|Election 2006||Latest Polls||Senate Races||House Races||Governor Races|
|Poll||Date||Sample||Graf (R)||Giffords (D)||Und.||Spread|
|Reuters/Zogby||10/24 - 10/29||500 LV||41||53||4||Giffords +12|
|Wick||10/25 - 10/28||400 LV||35||50||11||Giffords +15|
|Zimmerman||10/20 - 10/23||600 LV||38||48||10||Giffords +10|
|Reuters/Zogby||9/25 - 10/2||500 LV||37||45||16||Giffords +8|
|Bennett, Petts (D)||9/19 - 9/21||400 LV||29||54||--||Giffords +25|
|Az. Daily Star||9/16 - 9/19||600 LV||36||48||13||Giffords +12|
|Greenberg Quinlan (D)||9/13 - 9/18||500 LV||35||54||--||Giffords +19|
|Az. Daily Star||9/1 - 9/4||800 LV||36||46||19||Giffords +10|
(September 14) Arizona’s 8th Congressional District covers Tuscon and all that is southeast from the city. Tuscon tends to be more moderate in its politics than the state’s other major city Phoeniz – and the district’s slight Republican bent is due to Cochise County, where both Bisbee and Tombstone are located.
Jim Kolbe has been the representative from this district since 1984. He is retiring this year, and the party just recently nominated former state representative Randy Graf to replace him. Graf tried to unseat Kolbe in the GOP primary in 2004. He nearly succeeded, thanks to his very conservative stance on immigration, an issue of great salience in the 8th. Kolbe, and national Republicans, backed more moderate state representative Steve Huffman. However, Graf’s strong showing in Cochise carried him to the nomination. (More below....)
Kolbe (R) 60
Bacal (D) 36
Bush (R) 53
Kerry (D) 46
The Democrats, meanwhile, rallied around former state senator Gabrielle Giffords, who had an easy time in the nomination.
The NRCC threw its weight behind Graf because they believed he was too conservative for this district, which is about 1/5th Hispanic. The big question: is it right? The district has a slight conservative bent to it. The conventional wisdom is that in a year as bad as this appears to be for the GOP, in an open seat as marginal as AZ 08, the Democrats have an advantage, especially against a candidate like Graf. While this district is certainly less vulnerable than TX 22, IA 01 or CO 07 – we should expect that, if the Democrats net more than 5 seats, they will pick this one up.