Political consultants Bob Grossfeld and Steve Roman, along with Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb, give their take on election results as they come in on Arizona Horizon at 10pm.
Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to this special one-hour "Vote 2014" edition of "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. It's election day, and while the votes haven't all been counted, we're getting a good indication of who will lead the state for at least the next few years. Time now to talk about the winners and nonwinners for the 2014 election. Here to sort it all out is consultant Bob Grossfeld of the Media Guys, Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb, and consultant Steve Roman from "First Strategic."
Ted Simons: Bob I want to start with you because you work with a lot of Democrats and a lot of Democrats didn't do all that well or they are not doing all that well. What happened out there?
Bob Grossfeld: I think the Democrats decided it was time to let the Republicans have everything and let's see how they can do. It's a tsunami. If I had to pin one thing underneath all of that, it's Obama. We had legislative candidates running against Obama. And I think it underlies all of the campaigns to some extent.
Ted Simons: Were democrats smart to run away from Obama?
Bob Grossfeld: I don't think so. I think they had an opportunity to run based on the record that the administration's put together. At least as a way of fending off the Obama -- Obamacare, Obama ebola, Obama you name it, Obama immigration. They had to have done something and they just didn't do anything.
Ted Simons: Bob, what happened out there? Big night for Republicans.
Bob Robb: It was. And I don't think it was Obama. Because if it was Obama you would expect Republicans to do better in the three contested congressional races where it would be most relevant. Right now Democrats are leading in all of them while they are getting beat in virtually all of the state races. I think it is simply the built-in Republican advantage in registration that gets accentuated by a much larger Republican turnout in off presidential years. In 2010, Republicans were 44% of electorate in the early ballots, which were over half the votes cast, they were 43%. If they have a 10 percentage point-plus advantage over Democrats in turnout, then they don't have to do very well with independents. If you've got over 40% of the vote in your own back pocket with your own party adherents then you don't have to do that well with Independents to get over the top.
Ted Simons: As far as the tsunami as Bob called it, did you see this tsunami coming?
Steve Roman: I think from the statewides, yeah, we were looking at it from the statewides because of what bob said, turnout. When you have -- on the early initial ballots that were turned in and as of yesterday, Republicans had 105,000-vote lead over Democrats. If you have 105,000 more Republicans voting than Democrats, and 24% that were independent, and I think independents are probably split. Because I'm not so sure when we say independents you're necessarily saying moderates. You're saying independents and they go both ways. When you have a 105,000 vote lead, you're going to win.
Ted Simons: Let's go ahead and look at some of the results here. We'll start with the governor's race where Doug Ducey has a considerable lead over Fred DuVal. I just want to mention that we have the percentages, but for some reason the media outlets, ourselves included, some of us are not getting the actual raw numbers. Bob, that's big for you, you like the raw numbers more than the percentage numbers. But we've got the percentage numbers. Bob Grossfeld, this is not close.
Bob Grossfeld: No. It's not, and I think many of us saw this coming months ago. The DuVal campaign just never evolved and the Ducey campaign launched against DuVal, I think the night of the primary, certainly the day after, and they never stopped. He just didn't have a chance.
Ted Simons: Did Ducey win this? Did DuVal lose this? Combination of both? What do you think?
Bob Robb: I think a little bit of both. Ducey executed in both the primary and general election, just a disciplined, flawless campaign. So he did quite well. DuVal had the registration and turnout disadvantage that he needed to do overcome. And he needed to do provide the electorate a reason to depart from their default choices in these kind of races. I don't think he ever developed that rationale.
Ted Simons: What do you think, Steve?
Steve Roman: I think Ducey ran a flawless campaign and Fred DuVal did not run the best of campaigns. I think his ads from the beginning, they had Grant Woods in them, not him. Some people thought Grant was running. He didn't -- he ran nothing in the primary. He started in the -- people didn't even know who he was. He had to deal with name I.D., starting in the general, whereas Ducey, even though he had high negatives based on what was going with him in the primary, people knew who he was. People didn't know who Fred was.
Ted Simons: We talked about during the primary, was that bruising Republican primary going to hurt the eventual winner, the eventual winner being Doug Ducey. Doesn't sound like it hurt him at all, it may have helped him get the name out there.
Bob Grossfeld: It certainly helped with his name I.D. and he wasn't running against the strongest field Republicans could have put together. But the story can't be written without talking about the money. Just the enormous amount of money, two to one, three to one, over Ducey, or Ducey sympathizers over DuVal. There does come a point where the best minds, the best of everything can't hold that amount of money back.
Ted Simons: If Fred DuVal had run a pitch-perfect campaign, with that money and the inherent voter registration, could he have won?
