Tuesday, September 26, 2006

GOP Coming; Giffords Playing Huffman Dodgeball

It looks like Randy Graf has garnered needed support from the GOP with Hastert and Rove coming to town to rally the troops. Of course, they could be coming to bolster Kyl's campaign, but the fact they will be in Tucson suggests the target is Graf. A recent GOP fundraiser where Click announced his "150%" support for Graf is another indicator that the party is coming together and making an effort to repair the damage inflicted during the primary.

With Grijalva taking a substantial role in her campaign, Gabrielle Giffords has all the party support she needs. It would seem she only needs to concentrate on getting her message out. What's puzzling, however, is why she is finding a variety of pretexts to excuse herself from public discourse. Several sources have stated that Giffords will only appear if there are at least 200 participants present. Other sources place the required number at 300. Furthermore, regardless of the number of scheduled community forums and debates, Giffords will commit to appearing at only six, and insiders suggest there may be a few that she skips.

We're not sure why she seems hesitant to appear in public, but some have speculated that like the late night vote ad for which Weiss took her to task she may feel uncomfortable reconciling her recent tough border talk with her voting record and connections to Las Adelitas, Migra Matters and other radical open borders groups.

We are also not sure why Gijalva, who is in the middle of his own re-election campaign, would want to take on Gabby's campaign as well. Even if he is confident that he will be remaining in Washington, helping Gabby would seem to be a distraction for him stretching his abilities in both campaigns.


Kralmajales said...

This is my personal opinion only, but why should the Giffords campaign give any additional opportunities for Graf to score points? She is ahead, Graf is far behind. He has no money. She has a lot. He can't get his message out as much. So ANY public appearance with Giffords is an opportunity to get free press...to attack...to get his campaign out there and to close the gap and get momentum.

This is why Jon Kyl has drastically limited the debates against Pederson. If you are in the lead, why give your opponent any opportunity at all?

x4mr said...

ONLY SIX with two televised? What were your expectations?

Finding it difficult to swallow that either candidate would agree to a published schedule and then fail attend any on the events.

Not close enough to either campaign to discuss their organized activities, but would be interested in precision behind the items you say Giffords is excusing herself from. What is she skipping?

I think six debates through October is plenty, although I think both campaigns are nuts to schedule two of the things on the same day.

Kralmajales said...

Point number two...

Grijalva can help all he wants. The question is whether he beats Drake with 60% or 65% of the vote. He is well liked in his district and is the safest of seats.

As to Giffords, I don't think you are going to see her hide at all. I am quite quite surprised that she agreed to 6 debates. That is unprecedented and especially so when in the lead and you could simply coast home by contacting voters, working hard on turnout, and making campaign appearances (alone).

I hear Kyl might give Pederson 1 maybe 2 (if lucky for Pederson) maybe 3 shots at him. That will be in late October. Kyl is giving Pederson no chances to cream him.

Be grateful...very grateful...for the 6 chances you might get.

sirocco said...

Put me in the "what were you smoking" camp. :)

As I noted in aother thread, agreeing to six debates is surprising for a candidate who is clearly ahead in the polls. Graf supporters couldn't realistically have hoped for more.

Anyhow, scheduling six debates certainly does NOT equate to "hesitant to apppear in public". "Eager to appear in public" would be more appropriate.

Framer said...


Committeman's sources are quite good, so I wouldn't discount him.

Just because debates are scheduled, doesn't mean that they cannot be cancelled. I would especially look to those debates where 2 are scheduled in one day.

I agree that six debates is a good thing and speaks highly of Giffords. However, if the first one or two debates begin to cost her, I would bet that she will not follow through on all six. Especially since most of them are scheduled late.

Not really an indictment of Ms. Giffords, its just politics, and it happens all of the time.

Now not showing up to debates and forums when you are LOSING, that is pure Huffman.

sirocco said...

We'll all just have to wait three weeks to see what happens vis-a-vis the debates.

I am not deriding anyones sources ... I am disputing the claim that agreeing to six debates is somehow "hesitant". Frankly, it's far more than a known front-runner typically agrees to.

By the way, back on poll issues, I don't know if you've seen it (I just tripped on it myself), but there is some additional data at:


It doesn't show how many of each gender were polled, how many of each party, how many in each region, etc. It does add some details about how the candidates were regarded on major issues, etc.

It shows Giffords definitively ahead on health care and the economy, slim leads on immigration and Iraq. Gay marriage is even.

I was somewhat surprised to see that as the age of the voter skews younger Graf does better.

I did apply some math to get the M/F and Pima/Not Pima breakouts, and come up with:

275 men, 325 women polled
500 Pima County, 100 other county polled

Those numbers should be correct within a couple (might have been 499 Pima, 101 other for example), but close enough.

This would indicate women were over-counted based solely on makeup of the district (54-46 in the poll, 51-49 in the district) .. however, women consistently turn out to vote in greater numbers than men do, so if you are polling "liekly" voters, women should be over-represented when compared to the straight demographic figures.

Not sure on the Pima/other county split, but the numbers look roughly right. Someone else can fill in details.

Rex Scott said...

"Huffman dodgeball???" That's clever! But I wager that Graf will be the one who needs to test his skills at eluding Gabby as she pins him down in debates on his views with regard to support of public education, environmental protection, prescription drug price reform, tax cuts and a whole host of other issues where Randy's voting record and current platform leave him open to attack after attack.

Other Giffords backers are surprised that she would "risk" her led in the polls by agreeing to six debates, but my guess is that she knows her lead is not as big as these polls would assert and she also knows that the more opportunities the public has to contrast her with Graf, the better off she is. The wrong approach would be to look aloof and arrogant and refuse to take Randy on in open debate. That would leave the voters subject to speculative, dangerous thinking as to why Gabby isn't debating and may make them angry if they surmise that she is taking this race for granted.

Giffords is quick on her feet, has taken randy's measure when they served together in Phoenix and likely relishes every opportunity to force him to talk specifically about his unrealistic border "protection" plan and other areas of policy where his views are those of a knee-jerk ideologue rather than a thoughtful policymaker. Graf IS quite articulate, genuinely affable and stays relentlessly on message, but his message won't stand the test of harsh scrutiny.

By the way, I've seen Gabby work the crowd at several events large and small. She is comfortable in her own skin and people are drawn to her because she is approachable, down to earth and sincere. The speculation that she will only appear before large crowds is, to be kind, ludicrous.

Kralmajales said...

I agree with most everything that Rex says...although I still think 6 debates is a "gift" to the Graf campaign. I don't think she should elude him and I know she is not (with 6 debates...no eluding there), but I would bet dollars to donuts that Graf, who is a very good debater and who is not easily rattled will use this debate to his advantage.

Gabby is very smart and will do very well. But the press, more than anything else in the world, wants good news to report and good news in CD 8 is a RACE. Not a 12-18 point lead that no one will pay attention to or later want to read about.

I know Giffords will be readyand will show why she is so impressive...but six is just...wow!