Posted on June 16 2012 – 10:00 AM – Posted by: Doug Brady
Democrat Ron Barber won handily in a district where there are more registered Republicans than Democrats and half the voters say they disapprove of the job the president is doing. In a contest with a dramatic back story, Barber ran his own race to defeat Tea Party favorite and former Marine Jesse Kelly by six points. The district will face another election for the same House seat in November.
Barber, who was wounded along with Giffords in a January 2011 Tucson shooting, excited Democrats more than Kelly could jazz Republicans, according to an analysis by Public Policy Polling (D). And Barber captured the majority of independents, in part by leaving some daylight between himself and the president.
But as Democrats celebrated a special-election victory, Arizona-watchers said in interviews that the state’s 11 electoral votes seem likely to stay in the red column for Romney. The RCP polling average in Arizona as of late May showed Romney outpacing Obama by six points.