I recently put up a post on the race here in CD-1 in which I predicted that Ann Kirkpatrick would win a close race against Howard Shanker. In the same post I predicted that Sydney Hay would win relatively easily against Sandra Livingstone.
I am happy that I was off on the numbers.
Kirkpatrick, who I've made it clear that I support, turned in a very strong performance today. The only real question is whether she will keep above fifty percent of the total vote against three challengers. In fact, it seems that she has dug deeply into the support in Flagstaff and other areas where there are a number of liberal activists that I had expected to go to Shanker, who will finish third. Mary Kim Titla as of right now has exactly the same percentage I had predicted for her (28%) but it is a distant second, not a close third.
What this does is validate Kirkpatrick as the clear choice of Democratic voters. I don't know what the final results will show tonight, but I am hopeful that she wins with an outright majority.
The Republican race is also good news, from my perspective. For one thing, It's too close to call. Sydney Hay, who I had expected to win by a solid margin, instead is leading by a narrow margin against Sandra Livingstone.
Although as a Democrat and Kirkpatrick supporter I am strategically nervous about Livingstone (I think she is about the only Republican who might be able to win this year), her strong showing makes it very clear that the anti-immigrant wingnuts who have hijacked the Republican party are still more bark than bight. Livingstone has sent them into apoplectic seizure with her immigration plan which involves giving undocumented workers who are already in the U.S. work permits (hence making them legal) and then from there giving them a path towards citizenship. The minuteman-oriented portion of the nutbag right is livid at Livingstone, but her strong showing in which she has come from way behind to give Hay a strong race sends a clear message that a whole lot of GOP voters don't buy into their rhetoric and want humane, practical solutions. Given the previous failures of the anti-immigrant right to mount much electoral support for their candidates (most notably in not showing up to help immigration blowhard J.D. Hayworth save his district in 2006 after he had earned the wrath of local Hispanics) a Livingstone win would be an unspeakable embarrassment. Even a close race, if Hay pulls it out (which it looks as though she may) in a race which even a month ago was not much of a contest shows the anti-immigrant crowd as the small group of nuts that they are. They can make lots of noise, sure. But they can't do much to help a candidate win-- certainly less than Hispanics can do to help him or her lose.