Bob Robb: I doubt it. It was a Republican year, and you had the huge registration and turnout disadvantage. But there's no question that any shot that he had got drowned by the money differential, because of the outside spending groups. Ducey had no resource allocation issues that he had to deal with. He could spend his money however he thought best. And I think probably DuVal was $2 million shy. He raised quite a bit for a gubernatorial race, $3 million, which is pretty high clover for governor's races. But I think he needed at least $2 million more to get enough of his message across to have a shot. If he had the $2 million I think it would have been closer but I don't think by a lot.
Ted Simons: Will Democratic candidates get that $2 million more when people see these results?
Steve Roman: We're going have to look at the entire -- I think the whole paradigm of what's happened. I agree with bob, money, you're talking about $10 million, the majority of that didn't come from the candidate. What does that do to elections going forward and how do people deal with that? People are going to know there are independent campaigns that are totally legal, that's anonymous speech, that you can come in and do that. How do you deal with that? Right now it benefited the Republican candidate going forward. Are the Democrats going to learn to deal with that and use it, as well?
Ted Simons: Are they going to learn how to deal with that Bob?
Bob Grossfeld: Now all we have to do is find the Koch brothers on the Democratic side who have that kind of money to pour into places. Despite the fact that there are bazillionaires that are Democrats, there's just not that much money floating around. DuVal should have gotten money from the Democratic Governors Association. Their whole purpose in life is to get Democrats elected governor. They pulled out real quickly, shortly after the primary. So that sent a message to all the other funding groups, that don't play in this one.
Ted Simons: Interesting.
Steve Roman: But I would make an argument that there was -- there is Democrat money out there on a national basis. It didn't come into Arizona, but it's clearly in a lot of other states.
Bob Robb: It didn't come to Arizona because this was nationally a Republican leaning year, both for the senatorial campaign committee and the Democratic governors association, the money was spent defending incumbents that were endangered.
Ted Simons: Let's get to the Secretary of State race, Terry Goddard, the Democrat against Michele Reagan, the Republican. Again this was one that some thought the name recognition, familiarity with Terry Goddard might mean a Democratic victory. Bob Grossfeld, what happened here?
Bob Grossfeld: I think this was one of the races where the turnout and the Republican advantage I think show up better than most others. It's kind of a neutral race. People aren't getting into the minutia of the conflict between the two candidates. Even after watching debates. So at that point you're looking at two well-known names. It served Michele Reagan quite a bit over the years.
Bob Robb: If Terry runs again, I think he needs to change his strategy with respect to debates. He clearly won the debate against Brewer and Reagan, and he got swamped in the elections. Maybe next time he needs to throw the debates.
Bob Grossfeld: Or not show up?
Ted Simons: Please, don't say that. But again, I'm asking a similar question as to the governor's race. If Terry Goddard had run a better campaign, and did he -- is this just one of these years where if you have a D by your name and you're running statewide, you ain't going win?
Bob Robb: I think it largely was, except for the congressional races. And I think Goddard lost track kind of early on in the campaign, where he seemed to want to run on the social issues rather than the stop dark money campaign he started out with. But he closed wrongly on that message. It's a low-budget campaign, not enough money to really waste. You can't blow your campaign too much because you can't conduct much of one to begin with. I wouldn't blame -- unlike the DuVal campaign where you can see opportunities lost, things he could have done better, I don't know that I see that in the Goddard campaign. It was just a Republican year.
Steve Roman: He did better in the debates. But the governor was out there supporting Reagan. There were a lot of ads out there from the governor and former governors that were doing that. If you take a look at the ads, remember, debates are one thing but most people are not looking at the debates, sorry to tell you, they are looking at the TV ads. Clearly in my view the TV ads were stronger on Reagan's side than on Goddard's side.
Ted Simons: Are we going see Terry run for office again?
Bob Grossfeld: I don't know. It's hard to say no, because he keeps coming back and running for office. I don't know what's left. Treasurer?
Ted Simons: Do you think Goddard will run again? This one has to hurt for him, I would think.
Bob Robb: I don't know. Terry has a strong motivation to be in public service, in elective office. He went through a process of deciding between attorney general, Secretary of State, Corporation Commission. He ultimately -- I think he got squeezed out by Democratic party forces out of the A.G.'s race, but he convinced himself there were things he wanted to accomplish legitimately as Secretary of State. Whether he will come to a similar epiphany for some other race in the future, I don't know. But it's certainly where his heart is, serving in elective office.
Ted Simons: And you mentioned Attorney General, let's get to that panel. Mark Brnovich, Republican, against Felecia Rotellini, Democrat. She's losing again this go-around, it's not close. When you see the bottom of your screen the zeroes, those are the raw totals that we and some other broadcast facilities and reporters are not getting those from the Secretary of State's office. We are getting the percentage numbers, not that raw data. It is coming through on the Secretary of State's website. If you want to go there and check it out, please feel free. We've got the percentages. Throw any number you want up there, that's a convincing win for Brnovich.
