Sunday, September 12, 2010

Arizona Republic's Laurie Roberts skeptical that Harry Mitchell can hold onto his seat

Very revealing article by the Republic's Laurie Roberts, who is generally considered a fair reporter. Some excerpts -

Recently, I got a call at home, asking my thoughts on the coming election. While the pollster wouldn't say who had commissioned the survey, it seemed obvious early on in this half-hour exercise that Democrats were trying to measure the task ahead for Harry Mitchell.

I hung up the phone thinking Mitchell's in big, big trouble. Or if he isn't, somebody sure thinks he is. The questions focused not so much on why you might want to vote for Mitchell but seemed gauged more to figuring out what it would take to get you not to vote for David Schweikert.

During a meeting with The Republic's editorial board this week, he even touted his vote on health-care reform as a plus. “I've probably had more positive (feedback) than I ever expected,” he said. “People come up, I have no clue who they are, and they say thank you.”

I wouldn't think “thank you” would be what most voters in CD 5 are saying. Certainly not Schweikert, who says voters are “bouncing off the walls angry.”

Republicans obviously think his grip may be slipping. This week, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced plans to dump $1 million into Congressional District 5 and CD 1, the northern Arizona seat held by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick. The AFL-CIO, meanwhile, decided to take a pass on Arizona.

Two respected non-partisan handicappers, Cook Political Report and the Rotheberg Political Report, rate the race as a toss up.

I'm thinking if Mitchell pulls it off, he might want to head on over to Tempe Town Lake. It should be filled by then and offer up a nice opportunity for the congressman to demonstrate his latest acquired skill.

You know, walking on water?

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