Primary Election Results

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An analysis of the primary election results with Bettina Nava, partner with FirstStrategic, and John Loredo, a former state lawmaker.

José Cardenas: The turnout for the election was about 25%, Which was projected by state officials. The Republican nomination for state attorney general is still undecided. Joining me now for election night analysis and insight is Bettina Nava, partner in first strategic, a communication and public affairs firm. And John Loredo, political consultant. The congressman predicted we might see -- it didn't turn out that way.

Bettina Nava: I might disagree. You look at Driggs, I'm not going to call them moderates, they're conservatives, but in comparison to the people they ran against, they might be considered a little more middle of the road. You look at McComish, Driggs, Crandall, Bardo -- to categorize them and pigeonhole them, I don't agree with that.

José Cardenas: So the congressman might have got it right at least to that extent.

Bettina Nava: They're conservatives, but not right of right. So really voters came out and voted for the more moderate Republicans in some of these races.

José Cardenas: Will that impact Senator Pearce's chance of getting elected?

John Loredo: I think it will. If you're running for leadership, everybody has a group of votes they're depending on to win and at this point, you've got Pearce with about eight votes and McComish with -- McComish with six and Pearce with about three. At this point, Pearce has the most. And now the big issue is whether McComish and Steve Pearce will get together and cut a deal. One the speaker and the other the majority leader and take control of the senate. And there are people on both sides of the aisle are hoping they do that. If they don't, Pearce walks in and there's going to be dark times in Arizona for quite a while.

José Cardenas: Perhaps the exception, what Bettina was talking about, would be the county attorney's race, I think people expected moderate Republicans would come out and elect Rick Romley. Were you surprised?

John Loredo: I was surprised that Rick lost by as much as he did. Clearly the Arpaio hit pieces did damage. Because it was no thanks to anything that Montgomery did. I think most people didn't know who he was. When you have Arpaio running those hit pieces on television over and over, I think that took its toll.

José Cardenas: Bettina, your analysis of that race?

Bettina Nava: I have think it's the primary. Who turns out? The extremes. That's what happened here and Bill Montgomery, had the right endorsement to a certain degree and the sheriff holds some weight and immigration is at the top of priority list of issues at 70% and it's not just white males concerned about it or white Republicans. It's everybody no matter where I see a Democratic poll or Republican poll, it's the top priority. But the senate presidency, I think with Russell Pearce, it's much more dynamic than what we're giving credence and we need to remember, some of these races we don't know where the allegiances stand and it's a dynamic process and when people go behind doors, guess what happens? They vote a secret ballot and I don't think Russell Pearce has this locked up at all.

José Cardenas: If immigration is such an important immigration, why is Andrew Thomas deadlocked with Tom Horne.

Bettina Nava: They are both for 1070 and it was hard to distinguish and they both did the apples to apples in comparison to how much money they spent. And so they were reaching out and voters are confused. 50/50. They look a lot alike on paper.

José Cardenas: John, it was probably one the nastiest races of the primary election season. Who do you expect is going to come out on top?

John Loredo: Well, you look at where the outstanding votes are, you've got around 80-some thousand in Maricopa County. Clearly that favors Thomas but you've got a decent chunk from the rest of the state and in Tucson, where Horne should do better. So we should know fairly quick whether or not there's going to be enough to have a recount. That recount number is very, very low, though. It's only a couple hundred votes so I would imagine by the time they're done counting the votes over the weekend, there will be a clear winner and at this point, looking at where the votes are outstanding, that clearly favors Thomas.

José Cardenas: On the democratic side of the ledger, another close race between Rotellini and Lujan; is that a surprise?

John Loredo: I think it's a surprise given that you had three people in the race. David obviously mounted a pretty decent campaign. As did Rotellini. It went a dirty race. It was for the most part positive. Each candidate went after their own group of people and at this point, it's very, very close. And if you look at the trend, Lujan is closing the gap on Rotellini and typically when you have a trend like that, the trend will continue, I think it will be very, very close.

José Cardenas: Bettina? The senate race, U.S. senate, Republican side, Congressman Hayworth played the immigration card very, very hard. It didn't work.

Bettina Nava: You have McCain who everyone knows. 100% name I.D. Never lost an election. He had significant resources and then you had the primary voters, they actually knew who J.D. Hayworth was and he was coming out and saying I'm not the career politician when, in fact, when people did research, he was attached to the highway bill, some of the biggest spending we've had. And Abramoff, and he wasn't as alternative as he portrayed himself. He was the opposite.

José Cardenas: Are there other race where is immigration seemed to have been either a decisive factor or turned out to not play the role that one would have expected through the commission race?

Bettina Nava: I think we have to give credence is look at independent expenditures and 501(C)(4)s, they don't coordinate with campaigns but interject money into campaigns and if you look at Burns and Pearce, Brenda Burns and Gary Pearce, there's significant outside dollars coming in. But I think Wong surged with some of the red meat he threw out there. Those independent expenditures were really helpful on those candidates.

José Cardenas: Bettina, you're referring to Barry Wong, what people believe is a blatant appeal to prejudice on the issue of immigration when he made the suggestion we disconnect power for people who are not here legally.

John Loredo: It was over the top. And I think something like that only goes so far. Anyone in the know knows that Barry was never that extreme. He was always more toward the middle. He was, you know, kind of an old-school traditional conservative pro-business Republican. Not on the social end at all and for them to do something like that is correct was viewed as the Hail Mary pass than anything else and it failed.

José Cardenas: Races where Hispanics were fairly prominent candidates or didn't do so well or better than expected. Specifically Randy Parraz on the Democratic side.

John Loredo: Well, I think, the reality is that if you -- if you started early balloting, early voting, two weeks ago, I think the race would have been much different. Randy's campaign had a lot of momentum and involvement and energy, but came too late in the game. A lot of people voted right when they got their ballots and that's the name of the game. Glassman had a lot of money compared to everybody else. He spent that money early. He did a lot of early work and ready to go when early ballots went out. I think with Randy, the key for not only Glassman, but for Goddard and other, you have to harness the energy of the Parraz campaign and bring it into the mix one way or the other because if they don't, they're in trouble.

José Cardenas: On that race, Glassman versus McCain and then Goddard versus Brewer, what do you think we'll see?

Bettina Nava: Think you'll see John McCain won't take for granted that he's a real candidate and so we'll actually see a very real campaign on both sides. As far as in the primary, you know, I think it was difficult to go up against somebody who had resources and name I.D. He's a city councilman and has organization and understands how to run these things and that's hard to go up against.

José Cardenas: How will he do against the senator? Any chance at all?

Bettina Nava: You know, I think that's a tough race for him to win. I really do and especially in this climate.

José Cardenas: The gubernatorial election, Governor Brewer got a tremendous boost from S.B. 1070s, that going to carry her to victory.

Bettina Nava: I think every day immigration stays on the front page of the paper, it's significantly helpful to her and until Democrats come up and say we're willing to talk about securing the border and be tough and at the same time, absolutely humane, it's going to be tough for the Democrats to win.

José Cardenas: Thank you for joining us on "Horizonte."

Bettina Nava:Partner with FirstStrategic;John Loredo:Former state lawmaker;

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