Steve Roman: It's like a 70,000-vote lead. It's a convincing win. I think Felecia Rotellini was planning on running against Horne and thought she would be running against a guy who had a lot of issues. Brnovich didn't have any, was much more of an unknown. When you have that going on, and you have a significant Republican turnout the way you have then the enthusiasm on the Republican side, that's hard to beat.
Ted Simons: Was there enthusiasm on the Democratic side for Felecia Rotellini?
Bob Grossfeld: Absolutely, as well as for Goddard and DuVal. I think one of the reasons we can sit and say the Republican turnout was so massive, the Democratic game plan from the beginning was a combination of the permanent early voting list and the ground game at the end. The ground game didn't produce what it was supposed to produce, which is a lot more votes.
Ted Simons: Was the ground game there? Was the effort there?
Bob Grossfeld: Yeah.
Ted Simons: So it was properly planned but poorly executed?
Bob Grossfeld: Yeah, yeah.
Ted Simons: As far as attorney, you mentioned terry god Guard was squeezed out of this race. Would a Terry Goddard have won this race?
Bob Robb: I don't think so. I think this was just a Republican year. But I do think the Democrats misread the 2010 race and how close Rotellini came. In that race there was a large sore loser component among Andy Thomas supporters who were not willing to vote for Tom Horne in the general election. I don't think that there were that many even supporters of Tom Horne's that were that much disappointed that he didn't make it. There wasn't the sore loser Republican vote opting out of this election.
Ted Simons: What do you make of this attorney general's race?
Steve Roman: As I say, I don't think it was a complete surprise. I think that Rotellini was planning on a stronger campaign and a lot of people were supportive of her. As I say, when she ended up not running against Horne it changes everything.
Ted Simons: What do you make the Superintendent of Public Instruction race?
Steve Roman: That one is a -- let me see where we stand right now. Right now Diane Douglas is ahead, and I have to tell you, that's an issue in my view of -- it's a down-ticket. People are, you know, there was a lot of ads against Diane Douglas. She basically hibernated during the campaign, which a lot of people thought was her best strategy. Turned out to be a pretty darn good one. She took advantage of the Republican turnout.
Ted Simons: What happened there, bob? We should mention, this is not over at this particular race.
Bob Grossfeld: No, this might take a while.
Ted Simons: But still, I think a lot of eyebrows are raised when they see those percentage numbers.
Bob Grossfeld: I'm not sure they were paying that much attention. Certainly among Democrats, he was probably the single best candidate. We couldn't build one that would be better than him. He was running a good campaign, and Douglas just sat back and didn't do anything. And he rode the Republican wave.
Bob Robb: The business community that supported David Garcia need to do step in much earlier and much more extensively with an independent expenditure campaign on his behalf. The reality is they got that effort going too late, and it wasn't strong enough. This is one that I think probably could have been won, even despite the registration and turnout advantage. It was just too little, too late to give Garcia the support he needed.
Steve Roman: And in fairness, it's not over yet. It's really close. Anything could happen.
Ted Simons: Indeed.
Steve Roman: At this point, it is I think to a lot of people a surprise that at this point she's ahead.
Ted Simons: Corporation Commission race, four candidates running for two seats. Republicans ran as team and that particular team is winning and how against the Democrats. You see the percentage numbers there. Again, the raw numbers we're having trouble getting out of the secretary of state's office regarding broadcast affiliates. Any way you look at it, Bob, again, in this particular race there was a lot of talk, a lot of chatter about APS money propping up the Republicans. You don't want the regulated monopoly pushing for these. I don't think many people paid attention to that or didn't seem to care.
Bob Robb: One of the questions was, was there going to be a backlash effect. There wasn't in the primary, there wasn't in the general. But I don't think this story is over. I believe that there is a good chance that the Corporation Commission will require APS to disclose what it spent on Corporation Commission races this cycle. Tom Forese, one of the beneficiaries of that money, has said he would support such a required disclosure. This is something which while it didn't affect the outcome of the election, I think is troubled -- has troubled a lot of the political establishment. And that this is not the end of the story.
Ted Simons: Didn't seem to trouble all that many voters, though, bob. What happened here?
Bob Grossfeld: No, I think part -- that's part of the disconnect between all of us and the voters. It would have been hard to miss the association between APS and Corporation Commission, right? If you were paying attention. And I think most people are just going about their lives, and by the time it got around to making a decision, they were just, you know, begging for Tex Earnhart to get back on the air. There was just so much just dirty, filthy campaigning that they tuned it out. At some point if you tune out that, you're tuning out everything. So the APS connection I think was just completely lost.
Steve Roman: Let's not forget that the two winners were probably pretty good candidates. And you know, in comparison to some of the other candidates. So I mean, there is a little bit of that, too. I'm not disagreeing -- if there was the APS money, we don't know, but if there was that clearly it had impact, there was money there and the money made a difference. But in most cases you have to be a fairly decent candidate.
