ARIZONA 08 (R -- VACANT) | AZ-8

Internal Tipirneni Poll Shows Tie

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly will rally with Tipirneni on Saturday.

April 18, 2018, 9:59 a.m.

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D) and her husband, Mark Kelly, will hold a GOTV rally with emergency room physician Hiral Tipirneni (D) on Saturday ahead of the April 24 special election where she’ll face former state Sen. Debbie Lesko (R). (release)

BY THE NUMBERS. Tipirneni released an internal poll (April 14-16; 408 RVs; +/- 4.9%) showing the race is tied. Among voters who have already voted, she ties Lesko at 46 percent—though 8 percent refused to answer—and among those who have already voted or plan to vote, she ties Lesko at 44 percent. The polling memo also notes that Lesko pulls 71 percent of the registered-GOP vote, while Tipirneni won 13 percent of registered Republicans who have already voted, and she leads Lesko 63 percent to 25 percent among unafilliated voted. The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners and was IVR and Live Caller. (release)

MONEY MATTERS. A Capitol Hill fundraiser on Wednesday with Speaker Paul Ryan “is projected to rack up” $75,000 for former state Sen. Debbie Lesko (R), according to a source close the campaign. (CNBC)

OVERVIEW. “The sprawling suburbs west of Phoenix may put a brake on Democratic optimism following surprising special election wins in places like Alabama, Pennsylvania and other GOP strongholds. Voters in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, characterized by single-family tract homes, auto dealerships and big chain stores amid mesquite trees and scrub brush, will choose a new U.S. House representative April 24. The reliably conservative region includes several retirement communities and most observers expect it to remain in GOP control.”

“The numbers are strongly in Lesko’s favor. In the Feb. 27 primary, 2 out of every 3 ballots was cast for a Republican. Early ballot returns in the upcoming special election also strongly favor Republicans, who enjoy a 41 percent to 24 percent voter registration advantage in the district, with another 34 percent not choosing a party affiliation. What may make Lesko vulnerable is her support for school choice as the architect of a universal voucher bill passed last year. Education advocates incensed by what they see as a siphoning of public school cash for private and religious schools collected enough signatures to block it until the upcoming November election.” (AP)

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