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RealClearPolitics Politics Nation Blog

 

Blog Home Page --> House -- Arizona -- 03

AZ 03: Shadegg (R) +10

In an interview with a local newspaper editorial board last week, Rep. John Shadegg voiced doubt over John McCain's chances of winning the White House. Similarly, many in the GOP are wondering whether Shadegg will win his own race. A Research 2000/DailyKos poll surveyed 400 likely voters from 10/20-22 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Shadegg, attorney Bob Lord, and Libertarian candidate Michael Schoen were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Shadegg (R)...50 / 7 / 81 / 45 / 53 / 47 (+2 from last, 10/8)
Lord (D).......40 / 88 / 7 / 44 / 38 / 42 (+1)
Shoen (L).. 2 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 2 / 2 (no trend)

The DCCC has spent almost $1.5 million on the seat and some Arizona Republicans are concerned about Shadegg's future, but he's at the critical 50% mark and the Libertarian doesn't seem to be dragging him down. Win or lose, the seven-term congressman's vote percentage appears likely to dip below his previous low of 59% in 2006.

AZ 03: Dueling Polls

Arizona Republican John Shadegg should be perfectly safe this year, especially given the coattails he'll see from having home-state Senator John McCain atop the GOP ticket. But two new polls show Shadegg under the 50% mark, giving him reason to worry.

A poll conducted by Research 2000 for the liberal blog DailyKos surveyed 400 likely voters between 10/6-8 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Shadegg and Phoenix attorney Bob Lord were tested among a sample size of 46% Republicans, 29% Democrats and 25% independents.

General Election Matchups
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Shadegg....48 / 6 / 78 / 43 / 51 / 45
Lord...........39 / 88 / 6 / 43 / 37 / 41

McCain......50 / 6 / 81 / 44 / 52 / 48
Obama......39 / 88 / 6 / 43 / 38 / 40

A second poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by Anzalone Liszt Research surveyed 400 likely voters between 10/6-8 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Shadegg, Lord and Libertarian candidate Michael Shoen were tested. The party ID breakdown was 46% Republican, 30% Democratic and 24% independents or others.

General Election Matchup
Lord....................45
Shadegg.............44
Shoen...................5

Generic GOPer...46
Generic Dem.......43

R2K didn't include Shoen in a district that has recently awarded at least a few points to Libertarian candidates. And given the discontent with the Republican Party even among its own base, Shoen may do better than Libertarians in other years.

The two major parties have very different views of Shadegg's north Phoenix district. Democrats say it resembles the Tempe- and Scottsdale-based Fifth District, which Rep. Harry Mitchell took over in 2006, while Republicans argue it is a very different type of district that is likely to remain in GOP hands.

Shadegg Unretires

Reversing course on his recent decision to retire, Arizona Republican John Shadegg will run for re-election, he announced yesterday, following a week in which dozens of his fellow members of Congress urged him to reconsider, the Arizona Republic reports.

One hundred forty five Republican members in all signed a letter urging Shadegg to run again, as did more than thirty leaders of prominent conservative organizations, he said. Even a security guard at the Phoenix airport, Shadegg told reporters, encouraged him to give it one more go.

The reversal comes a week and a half after Shadegg's surprise February 11 announcement that he would step down. In the interim, several potential replacements had considered making bids, but with Shadegg back in, every Republican but former state legislator Steve May backed out.

After the September 2 primary, Shadegg will face Democratic attorney Bob Lord, who has raised an impressive amount of money for a little-known challenger -- he finished 2007 with over $500,000 in the bank, still a ways behind Shadegg's $863,000 but strong for a challenger nonetheless.

Washington Democrats are not so quietly talking their candidate up, though in his retirement announcement two weeks ago Shadegg said he had polling showing himself with a wide 30-point lead over Lord. The northern Phoenix district favors Republicans, but like the rest of the state the demographics are changing and Democrats are getting stronger.

Back in the race, Shadegg once again makes the Third District a Republican-leaning race, but, thanks to Lord's performance on the fundraising circuit, one to keep an eye on.

Shadegg Surprises With Retirement

Arizona Republican John Shadegg surprised Copper State politicos this afternoon by announcing he will retire at the end of the 110th Congress. First elected in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution, Shadegg was a staunch conservative who chaired the Republican Study Committee and made an unsuccessful bid for Minority Whip last year.

Shadegg faced what would likely have been a challenging re-election fight against Democratic attorney Bob Lord, though the incumbent would have retained the upper hand. Still, Lord finished the fourth quarter with more than $500,000 in the bank, and given the way Arizona has trended in recent years, he looked likely to give Shadegg a tough fight.

The state's Third District, which encompasses parts of northwest Phoenix and north through Maricopa County, is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. President Bush took 54% and 58% in 2000 and 2004, respectively, and Shadegg has mostly faced easy elections during his seven terms in office. Last year, though, he dropped below 60% for the first time, and against an opponent he outspent more than eleven to one.

In a statement, Shadegg said the decision to retire was not due to poor fundraising or a political hill too difficult to climb: He raised more money last year than any year previously -- FEC records show he finished 2007 with $860,000 in the bank -- and he referred to polling data showing him ahead of Lord by 31 points, as well as data showing a generic Republican beating a generic Democrat in head-to-head matchups.

Shadegg, who has long been rumored to be eying a Senate seat should John McCain or Jon Kyl step down, left the door open for a future bid. "My health is great; I have not felt better in years, and I expect to be involved in our nation's political discourse for decades to come," he said, per the statement.

Lord will not face an easy race even without Shadegg around. Early speculation about what Republican would run revolved around Sean Noble, Shadegg's chief of staff, who confirmed to Politics Nation that he is "looking very seriously" at a candidacy. Noble had been rumored as a potential candidate in the state's sprawling First District, though he declined to run in that seat.