Bob Robb: I think Jim Holloway was a good candidate and I don't think Doug Little was. This is the Republican registration and turnout advantage and in order to make APS's contributions potentially or suspiciously suspected an issue, you had to have money to invest and saying this is funding the other guys. The Democrats had no money and no one stepped in.
Ted Simons: You mentioned perhaps more scrutiny on APS and its dealings here. Will Forese and Little be watched ever so closely to see how they handle that issue?
Bob Robb: No question. I think the integrity of the commission as a whole has been put into question. Each though the commission is completely controlled by Republicans now, there will be a desire to expose what happened, in order to try to remove to the extent possible that taint.
Steve Roman: And I agree with that. And I think that these folks may have to go out of their way to, you know, vote the other way in certain cases, so they can say, I'm not being controlled by the corporation that people think funded.
Ted Simons: Before we get to congressional races, Bob, is the Corporation Commission's going to be similar to like the treasurer's race, where if you're a Republican there's almost a built-in advantage?
Bob Grossfeld: I think there may be now. There hadn't been, you could have run for Corporation Commission based on some environmental issues or deregulation or making sure that people weren't paying too much on their utility bills. And now it's just become, you know, something far, far afield from that. As long as you've got major corporations in back of people, we'll never know what they really think.
Ted Simons: All right, let's get to those congressional raises and start with district 1, Ann Kirkpatrick the incumbent Democrat, facing Andy Tobin, House Speaker Andy Tobin. This was one I think people thought would be a little closer than what we're seeing now as far as the percentage we're seeing.
Bob Robb: Kirkpatrick also has a 6,000-vote lead, which is pretty substantial. I think the assumption was, since Arizona had two of the most hotly contested swing elections in a Democratic year, that you would see Republicans pick up at least -- in a big Republican year you would see Republicans pick up at least one of the seats. It doesn't look like they are going pick up any of them.
Ted Simons: With Republicans doing so well statewide, and yet in this race and some of the other congressional races, as well, Democrats doing well in those, does that suggest those Democratic candidates are especially strong?
Steve Roman: It maybe to some small degree indicates the power of incumbency. There's an element of that. Although what's going on in this district, this number hasn't changed. It's been at 104,000 votes for a while. I think. So I don't know, you know, if there's more to come in. But I thought you had said that's only about a third of the vote potentially. So we'll see. I'm going say Bob's favorite thing, we'll see what happens when the Navajo vote comes in. But that will -- if that's the case that will only help Ann Kirkpatrick.
Ted Simons: And did Ann Kirkpatrick win this or did Andy Tobin lose this?
Bob Grossfeld: I think she won it but Tobin gave her a couple of openings to shoot at. He had a very rough primary and he and his colleagues, each one took a turn stepping in it. And that doesn't help your credibility going into a general election. But the biggest single thing is Kirkpatrick and Barber, the two who were on the endangered species list were the beneficiaries of a lot of money. That's where the money went from outside forces into the state of Arizona.
Ted Simons: Do you agree with that, do you think the money made a big difference in these races?
Bob Robb: There was also a huge amount money coming in on the other side. So these are campaigns in which I think both sides had more than ample resources to get their messages across. In the case of Barber, I think you still have a bit of the Gabrielle Giffords halo effect. And the ad that she cut as a testimonial character and representation of the district I think was very, very powerful and had an influence there. Andy Tobin was a poor candidate. He didn't come from the district.
Ted Simons: Why was he a poor candidate? Did he just not campaign well? Was he just not prepared? What happened out there?
Bob Robb: Andy is sort of a diffuse force which worked for him as speaker but he really doesn't have the ABC discipline of being a candidate. And that is a district where authenticity means a lot. And buying a Cowboy hat and putting it on your head and standing by a border fence does not a Cowboy make you. So I think he suffered from authenticity problems. And you saw that in the Republican primary. He barely squeaked through. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce saved his bacon in the primary with an outside spending campaign.
Ted Simons: And that was surprise, that election. What happened to Andy Tobin? If he ran a better campaign would he have won this?
Steve Roman: Well, first of all, we don't know that he's lost it yet. That one is still pretty close. I think that, once again, you have an incumbent Congresswoman that's there, and you've got a district that I think can go both ways. So turnout from that perspective, I don't know what the turnout was. I think it was going to be tough. I think a lot of people thought Tobin had a really good shot.
Bob Robb: Mitt Romney won this district in a presidential election, a Republican should be able to win it in an off presidential election with more of a Republican leaning electorate.
Bob Grossfeld: I think, if I can --
Ted Simons: Sure.
Bob Grossfeld: -- had Tobin not had a primary, he might have been in much better shape than he was going into this one. Kirkpatrick has been working her butt off in that district.
Bob Robb: Her boots off.
Bob Grossfeld: I don't think she ever took the boots off. She's been working very hard doing a lot of grass roots and constituency work. That has a benefit, as well. That's where the incumbency comes into play more than anywhere else.
