Arizona's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Arizona's 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
August 28, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Ron Barber Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Trent Franks Republican Party
Trent Franks.jpg

Arizona U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Arizona.png
The 2nd Congressional District of Arizona held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Ron Barber (D) won re-election in a race that was too close to call for one week after the election took place.[1][2]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
May 30, 2012
August 28, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Arizona's primary system is considered semi-closed. Unaffiliated voters may choose which party's primary they will vote in, but voters registered with a party can only vote in that party's primary.[3]

Voter registration: Voters were required to register to vote in the primary by July 30. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9.[4]

See also: Arizona elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Trent Franks (R), who was first elected in 2002.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. The 2nd District is located in the southeastern corner of Arizona and includes Cochise county and part of Pima county.[5]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Ron Barber Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Martha McSally
Libertarian Party Anthony Powell (Write-in)

August 28, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Note: Jesse Kelly withdrew from the race prior to the primary.[8]

Election results

U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRon Barber Incumbent 50.4% 147,338
     Republican Martha McSally 49.6% 144,884
     Libertarian Anthony Powell 0% 57
Total Votes 292,279
Source: Arizona Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

Arizona's 2nd was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. The district has always been a battleground between moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans, shifting back and forth. Incumbent Ron Barber won a special election earlier in the year to replace his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords, and after that the district became slightly more Democratic. Republican Jesse Kelly lost twice, once to Giffords and once to Barber, which helped cause party allegiance to shift to Martha McSally.[9]

Republican challenger Martha McSally was included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represented the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[10]

Arizona's Governor, Jan Brewer's super PAC, Jan PAC, spent money in each of Arizona's three most competitive races. In Arizona's 2nd, it spent $29,651 to support Republican challenger Martha McSally.[11]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Arizona

The 2nd District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[12][13]

Registration statistics

As of October 22, 2012, District 2 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the Arizona Secretary of State:

Arizona Congressional District 2[14]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 2 373,460 125,254 131,832 116,374 Republican 5.25% -45.80%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Arizona's 2nd District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[15]

  • 2012: 46D / 54R
  • 2010: 43D / 57R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Arizona's 2nd Congressional District has a PVI of R+2, which is the 220th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 50-50 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 50-50 percent over John Kerry (D).[16]

Campaign contributions

The race attracted $0.9 million in outside spending between Labor Day and the end of October. Of that, $302,631 was spent helping Democrat Ron Barber while $573,703 was spent to aid Republican Martha McSally.[17]

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Ron Barber

Matt Heinz

Jesse Kelly

Mark Koskiniemi

Martha McSally

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Trent Franks won re-election to the United States House. He defeated John Thrasher and Powell Gammill in the general election.[30]

This is the 2nd Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.
U.S. House, Arizona District 2 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTrent Franks Incumbent 64.9% 173,173
     Democratic John Thrasher 31.1% 82,891
     Libertarian Powell Gammill 4.1% 10,820
Total Votes 266,884

See also


  1. Seattle PI "Voters in Arizona's 2nd pick Barber over McSally," November 17, 2012
  2. ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  3. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 2, 2014
  4. Arizona Secretary of State, "Important Dates," accessed June 29, 2012
  5. Arizona Redistricting, "Map" accessed July 7, 2012
  6. The Hill "Arizona lawmaker who replaced Giffords in state Senate to run for her House seat," February 13, 2012
  7., "GOP candidates seeking nomination stands at five" February 15, 2012
  8. Arizona Daily Star, "Jesse Kelly third Republican to join CD8 race," February 3, 2012
  9. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 7, 2012
  10. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  11. Bloomberg Businessweek, "Arizona’s Brewer Spends Super-PAC Cash for GOP House Candidates," October 25, 2012
  12. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Arizona's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  13. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  14. Arizona Secretary of State, "State of Arizona Registration Report," April 23, 2012
  15. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Arizona," September 2012
  16. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  17. The New York Times, "Outside Spending in Key House Races," October 25, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber Pre-Special," accessed August 23, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber Post-Special," accessed August 23, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Ron Barber Pre-Primary," accessed August 23, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Matt Heinz April Quarterly," accessed August 23, 2012
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Matt Heinz July Quarterly," accessed August 23, 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Matt Heinz Pre-Primary," accessed August 23, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Jesse Kelly Pre-Special," accessed August 23, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Jesse Kelly Post-Special," accessed August 23, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Mark Koskiniemi Pre-Primary," accessed August 23, 2012
  27. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Pre-Special," accessed August 23, 2012
  28. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally July Quarterly," accessed August 23, 2012
  29. Federal Election Commission, "Martha McSally Pre-Primary," accessed August 23, 2012
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013