AZ-01: More GOP Recruitment Woes

From The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room:

Arizona state Rep. Bill Konopnicki (R) is again weighing whether to get into the state’s 1st congressional district race, according to the Arizona Capitol Times. …

But don’t look for news from Konopnicki anytime soon. He sounds like he’s content to wait a few months to see how Kirkpatrick does. It should also be noted that he opened an exploratory committee last cycle, only to opt out.

There’s also the matter of just how excited he does – or rather, doesn’t – sound. According to the Capitol Times:

Konopnicki said he isn’t interested in serving in Congress unless Republicans take back the majority in the 2010 elections – something that will be difficult to predict in time to mount a serious campaign.

“I’m not interested, quite honestly, in going and being the minority party,” he said.

This is obviously good news for Kirkpatrick, and you have to admire Konopnicki’s candor – most politicians are smart enough not to mouth off like that. But Konopnicki’s bout of honesty just demonstrates how salient this issue is. Around the country, Pete Sessions and his NRCC are trying to dig up candidates to take on Democrats and return the GOP to majority status. There are undoubtedly plenty of state senators, county DAs and rich businessmen who would make decent if not good candidates.

Yet every last one of them has to contend with the near-certainty that even if they win, come January 2011, they’ll go to DC as members of the minority, and likely stay that way for some time. Meanwhile, Democrats hold out the enticement of being in the majority – and have landed at least two major recruits, as well as several more “mid-major” names. It’s hard out there for an NRCC chair.

16 thoughts on “AZ-01: More GOP Recruitment Woes”

  1. To regain the majority you need lots of good candidates, but to get lots of good candidates you need at least the prospect of being in the majority.

  2. The Gop has gotten a few good recruits so far including Guinta in NH, Djou in HA, Chabot in OH, and that one guy in GA against Barrow…

  3. This is the first politician who didn’t use the bullshit “I’ll have to see if my family is ok with me running first” excuse I’ve seen in a long time.

  4. Guinta polled down 9 points in a GOP poll… In 2008 Chabot outfundraised the Dem. handily and still lost… Really?  Hawaii?  That’s like savoring the Vietnamese challenger to Sanchez in a D leaning district with a heavy latino population.  

  5. Short of Lingle inexplicably running for Congress.  But he’s still going to lose in a landslide to whoever the Dems put up.

  6. You’re right there.  Best case scenario I can see for Djou is about a 10 point loss.  Hawaii is one state that Obama is very unlikely to ever be unpopular in.

  7. I know thats a district that only went for Kerry by 5 but its still a very, very Democratic district. Going for Obama by 42 and Gore by 16. Im sure even Hillary (w/out Obama on the ticket) would have ended up winning it by over 15. Lingle could win it, IMO but I dont think anyone else has much of a chance. You never know in politics, stranger things have happened…but i dont think the Dems will be worrying much.

  8. Hard to get solid recruits in many districts when they know your chances of getting a majority are slim.  And the current Dem majority right now is about 20 seats higher than Repubs ever had in their last run.

  9. Kind of like George W. Bush in TX. Im not sure Bush was ever unpopular here. Maybe some SUSA polls say otherwise but i never got the feeling he was.  

  10. And man, did everything go right for Cao. An extremely unpopular, corrupt opponent, a runoff election where turnout was abysmally low, a Dem base that absolutely did not show up, a GOP base that showed up en masse, etc. etc.  

  11. Dubya was Governor of TX from 1994 to 2000.  That was a time of massive economic growth, fueled mainly by the faux tech boom.  The seemingly good economic times with state surpluses made almost every Governor look good.

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