PolitickerAZ has the results of a recent CD5 poll comparing Congressman Harry Mitchell to two of the Republican candidates trying to unseat him, former Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert and former state representative Laura Knaperek.
(Marty at Wactivist.com and Zelph at AZNetRoots already have their takes on the info, at the links)
According to the PolitickerAZ story, in head-to-head matchups, Mitchell leads Schweikert by a 50% to 23% margin and Knaperek by 49% to 26%.
This is great news for Mitchell and his supporters because while this year shapes up to be a horrible year for Republicans in general, they still have a serious registration advantage in CD5 (42% - 28%). For this cycle and the next (2010) CD5 is going to be a tough test for any Democrat, even Harry Mitchell.
In 2012, the effects of redistricting should be felt, but God only knows what those are going to be (and God won't know what those are until the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission tells Him what they are :) ).
Until then, however, CD5 is going to be a tempting target for every Republican who's ever run a campaign (or, like Jim Ogsbury, who's ever just given money to a campaign.)
As for this year's campaign, in Marty's post over at Wactivist, he opines that Laura Knaperek may be the Reps' best hope to defeat Mitchell, but I'm not sure I agree.
She *does* have the organization and the experience to run an effective general election campaign, a fact that CD5 Republican primary voters will remember, but she also has experience in running campaigns that were defeated by Harry Mitchell.
Another fact that primary voters will be sure to remember.
She also has high negatives, in that she is part of the radical right wing segment of her party, and while there are a lot of Republicans in CD5, they tend to be part of the "Chamber of Commerce" wing.
She's probably not getting out of the primary, though with her experience and focus (OK, it's less 'focus' and more 'obsession' on Harry Mitchell) she will make a fight of it.
David Schweikert may not have raised as much money as the RNCC poo-bahs would prefer, he still presents the lower negatives of the two - he's as reliably conservative as Knaperek but hasn't ticked off as many people over the years as she has (her habit of throwing ballot-mates in legislative races under the bus at the earliest opportunity could come back to haunt her.)
And Jim Ogsbury and Mark Anderson? Professional lobbyist Ogsbury has serious name rec problems in the district, as does Mesa state rep Anderson. In addition, Anderson is running on a platform that includes the planks that Congress "has too much partisan bickering" and "too many scandals."
Somebody should remind him that it's not 2006 and he's not running against JD Hayworth.
Anyway, I haven't seen anything that indicates that Anderson or Ogsbury have a real chance to win this year's CD5 Republican primary.
The American Hospital Association, the sponsor of the poll, apparently agree with me - their poll didn't include either Ogsbury or Anderson.