A meaningless poll, and a reality check

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

A recent Rocky Mountain Poll (.pdf) by the Behavior Research Center found that half of Arizonans believe we are on the highway to hell, and only 13% plan to support incumbents for Congress. Here is how Howie Fischer at Capitol Media Services reported the poll results, Voters say they're ready to jettison Congressional incumbents:

A new poll suggests Arizona voters are fed up with the antics of their current congressional representatives and are ready to put the whole herd out to pasture.

Across the board, a majority of voters of all political persuasions, gender identifications, income groups and geographic locations told Behavior Research Center pollsters they’ve had enough, and a change is needed.

But it remains to be seen whether the anger at government dysfunction carries through to next year’s general election — and whether voters find the alternatives they are offered are any better.

More than half of all respondents said they will vote for someone else next year, rather than the person who is currently representing them. And when you filter it down to those actually registered to vote, nearly two-thirds said no to their current representative.

Potentially more significant is the level of the dissatisfaction.

“We have never seen numbers like this where the willingness to vote for incumbents was so incredibly low,” de Berge said.

* * *

[J]ust 27 percent of those questioned believe the country is headed for a better future in this century. That same question, asked in 1999, found 50 percent feeling positive about the direction of the country.

“Those are almost sea changes in what we’ve seen in public attitude,” de Berge said. “I doubt that we’ve ever seen anything like 51 percent thinking the country’s headed downhill.”

That's all well and good, but here's your reality check: first you have to have a credible candidate who is well financed and capable of beating an incumbent. If you don't have one, the incumbent wins by default.

So where do things stand one year before the 2014 election?

DISTRICT 1

Ann Kirkpatrick (D) – Incumbent

Gary Kiehne (R) rancher and businessman

Rep. Andrew "Andy" Tobin (R) House Speaker

Rep. Adam Kwasman (R) District 11

DISTRICT 2

Ronald "Ron" Barber (D) Incumbent

Martha McSally (R) retired USAF officer, 2012 candidate

Edward "Ed" Martin (R) Tucson talk radio host and Tea Party activist

Shelley Kais (R) President of Kais E Systems, Inc. (exploratory committee)

DISTRICT 3

Raúl Grijalva (D) Incumbent

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (R) Tea Party activist and 2012 candidate

Miguel "Mike" Olivas (R) ex-congressional aide and perennial candidate (possible)

Jaime Alfredo Vasquez (R) general comtreactor and 2012 candidate (possible)

DISTRICT 4

Paul Gosar (R) Incumbent

Mikel Weisser (D) poet, artist, Democratic activist, 2012 candidate

DISTRICT 5

Matthew "Matt" Salmon (R) Incumbent

DISTRICT 6

David Schweikert (R) Incumbent

DISTRICT 7

Edward "Ed" Pastor (D) Incumbent

DISTRICT 8

Trent Franks (R) Incumbent

Helmuth Hack (R) land surveyor and 2012 candidate (possible)

DISTRICT 9

Kyrsten Sinema (D) Incumbent

Vernon Parker (R) former Paradise Valley Mayor and 2012 candidate

Wendy Rogers (R) retired USAF officer and 2012 candidate

Andrew Walter (R) retired former pro football player

The only congressional districts in which a challenger has any ability to raise the kind of money it takes to be a credible candidate are in Congressional Districts 1, 2 and 9. 2014 Candidate Summary – Federal Election Commission.

Despite the recent lament of Linda Valdez at The Arizona Republic that "The business community needs to recruit replacements for Arizona’s GOP House members," AZ GOP House delegation: a bad business investment, Arizona's four Tea-Publican congressmen are currently on a glide path to winning by default. Nice job of recruiting credible candidates, Arizona Democratic Party! Half of winning is showing up to play the game.

So much for that Rocky Mountain Poll, huh? As the Talking Heads sang in Once in a Lifetime:

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was

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