Ted Simons: We had mentioned congressional district 2, Ron Barber and Martha McSally. Ron Barker does has a lead. It's not over here, that's only 26% reporting. Have you got an update on that? Seems like we should have more. Of course that is southern Arizona.
Bob Robb: Remember, that same-day ballots reporting. We do have early ballots that are more than half the vote embedded in these figures. Not that there's 70% of the vote out there, there's maybe 30, 40% of the vote out there.
Ted Simons: And we're waiting for the database to update, as well. It does look like Ron Barber.
Steve Roman: The size of this vote is my biggest surprise. The size of Barber's win, I thought McSally would probably win. If she didn't, she would barely lose. The size of this surprises me probably more than anything.
Ted Simons: Will we see Martha McSally again? This is twice now.
Steve Roman: I couldn't tell you. Anything could happen down in Tucson. She's got a great resume and I was about to say she's a pretty good candidate. But she hasn't won twice.
Ted Simons: Let's get through a Congressional District 7. We have this up here because there will be a new member of Congress after all these years. Ed Pastor retiring and Ruben Gallego leading the way over three challengers here in CD-7, I guess, at 74% of vote here. He can basically pitch a tent in Washington now, can't he, Bob? This is his district as long as he wants it.
Bob Grossfeld: Or buy a condo. He's going to be making some big money. Yeah, this is his race as long as -- his seat as long as he wants it and as long as he does a good job.
Ted Simons: Will he become a power broker?
Bob Grossfeld: I think he's already there he's been spending time in Washington as all of the freshmen do. He's going back there and making friends. That's the start.
Ted Simons: Compare and contrast to Ed Pastor.
Bob Robb: Pastor was content exercising power over the things he cared about in Washington, D.C. and serving his constituency here at home. Gallego has a broader ambition. I think he wants to have statewide influence. I think it would be interesting to see whether a rivalry develops between he or Raul Grijalva for leadership of the Latino Democratic power brokers.
Ted Simons: Interesting. There was some talk for a while of Kirsten Sinema running in that district. She stayed in cd-9 and they will be staying in cd-nine for at least another couple of years. As far as this race is concerned, Wendy Rogers did not appear for the debate, was not all that vocal or active as far as a campaign was concerned. Kirstin Sinema, two years ago we were talking like she was the most endangered species out there.
Steve Roman: I think she's a phenomenal candidate. I think she's done well in the district in terms of the last two years in terms of her votes. I think that she's charismatic. She's run some of the best ads of any of the ads out there they have actually cut through the clutter in some cases. You put that together and I thought she ran a great campaign.
Ted Simons: Kirsten Sinema, CD-9, well ahead of Wendy Rogers. What was the deal with the Democrats pushing Powell -- was that necessary? What was that all about, Bob?
Bob Grossfeld: I don't know. It's one of those things. If you've been around campaign headquarters enough, there's coffee cups everywhere and you're just trying to think of things. Somebody comes up with an idea. Let's push the Libertarian. And a lot of good that did.
Ted Simons: Bob, again, we talked about -- We talked before that Kirsten Sinema was supposed to be fighting for her life every two years. Republicans sent out now in this race not necessarily the strongest candidate. Are you surprised by that?
Bob Robb: In part, particularly this year, which was shaping up as a Republican leaning year. If you're going to defeat an incumbent Congresswoman, the first time she's up to reelection is your best opportunity. Republicans have also reappraised this district and how winnable it is. Republicans outnumber Democrats slightly. But independents are the plurality in the district. There's every indication that while independents are tough to characterize statewide, the independents in this district do seem to lean left. This is a district which Terry Goddard won against Jan Brewer for governor in 2010. So Republicans are less inclined to see this as much as a swing district, despite the registration figures that would seem to give them at least a fighting shot at it.
Ted Simons: Let's get to some legislative races. At the bottom of our screen we do have a ticker showing the races. We do not have the wrong numbers as far as at votes are concerned. We do have percentage totals, keep that in mind as you watch them go by. Couple races, Senate district 6, interesting race in that we could he and it looks like we perhaps -- Well, it's still pretty close, be we very well could see an independent in the legislature. Do we know where he's going? Off of a hallway somewhere?
Steve Roman: He's an independent that used to be a Republican. If he's allowed to caucus with the Republicans, that he might end up there but, you know, we'll have to wait and see how that turns out. I think that right now he's been holding his own in terms of he's got about an 800-vote lead I guess. But that's been holding. He knows his way around the hallways. He would know where the cubbyholes would be to hide or to sit.
Ted Simons: Surprised Allen a pretty conservative person, did not win.
Bob Grossfeld: At this point, yes, I'm surprised, knowing the district. She's a good fit for the district. O'Halleran is the great white whale the Democrats were hoping would swim right into the Democratic caucus and help them have more influence down at the legislature. I don't think that's going to happen.
Ted Simons: He could be something else in the water if he tries to go in the Republican.
