I’m becoming increasingly skeptical that Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy, is (or ever was) as all-powerful as she is reputed to be. Let’s look at recent evidence: First there’s the humiliating defeat of the religious bigot bill SB1062 and the swift public recanting and repudiation of by it three Senators who had voted for it. And then comes this, a new PPP poll of the Governor’s race:
Moving on to the Governor’s race for this year, it looks pretty wide open for both the Republican primary and the general election. The leader for the GOP nomination is ‘undecided’ at 34%. 5 candidates have measurable amounts of support at this point- Ken Bennett at 20%, Christine Jones at 16%, Scott Smith at 12%, Andrew Thomas at 9%, and Doug Ducey at 6%. Al Melvin, John Molina, and Frank Riggs all register at 1% in the poll.
Granted, that’s a lot of undecideds but why is Doug Ducey doing so poorly? I’d thought it was a stroke of genius on his part to get her as a top adviser, figuring it would nail down the evangelical vote and help neutralize some of the other candidates’ LDS advantage. But maybe Herrod is more of an anchor than a boon. Or maybe she’s a big nothing burger with no impact either way and Republican legislators were scared of her for no reason. Maybe CAP is less like the NRA in terms of political muscle and more like the Catholic League, which is pretty much just one angry guy with a laptop who manages to get on TV someimes.
This also lends further credence to my argument that the supposed threat of a primary that all elected Republicans are under (therefore they must vote the way they do even if they are closet moderates who yearn to vote more reasonably) is way overblown. A lot of Republicans lately are not acting like they fear a primary at all. They’re acting like they fear the general election. Most of the GOP candidates for Governor, including Ducey, recommended a veto on SB1062. Rep. Ethan Orr, who voted against the bill, ran to MSNBC as fast as he could to act like a hero and the new, modern face of the GOP. Senator Steve Pierce went on MSNBC to apologize for his vote. And today Rep. Kate Brophy-McGee of LD28, who votes anti-choice most of the time, voted against HB2284, the surprise abortion clinic inspection bill. It’s worth noting that Brophy-McGee actually has primary challengers for her seat. Yet, oddly, she doesn’t seem too worried about them, or Cathi Herrod for that matter.
I’d say the key for Democrats is to make them all worried about Cathi Herrod, but not for the reasons they used to be. Hang her around all of their necks.