7 Republicans battling for right to take on Rep. Tom O’Halleran in the fall

An analysis done by the website FiveThirtyEight shows the 2nd Congressional District with a partisan lead of plus-15 Republican, which it defines as “the average margin difference between how a state or district votes and how the country votes overall.”/Gage Skidmore

By Tara Kavaler | Arizona Republic

The seven Republican candidates in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District are making a last minute push for voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.

The candidates running are Walt Blackman, Eli Crane, Mark DeLuzio, Steven Krystofiak, John Moore, Ron Watkins and Andy Yates.

The newly redrawn 2nd district, which includes Apache, Coconino, Graham, Greenlee and Navajo counties and incorporates sections of six additional counties, favors Republicans.

Consequently, Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran is seen by election analysts as the most endangered House member in Arizona.

Border security, the Second Amendment and election integrity have been the major issues of the district’s GOP primary campaign, with military experience for the contenders also serving as a plus.

Republican-leaning District

An analysis done by the website FiveThirtyEight shows the 2nd Congressional District with a partisan lead of plus-15 Republican, which it defines as “the average margin difference between how a state or district votes and how the country votes overall.” That means that the 2nd District favors Republicans by 15 percentage points more than the entire country.

O’Halleran faces a difficult reelection campaign on party demographics alone, but the state of the economy and low approval ratings for President Joe Biden and Congress also do not help him.

Ryan O’Daniel, a Republican campaign consultant, said that for Democrats in the rural district, issues are more important than party identification.

“As we have seen in these Republican wave years … those rural kind of Blue Dog voters are the ones that are most likely to turn against their party the fastest,” he said. “To me, voter registration means less for rural Arizonans up in that district than what their priorities are, because a lot of them just want to run their businesses, protect the Second Amendment and have the government out of their way.”

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