Arizona Remains Red(ish) 🌵
Republicans win in Arizona
On Tuesday, Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election in Arizona for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lesko will replace another Republican who resigned after it was revealed he offered a staffer $5M to carry his child.
Breaking a blue streak
After recent Democrat upsets in special elections in Alabama and Pennsylvania, Lesko’s victory is a welcome relief to Republicans looking toward the midterms in November. Democrats will try to take the 24 seats they need to gain control of the House.
Boston Globe: Arizona election sends red flag to GOP
Washington Post: Republicans got a win in Arizona — but it just made them more nervous
The right sees Lesko’s win as vindication after high-profile Republican losses in recent special elections. Articles from the right acknowledge that Lesko’s margin was smaller than it should have been in a reliably red district - and recognize that the midterms may not go well for the Republicans - but find hope in this outcome. Republicans, they argue, can run on President Trump’s agenda and win, even against the headwind of Democratic energy.
The left focuses on the narrow margin of Lesko’s victory in the traditionally red district. Articles point out that the Republicans had advantages in this race: the Democrat candidate (Hiral Tipirneni) had no political experience and the Republicans outspent Democrats 4 to 1. Many independent voters and some Republican voters voted for the Democrat in this race. For the left, the result in Arizona suggests the Democrats will win big in the midterms.
Not out of the woods yet
Lesko beat her opponent (Hiral Tipirneni) - a first-time candidate without name recognition or significant funding - by only 5 points. Trump won the district by 21 points in 2016. The seat will be contested again in November and Lesko’s opponent has already announced that she’ll challenge Lesko to a rematch!
Tipirneni to Lesko
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