Monday, June 05, 2006

I'll eat my hat

The NY Times is wondering out-loud if little-known Democrat Jim Pederson of Arizona will unseat the Republican incumbent, Senator Jon Kyl:

What once seemed a long shot to Democrats — unseating Senator Jon Kyl, the two-term incumbent Republican — has in recent weeks shifted to the realm of the possible.

His Democratic challenger, Jim Pederson, a wealthy shopping mall developer, seems to be benefiting from the national decline in support for Republicans and President Bush. Mr. Pederson is using the dominant issue here, illegal immigration, to try to make inroads among centrist and independent voters.

"Kyl is carrying that albatross of closeness to the president and the president's untimely demise in the public esteem," said Earl de Berge, research director of the independent Rocky Mountain Poll here, citing public concerns about the Iraq war, high gasoline prices and other factors.

Recent polls here have showed Mr. Kyl, 64, with a lead of some 10 percentage points, compared with 20 or more in surveys earlier this year. The National Journal, the political weekly based in Washington, recently elevated the race to among the top 10 most-competitive Senate races.

I especially love that last bit. All aflutter over being down 10 points.

Arizona's political landscape is shifting with an annual influx of new residents from all over the country, many from Blue States, Democrats are becoming more viable there. They are strong at the state level while Governor Napolitano has, for the most part, done a good job running the state and is almost certain to win a second term in November.

However, when it comes to Congressional races it's a completely different story. Look at the rundown of Arizona's congressional delegation here. Six of 8 congressional seats are Republican, as are both Senators.

The Times admits the same thing I just told you, Arizona's politics are changing but I can't think this is anything but a flight of political fancy. Arizona is Red and will remain so in terms of it's national politics for quite some time.

If Senator Kyl loses in November, I'll eat my hat.

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