Bob Robb: The other question is whether Andy Biggs will let him in. But if he holds on, it means that the true Republican caucus is done to 16-14. And it dramatically increases the shrunken moderate faction in the Republican caucus in the Senate. This is a surprise to me, because Republicans have a huge registration advantage. I didn't think just having an I next to your name would be sufficient to get the independent vote. But it appears as though he's put together a coalition of independents -- Democrats actually encourage their candidate to drop out so he would have a one on one shot at it. If he holds on, given what the state faces in terms of the budget deficits and the difficulty of negotiating something to resolve that, even with the 17-13 caucus, you reduce that effectively to 16-14. And O'Halleran was a spender. He was not part of the Republican orthodoxy when it came to holding a line on spending and taxes. You've got a really dicey environment.
Bob Grossfeld: Or a Ducey environment?
Ted Simons: Or do you have a situation where people prove they will vote for someone with an I next to their name? Will there be more independent candidates or is this a unique situation?
Steve Roman: I would put this a little more in the unique category. The independent is a well-known Republican previously and they have voted for him in the past. There's a difference from an unknown quantity coming in and saying, I'm an independent.
Ted Simons: John Kavanagh and Paula pennypacker, there was some concern that Kavanagh could be in trouble because the business community was not all that happy with him. Bob Robb, no trouble at all.
Bob Robb: The business community tried to shoot Kavanagh in the primary, and -- and missed. And pretty spectacularly, actually ended up winning that race pretty handily and I don't think they were inclined to waste their money twice on trying get rid of Mr. Kavanagh.
Ted Simons: Another race of note in the House, legislative District 9, this is in southern Arizona, Ethan Orr, the Republican going up against two Democrats here. Bob, this is nip and tuck all the way. Are you surprised by this?
Bob Grossfeld: You know, I'm always surprised when an incumbent is not doing particularly well. And Orr, fundamentally pretty liberal district, seemed to have been casting out bait over the last several months, up to and including proposing legalizing marijuana. I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over in the caucus very well. But the two Democrats were especially steel, very, very strong. And I've never gotten Randall's name pronounced correctly -- Freeze? Sorry, Tucson, I apologize for that.
Ted Simons: Was that a surprise to you? Obviously not over yet.
Steve Roman: It's not over yet but actually, as I look at this, it's going to be tough to come back from where he is right now. A little bit of a surprise, but I agree with Bob. I can say I agree with Bob and it'll take care of both of them. [laughter] But when he -- when he came out and took on some of these more liberal or moderate causes, he was sacrificing some of the Republican base that he needed to hold on to. And able to do that. I think I understand what he was trying to do but it didn't seem to work out.
Ted Simons: Is that is similar to Democrats running away from Obama might have been a mistake, do you think he may have made a mistake running away from more of the base down there? Or did he have to because of district?
Steve Roman: I don't have the answer. He's the Republican in a Democrat district. It's more of a liberal district. I understand what he's doing. But you go one way, it's a two-edged sword, you're cut the other way.
Ted Simons: Bob, the House legislative district 28 race with Eric Miles, McGee, this one being watched, as well. McGee obviously looks to be ahead. It looks like Eric Meyer is going to be able to hold off Shawna bullock. Are you surprised by that?
Bob Robb: I am not. He's defied the registration disadvantage in that district twice before. The Democrats allow him to run a single-shot campaign, he never has a running mate. If Orr is defeated, Meyers is the only one of 16 members of the Arizona House of Representatives to come from a district other than from the party that has the registration advantage.
Ted Simons: Interesting.
Bob Robb: So he will be a highly unusual figure as we sort of return to normalcy in terms of party registration. If Orr is defeated once again you've got a reduction in the size of the Republican caucus down to 34, 26. With enough moderates to keep the majority from operating. So once again, this is Meyers succeeding, or potentially failing, makes it a tough place to paint.
Steve Roman: And Meyers may be minority leader, as well. I think --
Ted Simons: What makes him such a good candidate in that district that doesn't favor his party?
Bob Grossfeld: He works hard.
Ted Simons: It's that simple?
Bob Grossfeld: It's that simple. When you get to these legislative races, that's the key ingredient. I mean, there's money, sure. There's activity, they get volunteers, you do all of this. At the end of the day the candidates have to work very hard in order to get the votes. There's the exception now and then but I don't think that's the way it is.
Ted Simons: Before we get to the propositions, we've looked at some of these key legislative races, the others are at the bottom of the screen there as far as governor Ducey dealing with this makeup of a legislature, you've seen fireworks, Kumbayah, something in between?
Bob Robb: I think Ducey will make a far greater effort to work constructively with the Republican leadership than Jan Brewer did. She often issued edicts and threatened thunder and lightning if what she ordered was not done with dispatch. That's not the way Ducey is made. He'll try to work constructively. The result is very narrow margins in the balance of power in the Republican caucus held by a small number of moderates. I think it's a very tough legislative environment for the governor to operate in, particularly given how huge the stakes are.
