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June 11, 2012

Mike O'Neil: Tomorrow's Arizona race for Rep. Gaby Giffords's seat. "The Only Other 2012 Bellwether Election."

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See by Mike O'Neil in today's Huffington Post "The Only Other 2012 Bellwether Election." Excerpts:

Prior to the November presidential election, there are only two instances this year where actual voters will cast ballots in elections that could provide a clue about the mood of the electorate. The first of these was the Wisconsin recall election, in which Republican Governor Scott Walker successfully withstood an attempt to oust him from office. The second is the race for the remainder of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords term which will be held on June 12.

In any individual race there are always factors other than the national mood that are relevant. Walker, for example, may have benefited by a reluctance of voters to oust an elected official for anything short of criminal offenses. Much about the Arizona Congressional race, however, suggests that it could be an excellent barometer of public sentiment on national issues. The district itself is regarded highly competitive.

It was represented for over two decades by Jim Kolbe, a moderate Republican. When Kolbe retired, the seat was won by centrist Democrat Gabrielle Giffords. If this district were a state, it would be classified as a presidential tossup.

This race pits her former aide, Ron Barber against the Tea Party candidate, Jesse Kelly, who narrowly missed beating Giffords in 2010.

Posted by JD Hull at June 11, 2012 04:45 PM

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