What to watch: Arizona special election

Arizonans vote today to fill the seat left vacant by former Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December amid sexual h...

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 1:52 PM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 1:52 PM

Arizonans vote today to fill the seat left vacant by former Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December amid sexual harassment accusations from members of his staff.

Voters in the area -- home to many retirees in Maricopa County's Sun City -- have consistently sent Republicans to Congress. Should Democrats win here tonight, it will be a huge loss for the GOP. But given the state of the race and early ballots already in, Republicans aren't as concerned like in last month's Pennsylvania special election.

Here's what you need to know:

Polls are open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT (6 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST). Results likely won't come in before 11 p.m. EDT, as Arizona law requires votes be held for an hour unless all precincts have reported.

The candidates -- Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni -- have been fighting for the seat, though spending is down significantly from Pennsylvania's special election last month.

President Donald Trump won the district by 21 points in 2016. Republicans expect Lesko to win the seat, possibly with a double-digit margin, though she most likely won't be able to match the President.

Democrats believe Tipirneni's campaigning and their extensive get-out-the-vote effort could beat expectations and lead to a surprise.

There is an automatic recount if the margin is 200 votes or less or 0.1% or less.

Here's a closer look at what to watch tonight:

PA-18 redux? On paper, a special election for a congressional seat in a district the President won by 21 points with a newcomer Democrat against a Republican state senator seems like a Pennsylvania Groundhog Day, but it's not. The spending and enthusiasm don't compare to the Lamb vs. Saccone match in suburban Pittsburgh. This district is home to a significant senior population that has largely voted already, due to Arizona's early voting laws that allow citizens to vote by mail.

Lesko is well-liked. As a state senator, Lesko worked on a lot of local issues that resonated with her constituents. From her reform work for police and fire pensions, to changing laws about the use of golf carts (a big issue there), Republicans point to her grassroots work at the local level. Advisers say she enjoys campaigning and knows how to fundraise.

The doctor is in. Tipirneni is a doctor who has spent a lot of time focusing on health care, an important issue in the district. Campaign advisers say her data-driven approach shows how she can be non-partisan, which resonates well with voters. Her strong volunteer effort included door knocking calls, and texts to bring in new voters. This could help close the 21-point gap, though few Democrats are expecting a win here tonight.

Lessons for the fall. Last month's loss in Pennsylvania was a wake-up call for Republicans. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers has been meeting with candidates who are behind in fundraising, and the committee is working with candidates to define themselves earlier than previous cycles. National Democrats are trying to stay behind the scenes and let local candidates be their own messenger. They are helping with organization and behind-the-scenes work but say local money is a bigger help than outside funds.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 764448

Reported Deaths: 13965
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1049701803
Lake567981029
Allen42685698
St. Joseph37253568
Hamilton37131426
Elkhart29699470
Tippecanoe23347230
Vanderburgh23106404
Porter19538327
Johnson18755391
Hendricks18012321
Madison13463345
Clark13450198
Vigo12789255
LaPorte12533224
Monroe12494178
Delaware11100198
Howard10612237
Kosciusko9736123
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Bartholomew8235157
Warrick8031157
Floyd7975181
Grant7337181
Wayne7222201
Boone7145105
Morgan6886142
Marshall6323116
Dubois6267118
Cass6083111
Dearborn598578
Noble595790
Henry5939111
Jackson514677
Shelby509097
Lawrence4901127
Gibson460696
Montgomery454492
Clinton453555
DeKalb451585
Harrison450576
Whitley414745
Huntington411781
Steuben409560
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Jefferson340486
White338954
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Greene292285
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Posey280435
Scott278058
LaGrange276972
Clay273048
Washington252437
Randolph247083
Jennings238149
Spencer237531
Fountain233750
Starke229859
Owen221059
Sullivan219043
Fulton207645
Jay202832
Carroll196522
Orange190556
Perry189139
Vermillion179644
Rush177027
Franklin171635
Tipton171547
Parke153616
Pike141234
Blackford137832
Pulaski122948
Newton122436
Benton109215
Brown105743
Crawford105116
Martin92515
Warren87615
Switzerland8308
Union73510
Ohio58211
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1120922

Reported Deaths: 20467
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1300711493
Cuyahoga1169882259
Hamilton822191259
Montgomery533351059
Summit487911014
Lucas43688832
Butler39879614
Stark33752937
Lorain25937509
Warren24850312
Mahoning22663612
Lake21429396
Clermont20338260
Delaware19088138
Licking16820227
Trumbull16744491
Fairfield16735207
Medina15800276
Greene15468254
Clark14325308
Portage13391218
Wood13327201
Allen12026245
Richland11707213
Miami10976228
Wayne9238227
Columbiana9182236
Muskingum9114137
Pickaway8729123
Tuscarawas8706254
Marion8691140
Erie8109166
Ashtabula7264179
Hancock7039134
Ross7004165
Geauga6939153
Scioto6636108
Belmont6203179
Lawrence5905104
Union590049
Jefferson5718162
Huron5622122
Sandusky5467130
Darke5436130
Seneca5373128
Washington5352111
Athens526260
Auglaize506787
Mercer490285
Shelby480497
Knox4603112
Madison446966
Ashland441898
Defiance438099
Fulton435275
Putnam4349104
Crawford4103111
Brown408862
Preble3940107
Logan391479
Clinton387966
Ottawa374981
Highland364668
Williams355478
Champaign347560
Guernsey329554
Jackson321154
Perry298050
Morrow294543
Fayette287950
Hardin278865
Henry276967
Holmes2725102
Coshocton272461
Van Wert251465
Gallia248450
Adams247758
Pike244537
Wyandot235257
Hocking221763
Carroll200349
Paulding179342
Meigs150740
Noble137639
Monroe137445
Harrison115038
Morgan111524
Vinton87117
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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Showers and storms are possible early Sunday morning, but we'll be dry by sunrise. Partly sunny skies and hot conditions are expected for the second half of the weekend.
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