigning was all fair, I thought both side were equally brass knuckle. But this is the jungle of politics we live in today. I don't think it was exceptionally bad. It will pass to get to your question are shall it will not stay on David, it will pass, and he'll be there as long as he wants, and he may even have set up a glide path for the next U.S. senate seat whenever that is open.
Ted Simons: Do you see that as well?
Bob Grossfeld: To some extent. I think the most immediate impact is he goes back to Washington, and he goes into massive fund-raising mode. He's got to build up a war chest significant enough that any potential opponent is going to back off. And that will be his -- to some extent that will be his career for a while.
Stan Barnes: I only slightly disagree. I don't think he's going to have an opponent. He just toppled the best opponent he could possibly have, an incumbent, likeable congressman full of money, and he won. I think David's going to run without an opponent, or with a nominal opponent from now on.
Ted Simons: Unless he decides to run for grander and greater things and the fund-raising machine has to kick up.
Stan Barnes: Yes.
Ted Simons: CD-9, let's start with the Republicans. Everyone in the phone book was in this particular race. Vernon Parker won, was thisa convincing win? Was this a statement? Was there a mandate in 23%?
Stan Barnes: No, no, and no. He's lucky to come out of this soup as the winner. He's a great candidate, he's got a great resume and he's going to carry the Republican flag. But there's nothing in it that says Vernon's our guy. There's only the randomness of being good and having an adequate campaign and coming out the back end.
Ted Simons: Why wasn't Martin Sepulveda the guy and why did Wendy Rogers get so close?
Bob Grossfeld: I have absolutely no idea. This is what happens when you have that many players. There's no way that you can communicate, all of them can communicate with a constituency in a convincing way because it becomes noise after a while. And I -- as silly as it may sound, at some point it boils down to who's got more signs out there to increase name I.D. And Parker had name I.D. going into it and I think it was enough to get by.
Ted Simons: OK. Democrats. The three-way race is over, Kyrsten Sinema won by a sizable, more than most people thought. What happened here?
Bob Grossfeld: She want a terrific campaign that was based first and foremost as a positive campaign about her. To establish who she is and what her image was going to be. And then that enabled her to withstand what was major onslaughts, certainly by Cherny and by some of the independent campaign committees.
Ted Simons: Does that major onslaught does that affect her come the general election?
Bob Grossfeld: It doesn't help. But she can much more easily condense all of that support and get much more money and more quickly than I think Parker can.
Ted Simons: Will we see Schapira and/or Cherny?
Stan Barnes: I think you're going to see Schapira, he's a blue collar democrat who believes his issues. I think you've seen the last of Cherny. That's my opinion. I’m a republican sitting here looking at it. He's made two big runs and burned off a lot of bridges within the Democratic circles and failed in both. And I don't think he has anywhere to go.
Ted Simons: Let's get to the legislative races. The CD, excuse me -- LD-1 race with the speaker of the house facing a challenge and a big challenge. The challenge wasn't all that strong in terms of numbers, but how surprising was it that Lori Klein went after the speaker?
Stan Barnes: This is a lot much inside baseball here that's exciting for guys like me. As Bob said earlier, redistricting puts marbles everywhere, and all of a sudden Lori Klein found herself out of her home district in a district that was dominated by Yavapai county where the speaker lives and where representative Karen Fann lives, both of them attractive candidates. Lori decided she had nothing to lose and went in with that. And that's where it gets inside baseball. Then it gets personalities, and strange and Herman Cain comes to town, Joe the Plumber is there and there are incendiary comments. It ended up being a distasteful thing for the speaker of the house who found out he's got a few enemies he didn't think he had. But in the meantime vanquished those enemies and is stronger because of it.
Bob Grossfeld: You also found out he has a whole lot of friends that he didn't know about. Because there were people playing in that organizations playing in that to come to his I'd and to at least be on the list of people who he can thank.
Ted Simons: And that race along with the next one in LD-16, the Crandall Fillmore race, again, testy and Richard Crandall switched districts because of, well, Russell Pearce.
Stan Barnes: Exactly.
Ted Simons: Would it have been better to run against Russell Pearce?
Stan Barnes: Maybe his friend the new senator Bob Worsley can tell him. What senator Crandall did ended up being a good play, he won. He moved east of power road. Everything east of power road into Pinal County is where that district is. And he had to move a few miles east to do that. But there was an open seat there. He met Representative John Fillmore stepping up to the senate, ended up fighting one another. This was the legislative district with the most outside money spent in it on behalf of Crandall, and it paid off. He won by only about four points, and it's going to make a big difference in the tenor of the senate in January.
Ted Simons: With that in mind, big difference as far as what the president senate can accomplish or go home without too much heartburn?