Ted Simons: How long of a honeymoon period do you think, Steve?
Steve Roman: That's a great question. I think he's going to be a tremendous governor. He's been planning for this for some time. I think he has been forming relationships and will -- I agree with what Bob said -- he will get in there and work closely with the leadership. He's not going to come in and tell them what to do. I think he's going to try to lead them. I think the honeymoon, we'll have to see the problem he has, he's got a billion-dollar deficit to deal with. He's got figure out where to come up with that money. There's options that probably people haven't thought of but there's going to be all kinds of funny business going on as that all goes along when. That starts to happen, suddenly the honeymoon might be over real quick, depending on if you're robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Ted Simons: What do you think, Paul?
Bob Grossfeld: Well, what time is it? I say the honeymoon is going to over in about an hour and a half. He's got -- I think we've referred to he has mammoth problems to deal with. And frankly he was just so good, he was robotic in terms of his ability to stay with talking points. I'm not sure anybody knows what he thinks. Other than those he's confided in and probably our friend from "The Arizona Republic" knows much more than any of the rest of us. But how he is going deal with the legislature, I don't know. We haven't seen any evidence of that.
Ted Simons: All right. Then let's move ahead to the propositions, shall we? Prop 122 is the rejection of unconstitutional federal actions. This one seems to occur every so often in various forms. Bob Robb, this one is really, really close but yes is winning.
Bob Robb: And it was a different proposition. It wasn't a proposition in which Arizona was declaring that it was going take over all the federal lands in the state or boot the federal government out of state, take over the regulation of the environment. Instead, they set up a process whereby the state could declare that federal action is unconstitutional and the state wasn't going to spend money helping the Feds do something that was unconstitutional. Well, that's an authority the state already has. So this didn't generate the fund opposition of the other ones because I think at the end of the day, it's just sort of some procedural nonsense that won't have much substantive effect.
Ted Simons: Was this a toothless proposition? No one fought it because no one thought it was going bite them?
Steve Roman: I was against it because I didn't understand why it was necessary and I still don't. But it looks like we're going have it.
Ted Simons: Do we know now --
Steve Roman: I'm not sure I know what we have. But yes, I don't think it's going make a big difference whether we have it or not.
Ted Simons: Is it going to be one of those things, where somebody describes something as unconstitutional and we're not going to fund it and all of a sudden we're back in federal court and Jon Stewart's going to make fun of us?
Bob Grossfeld: We're going spend a lot of time in federal court if anybody acts on this one.
Bob Robb: I don't think so.
Ted Simons: You don't think so?
Bob Robb: No. The power that it ostensibly gives the state legislature, not to spend state dollars enforcing federal law, is a power the state already has so. There's -- it's not like saying, EPA go away, we're going regulate the health of our air and water. If we don't want to spend money right now there's a lot of environmental programs where the state administers them with some state involvement in dollars. We can decide not to do that any time we want and there won't be a lawsuit. It's just that the federal government will come in and enforce those laws directly, rather than them being state administered and the business community will go berserk. They prefer dealing with state regulators than federal ones.
Ted Simons: Prop 303 is the right to try proposition, the right to try investigational treatments for those with terminal diseases, experimental drugs not approved by the FDA. This one won big-time.
Steve Roman: Great. It did and I don't think it's a surprise to anyone because the way you just described it make a whole lot of sense to a whole lot of people, that people should have that opportunity.
Ted Simons: When we had the debate, first of all, it was another one of these, we don't want the federal government on our back kind of a thing, it's the FDA, A; and B, everything from false hope that folks that might be getting good treatment by way of x is now following the path of Y, which is not well-known and could be -- there were a vast number of doctors who didn't think this was such a swell idea.
Bob Grossfeld: Yeah. I would not want to be the person to tell someone who is terminally ill; you can't take that drug because the FDA hasn't approved it yet. I don't know anybody who would want to be in that position. Ergo you get 78% of the population basically agreeing with that, or at least of the voters. It's -- I think it's very similar to what we had with medical marijuana. It was a convincing argument, why would I deprive somebody who is suffering under cancer or some other debilitating disease. Why would I withhold something from them that's marijuana, no big deal.
Ted Simons: The no side didn't have much of a chance on this one, did they, Bob?
Bob Robb: The mystery of this proposition was why we had to vote on it. It's not a constitutional amendment that requires public approval, it's a statutory measure the legislature could have enacted directly. I have a feeling we didn't really vote for this so much as to bring to it Arizona because the legislature could have done that directly. We did it so that it can be a lobbying point in trying to convince other states to do it. 75% of the people of Arizona supported it and so your state should adopt it, as well.
Ted Simons: Isn't there a federal way get this kind of activity done, get the okay to use non-FDA approved, and it's almost the exact same procedure. Get your doctor to approve and have a terminal illness, et cetera, et cetera.
