A recent Zogby-UPI poll found that in the upcoming election, Republican and independent voters are most concerned with values, morals and character when assessing the qualifications of a candidate. This was fifth on the Democrat's list with opposition to the war reported to be their number one concern.
Not surprisingly, Republicans and independents sent a message to Kolbe when 43% voted for Graf 2 years ago and rejected Huffman in this year's primary election. Up to now, Giffords has enjoyed a relatively clean image as a candidate. It has yet to be seen how voters will respond to recent reports relating to the timing of her involvement with Mark Kelly and the Tucson city land deal, however. In both cases, ignoring, or simply refuting, the claims probably would have been sufficient to push the issue to the back considering her media support. But by changing her version of when she began dating Kelly, and contacting the state to alter documents in order to appear less culpable in the sweetheart land deal, only raises the level of doubt in the minds of the public and adds further suspicion to her activities.
In the land deal scandal, her explanation of "I wasn't part of it" places her on the level of a Bernie Ebbers who made similar claims as CEO of Worldcom in an effort to deny culpability. If Giffords wants to extricate herself, she will have to develop a more thoughtful response.
While the war may still overshadow all other issues for Democrats, in a district held by a majority of Republicans and independents concerned about values, morals and character, and at a time when voters are becoming less tolerant of D.C. scandals, anything short of a complete explanation can only hurt Giffords.