Bob Grossfeld: I think so. The big story there is that the super majority is blown. That is no longer in play. In either house. And so there should be some more accommodation. Some more moderation, to the extent to which it becomes that is anybody's guess. But the ground work is laid for that. And the senate president can get more done, presumably.
Stan Barnes: You're right on the point. The inside game is the senators that come to the Republican caucus will determine who the senate president is, and the present Senate President, Steve pierce, has a thin margin to put him in that job. His majority leader Andy Biggs out of Gilbert would like that job. And so right even today are counting votes within Republicans that have just won last night and ones going to the general and how that might play out. So if you get a Crandall over a Fillmore, then what you're really doing is picking the future senate president.
Ted Simons: Interesting. All right. Let's get to democrats with Chevrons against A, and Chevrons against A, B -- the name didn't do that well last night.
Bob Grossfeld: No, it didn't. And it did so poorly it's one of those, you start wondering, well, didn't anybody try and talk him out of it? At least with -- I think assumed he had more name identification and more knowledge of him as a member of the legislature. Than really was. He's been out for a while. And somebody trying to get back in, I think they make that mistake often.
Ted Simons: Katy Hobbss that done a relatively good job for democrats.
Bob Grossfeld: Good job, she's a nice person, and here comes Ken just bull dozing right over her. And I think it was not particularly tasteful.
Ted Simons: As far as the house race, McDermott, I think that's her name, I don't know --
Bob Grossfeld: I think for the -- we can stipulate to that for these purposes.
Ted Simons: The Bottom line is, no success there, Chad Campbell obviously Lee Alston, and again, the one and two, they were fighting -- they were going over in the senate race fighting against Chevron over there.
Bob Grossfeld: Yeah.
Ted Simons: Yeah. What's going on?
Stan Barnes: They're a very close group.
Ted Simons: I guess they are. Are we going to see Campbell bigger things from him?
Stan Barnes: I think so. He's a bright light in the Democratic side of the aisle in Arizona. But before you leave that, I want to say as a Republican I'm glad to see democrats eating their own young. Because Republicans, we do that in this state, but you never see Democrats fight in the light of day. They certainly did this time. And they're having their own intermural squabble about the direction of that party. How far left it's going to be. And Ken Chevron was kind after chamber of commerce Democrat and that maybe put him out of step.
Ted Simons: We don't want to get too far out of step, let's get back to the Republicans if we can and the Russell Pearce race, the legislative district 25. Again, not all that close. Can you imagine a couple of years ago a few years ago saying Russell Pearce will lose his next two elections, they won't be close and people will wonder if they ever will hear from him again?
Stan Barnes: It's a poetic kind of thing. It's going to go down in state history, really. Marked like the big dramatic things we mark in state history. He was senate president, arguably the most powerful elected official in Arizona for a time. And he is now an unemployed and it's all different. And because he's not going to the senate, again, Republican -- a different senate president than we might have had and the output will be different.
Ted Simons: Does he stay unemployed for long? What's the next move for Russell Pearce?
Bob Grossfeld: I don't think there's any elected office, but I have no doubt he is going to be on the chicken dinner circuit and be called upon I would imagine Fox News has a place for him, so he's not going away.
Ted Simons: Like the J.D. Hayworth land out there, a little bit?
Bob Grossfeld: I forgot about him. Yes. Yes.
Ted Simons: All right. Real quickly, sheriff's races, Pinal county, Paul Babeu, wins.
Bob Grossfeld: Blew me away.
Ted Simons: Did it really?
Bob Grossfeld: Yes. Here's a guy who is in the middle -- he's running for the United States Congress, and all of a sudden a scandal breaks loose and he's going to run, he's going to drop out, he's not -- he finally decides he's going to drop out and be sheriff again. And he is. It's just amazing. It's one of those things that it's one of those only in Arizona could this happen.
Ted Simons: Were you surprised?
Stan Barnes: I was surprised. I know the sheriff. And I was still surprised. I figured that the story Bob just told would weigh him down, the sheriff deal as well. But as it turns out, and rural Arizona is different than Maricopa County, Pinal county is different, there's a lot of retail politics going on and a lot of people, individually, know the sheriff. And like him. And forgive him for his -- whatever that indiscretion was. Whatever it is. And so there's kind of a -- he has a personal relationship with a lot of people in that county that could overcome some of the difficulties.
Ted Simons: We only have time for a yes or no or maybe. Paul pin zone, any chance against Joe Arpaio?
Stan Barnes: No.
Bob Grossfeld: Maybe.
Ted Simons: A maybe?
Bob Grossfeld: Maybe.
Ted Simons: All right.
Stan Barnes: That's a hope. That doesn't count.
Ted Simons: Is that a hope --
Bob Grossfeld: hope is not a method. That's a real maybe.
Ted Simons: All right. Good. Gentlemen, great stuff as always. Good to have you.
Bob Grossfeld: Pleasure.

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