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Arizona, Elections, Politics

McSally can no longer catch up. The AIRC’s work is complete.

Posted: November 17, 2012 at 6:07 am   /   by

“The race for the 2nd Congressional District had been too close to call for 10 days, but on Friday an Arizona Republic analysis determined that McSally would not be able to muster enough votes from the remaining uncounted ballots to surpass the thin lead Barber had held in recent days.”

So says the Arizona Republic. If their analysis holds up, it will mean that Democrats won the three districts in Arizona that were considered competitive. Part of the reason, of course, is that the night generally did not go well for Republicans across the nation. Mitt Romney had no coattails, for he did not win, and it was starting to seem more clear that he was not going to win several hours before the polls closed in Arizona. This probably had a bandwagon effect for Democrats, and it may have depressed just enough GOP turnout to be the difference in a close race. And all three races were close.

But the larger reason is the perfidy of the AIRC and the anti-democratic (small-d) process of “independent” redistricting in general. One of the reasons for redistricting to be a political process (that is, done by the state legislature) is so that the process is undertaken by the elected representatives of the people. That way, the process more closely reflects the will of the people, and those who undertake the process are subject to accountability by the people in the form of elections.

Arizona is a Republican state. The ranks of independents have been growing, but Democrats are losing more to indies than Republicans, and Democrats are now outnumbered by both Republicans and independents. At last check . . .

  • Republicans: 1,142,605 registered voters
  • Independents: 1,010,725 registered voters
  • Democrats: 1,008,689 registered voters

And yet, it now looks like there will be more Democrats in Arizona’s congressional delegation than Republicans (5-4). That does not reflect the makeup of Arizona, nor does it truly reflect the “will of the people.” Those three “competitive” congressional districts were drawn by the AIRC to be close, but won by Democrats. If the elected representatives of the people had controlled the process, the delegation would be 6-3 or 7-2, which would far more closely reflect the state of Arizona, in which Democrats are outnumbered by both Republicans and independents.

Instead of a process governed by scores of legislators, elected by the people and accountable to the people, we got a process involving a handful of people in a smoky back room, with no accountability if they decided to game the system. And, as expected, and as we warned, the Democrats gamed the system.

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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McSally can no longer catch up. The AIRC's work is complete.