Bob Robb: But you have to go through a federal program to do that.
Ted Simons: A little longer process.
Bob Robb: And this is a national effort that the Goldwater Institute which developed this concept is pushing. Both want to see states adopt it and also see the restrictions at the federal level loosened.
Ted Simons: Prop 6:30 4, looks to hike state lawmakers' salaries. Can we guess?
Steve Roman: Poor guys.
Ted Simons: Yeah, that ain't going happen, is it?
Steve Roman: Such a shame. In my view it needs to be raised but in my view it never will be.
Ted Simons: What about the "get what We pay for" argument. Is it every going stick?
Steve Roman: It's a great argument but not one that certainly resounds well to the majority of the electorate.
Ted Simons: Bob, what do you make of these numbers.
Bob Grossfeld: I'm surprised they are not bigger. [laughter] There's 32% of the population going, yeah, We gotta give these poor people more money. Everybody else is going, no way. So there you go. Again, I thought it would be in the 70s.
Ted Simons: What happened to you get what you pay, for Bob?
Bob Robb: I don't think anyone's convinced that going from $24,000 a year to $35,000 a year will purchase large increments of improvement in government in the state of Arizona. [laughter] So I don't think that's the argument in favor of it. I think argument in favor of it is fairness. We simply ask these people to do more than it's reasonable to ask them to do for that amount of money. But so long as the legislature is widely perceived as doing a very, very poor job, there's no point in even having this discussion as we've proven since the mid-1980s, which was the last time one of these was approved.
Ted Simons: It keeps coming up and getting stomped back down. 488, the health systems measure, explain exactly what we're talking about here and why this won by so much.
Steve Roman: Well, it's about a billion dollars that's been raised to a bond initiative to pay for the building -- the rebuilding and building of a new county hospital. And there was a whole lot of money that was available to the yes side and they used it well and looks like they are going to be building a new hospital.
Ted Simons: Are you surprised, the election returns, a lot Republicans wining, a lot of fiscal conservatives winning, and you look at this, are you surprised at the margin of victory?
Bob Robb: No, mostly because I was aware of polls that showed it winning by this amount. It'll be interesting to see how the school bond elections fare. That might be a better gauge as to whether anti-tax sentiment carried the day or had a voice. I think that the notion of having a safety net hospital and clinic system -- because it's more than just a hospital -- resonates. The voters voted to establish the district in 2003, they had previously decided to establish the district, give it property tax authority for operating purposes. The county hospital's extremely old. It's not as configured as one would like in terms of acute care beds versus psychiatric beds. There's a case that if you're going to be in this business you need to improve the facilities.
Ted Simons: Last number, the Phoenix initiative, 487, this is pension reform. The no won this. Are you surprised by that?
Bob Grossfeld: No. The -- you know, there's a standard rule of law thumb: If you can't beat it on the issues beat it by confusing everybody. I think there was a whole lot of confusion about what this would do. Does it hurt fire and police officers, does it not, how much does it cost, We don't know. You get enough of that going, people say huh-uh, vote no.
Ted Simons: You mentioned pension in particular, half the people don't know how to find out what their pension is. You talk about pension at the federal level, people's eyes glaze over.
Steve Roman: There's been a whole lot of discussion for a number of years and the republic and a various of other places as far as what's going on with the pension system and how it's impacting, will impact each and every one of us. But I think that, Bob's absolutely right, there was a lot of confusion in terms of how it was put on the ballot, the wording that was used, and people took advantage of that in terms of campaign against it. And you also had the firefighters and a number of the other early responders who came out very strongly against it. They have a lot of sway with the electorate out there.
Ted Simons: What do you make of this final tally here?
Bob Robb: I think Bob is correct. They didn't try to defeat the proposition, they didn't try to make the case that making the switch to define contribution programs for new workers is a bad idea, they instead said it had all sorts of unintended consequences. I'm not surprised but a little surprised by the margin. It's a pretty strong defeat and there was money on the pro side. However, the issue's not going to go away. The unfunded liabilities in our public employee pension programs are a ticking fiscal time bomb. They will have to be dealt with. So this issue will return in one form or another.
Ted Simons: All right. We'll have to stop it right there. Gentlemen, great discussion, good analysis. Great to have you here as we try to sort through all of this. Thanks for joining us, we appreciate it. Wednesday on "Arizona Horizon" we will continue our analysis of tonight's election as more of the results come in and we'll have a nonpolitical story. We'll hear about an organization that connects older adults with nonprofits that can use their skills. That's 5:30 and 10:00 on the next "Arizona Horizon" that is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us on this special one-hour "Vote 2014" edition of "Arizona Horizon." You have a great evening.
In this segment:
Bob Grossfeld:Political Analyst; Steve Roman:Political Analyst; Bob Robb:Columnist, Arizona Republic;