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United States Elections

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018 Results and Predictions

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Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018

This is your home for Arizona 8th District special election 2018, from opinions to predictions and the final results.

The Republicans are coming off of a loss in a House special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, and go right back to defense again in Arizona. Election day in the desert is April 24, 2018.

This seat is vacant as a result of Rep. Trent Franks (R) stepping down due to allegations of sexual misconduct. His resignation was effective on December 8, 2017. Franks served in Congress since 2003.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: The District

The 8th District encompasses a mostly urban and suburban area northwest of Phoenix. Some of the major population centers include Surprise, Peoria, and Sun City.

According to the Cook Political Report, this is an R+13 district, or the 90th-most Republican out of 435.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018 Results

Arizona-08 US House Special Election 2018 results

We’ll try not to pat ourselves on the back too much. We predicted 53-47% as the final margin for Debbie Lesko, and it was 52.6% to 47.4%, which, after rounding, is what we said it would be. The gloating ends right…now.

If you are the Republicans, and let’s say for a moment that you are: how do you feel about these results? Are you happy? If anything, you are most likely relieved that you didn’t lose one of America’s redder seats. That, however, was not the question: are you happy about it?

The Democrats came within 9,000 votes (5.2 percent) of flipping a seat they should have no business winning. There is a definite trend building in these US House special elections. In the last year or so, there have been seven in which a Republican seat opened. Here is what happened in those seats:

  • Kansas-04: Republicans hold, with an increase in Democratic vote share from 29.6 (2016) to 45.7 percent (2017).
  • Montana-AL: Republicans hold, with an increase in Democratic vote share from 40.6 (2016) to 44.1 percent (2017).
  • Georgia-06: Republicans hold, with an increase in Democratic vote share from 38.3 (2016) to 48.2 percent (2017).
  • South Carolina-05: Republicans hold, with an increase in Democratic vote share from 38.7 (2016) to 47.9 percent (2017).
  • Utah-03: Republicans hold, with a decrease in Democratic vote share from 26.5 (2016) to 25.6 percent (2017) — Republican vote share decreased from 73.5 (2016) to 58.0 percent (2017).
  • Pennsylvania-18: Democratic gain, with Democrats taking 49.9 percent in a seat where they did not field a candidate in 2014 or 2016.
  • Arizona-08: Republicans hold, with Democrats taking 47.4 percent in a seat where they did not field a candidate in 2014 or 2016 (Greens took 31.3 in 2016).

Democrats did not get over the hump in most of these races, a majority of which were seats that had large built-in Republican advantages. The problem is this: Democrats doing respectably well in these seats means they could get over the finish line in seats that aren’t quite so red. GOP swing seat Congressmen and Congresswomen should not feel comfortable at all, if they are sticking out this election.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: Current Prediction, April 16, 2018

Arizona-08 US House Special Election 2018 prediction 4-16-18

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: Current Analysis, April 23, 2018

The spread of the final opinion polling goes from Dem +1 to GOP +10, with an average lead for Lesko of 3.75 percent over the last four polls (released within two weeks or less). Here is why we are keeping Lesko in the lead in our predictions: first, two of those polls were Emerson, which flipped from a one-point Democratic lead to a six-point Republican lead in a week. That could be lots of statistical noise, but given the bent of the district, the latter is a bit more believable. Second, based on the information available, this looks like a substantially Republican electorate. If this is correct, the Democrats would need to win independents handily and get a strong Republican crossover vote for Hiral Tipirneni. It should be too tall an order at this stage, but you never know in an electoral climate like this.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: Meet The Candidates

The Republican nominee in Arizona-08 is Debbie Lesko, a former state senator and state representative.

Hiral Tipirneni is the Democratic nominee; she is an emergency room physician.

There is also an independent candidate running by the name of Augie Beyer.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: Past Analysis, April 16, 2018

We have moved this race closer to the center for the first time since we began tracking it a month ago. One poll suggests that this election is a dead heat. Another posits that Debbie Lesko (R) is ahead by a comfortable margin. They can’t both be right, and we are not quite splitting the difference. I can buy that there is movement towards Tipirneni for a couple reasons: first, the Democrats are building national momentum, and second, Tipirneni is doing well (relatively speaking) in the fundraising game.

Keep in mind again that this district is even redder than Pennsylvania’s 18th. A Democratic win here would be an earthquake. Not to say that it can’t happen, because it can, but we need more than one poll showing a close race in a district this red.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: News, April 4, 2018

After taking a lick in southwestern Pennsylvania, Republicans are pumping money into Arizona’s 8th District. Despite what the article says, that doesn’t mean it’s a toss-up — yet. Polls are few and far between in this suburban seat, but so far, there is no indication that there’s a surge coming on the part of the Democrats.

Arizona 8th District Special Election 2018: Past Analysis, March 18, 2018

We open our tracking of this election with the Republicans holding the seat. Like in Pennsylvania, the Democrats did not bother running a candidate against the incumbent in 2016. However, fortunes may turn in 2018. It won’t be long until the national media latches on to this race, though it’s in an even more Republican district than PA-18.

The GOP losing this district would be a near-Apocalyptic event, but they got a high-profile candidate in Debbie Lesko, a state-level politician. If you check out Hiral Tipirneni’s issue positions, however, you might get some flashbacks to Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania. On her website, she calls for simplification of the tax code, border security, and Second Amendment rights together with “common-sense” gun control. The first rule of running as a Democrat in a red district is not to run as a fire-breathing liberal. Tipirneni isn’t, but she begins the campaign at a disadvantage, anyway.

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