Democrats are working overtime to avoid a special election defeat for the seat once held by retiring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords was shot in the head by a madman last year and is stepping down from Congress to focus on her recovery. The special election for her seat is taking place on Tuesday and the Democrats want to avoid a loss like the one they got last week when Scott Walker survived his recall election.
This election is the last before the whole country goes to vote in November.
Giffords has been hitting the campaign trail for Ron Barber, her chosen successor. Barber currently enjoys a double digit lead in the polls but most analysts say his victory is far from certain.
David Wasserman, an analyst for the non-partisan Cook Political Report said,
“The (national) importance of this election depends on the outcome. If Barber wins, it’s what we expected, Gifford’s aide inherits the seat. If Kelly wins, it sends a message about President Obama’s job performance.”
Wasserman told FoxNews.com that the outcome is really hard to predict because even if the polls hold, turnout in special elections is typically really low so a few votes here and there can alter the balance.
Republicans have a 26,000-person edge over Democrats in voter registrations. Outside groups have already brought more than $2 million dollars into the race from outside the State.
Polls are showing that while immigration and tax reform were the highlights of the last election for this seat, this time it is all about the economy.
John Ellinwood, a spokesman for Barber’s Republican opponent Jesse Kelly said,
“Emotions are very high. People are very concerned about the economy and tiring of just limping along,”