The dates for the Special Election in Congressional District 8 have been set with the Primary Election to take place on Feb. 27 and the General Election to take place on April 24. That means there are just 74 days until the Primary Election and only 29 days until nomination signatures are due. With the mad dash to the finish line and slew of resignations we are about to witness, we think it’s important to take a minute and discuss who is likely to vote in the upcoming election.
First, consider the voter registration of the Congressional District 8. Republicans make up 41% of voter registration, Democrats make up 24%, while Independents and others make up the other 35%. However, when you look at voter participation, the GOP advantage is even higher. In General Elections, Republicans make up about 52% of the electorate, Democrats 26%, and 22% for Independents and others. It is safe to say that this is a Republican dominated district.
Therefore, the key race will be the Republican Primary. While there is already lots of speculation about the actual turnout model, CD8 has been pretty consistent with primary turnout over the past few cycles and despite this being a special election, it is likely that the trends will hold true. While the actual number of voters to turnout is still being discussed, there are some key statistics to consider regarding who is likely to vote in the CD8 Republican Primary based on previous behavior. Here are some trends to consider:
It will likely to come as a shock to no one that the age in the GOP Primary will be significantly older than even the usual high efficacy universe. After all, the district does include Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, and Pebble Creek. As such, nearly 60% of the electorate is likely to be over the age of 65 and another 27% over the age of 50.
29 & Under 1.7%
50 – 64 27.6%
Luke Air Force Base is located smack dab in the middle of the district and it is also 90% covered by Maricopa County’s Fourth District. While considered the West Valley Congressional District, this is truly the district of the Northwest Valley with Peoria and Glendale combining to make up more than 40% of the District. Surprise is next with nearly 15% followed by Sun City, Sun City West, and Phoenix (Anthem) making up the next largest portions. Portions of the Southwest Valley including Goodyear and Litchfield Park are included, but their representation is significantly smaller than some of the other cities.
Sun City 12.6%
Sun City West 9.2%
Litchfield Park 3.2%
New River 1.3%
El Mirage 1.3%
Despite the January 10th deadline for signatures throwing a monkey wrench into the resign to run law, we are likely to see a large number of state legislators throw their hat into the race. CD8 actually covers 10 separate legislative districts to varying degrees. Just like the cities, the LDs that cover more of Peoria, Glendale, and Sun City cover more of the congressional district. Many of the Southwest Valley districts cover significantly less.
Two other items of note: 1) CD8 is Governor Brewer’s home district where she has had a great deal of success over the past 30 years. Her support should play a major role in the outcome of the primary. 2) Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman took up the mantle of West Valley Supervisor and strong GOP champion from Max Wilson before him and Jan Brewer before that. With the Supervisor District covering nearly 90% of the Congressional District, his voice has the potential to play a key role in the election.
It is the first time in more than 15 years that this area is up for grabs, so it is definitely going to be an interesting race to see who is able to galvanize this electorate and grab an upper hand. Bear in mind, whoever wins the April Election will have to turn around and do it all over again in August and November. Buckle up for a wild ride.