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Arizona 2nd District - McSally vs. Barber


Ron Barber

Ron Barber (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Martha McSally

Martha McSally (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Arizona Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Toss Up 
2014 Key Races: 
Governor | AZ-1 | AZ-9

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2012President | SenateAZ-1 | AZ-2 | AZ-9
2010Gov | Sen | AZ-1 | AZ-3 | AZ-5 | AZ-7 | AZ-8
2008: President | AZ-1 | AZ-3 
2006: Senate | AZ-1 | AZ-5 | AZ-8 
2004: President | AZ-1

Polling Data

PollDateSampleBarber (D)McSally (R)Spread
Final Results----49.749.8McSally +0.1
RRH/PMI (R)10/21 - 10/23554 LV4846Barber +2

Race Analysis

Arizona’s 2nd District covers the southeastern portion of the state, and is centered on the eastern portions of Tucson. The Hispanic portions of the city have carefully been placed into the majority-Hispanic 3rd District, leaving a border district with a surprisingly high share of non-Hispanic whites.

The district was called the 5th from 1982 to 2000 and the 8th from 2002 to 2010. It was represented by moderate Republican Jim Kolbe from 1984 until his retirement in 2006. By the time Kolbe retired, the district had drifted significantly toward the Democrats. In 2004 it had voted for George W. Bush at about his national average, 53 percent, and only narrowly went for favorite son John McCain in 2008. It elected Gabrielle Giffords with 54 percent of the vote against a member of the anti-illegal immigrant Minutemen in 2006; the more moderate Tim Bee fared even worse against Giffords in 2008.

Giffords looked to have nailed down the district after she defeated Jesse Kelly in the 2010 Republican landslide. But her career was tragically cut short after a gunman attempted to assassinate her in early 2011. Her field director, Ron Barber, who was also injured in the attack, managed to hold the seat for Democrats in a special election that year, and narrowly held on in the 2012 general election.

Barber’s 2012 opponent, Martha McSally, the first female American fighter pilot to enter enemy territory, is back for another round. Given the likely drop-off in Democratic participation, this race seemed a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans. Yet both sides agree the race is close, and that either side could walk away with a victory here.