Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More bumps in the road for the Governor's team

While there is definite celebration by Democrats nationally, there was not as much to cheer for here at home in Arizona. It was speculated that the Governor's decisive vistory in 2006 and the larger turnout for Obama would allow Democrats to make some major headway in Arizona. So far, its not looking so good for Team Napolitano.

First, her hand picked candidate for Maricopa County Attorney General, Tim Nelson, was beaten out by Andrew Thomas by a 51.6% to 44.1% margin.

Second, bolstered by warnings from some Republicans about the Democrats' chances, they had a strategy to focus a lot of money on "swing" districts in an attempt to get a majority in the State House. Long story short, their effort fell flat and the Republicans appear to be poised to gain back a couple of seats that were lost after 2006.

Third, a week or two before the election, Napolitano's popularity along with democratic efforts to drive turnout were supposed to be able to make Arizona competitive. In fact, a week before the election, Obama and McCain were supposed to be neck and neck - thus, embarassing Senator McCain and boosting Dem's chances of taking the Senate seat in 2010. McCain was able to take Arizona with a 53.7% to 45.1% spread - gathering 1,012,878 votes in 2008 to the 959,830 that Napolitano got in 2006. That's more than 53,000 more votes than Napolitano in her landslide victory.

Finally, Prop 101, the healthcare initiative she decided to take on after the failure of her transportation and state trust land initiatives failed, is still too close to call. To her credit, it looks like her wish might come true and the initiative may meet narrow defeat despite the missteps of her No campaign.

All in all, the boldness and the scope and depth of these plans should certainly be commended. However, it doesn't look like the efforts combined with the failed primary efforts to secure moderate Republicans has succeeded.

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