After the dust settles from the 2010 midterm elections there are bound to be some political upsets that seemed improbable only a month ago. Here in Arizona perennial favorite, and democrat, Rep. Raul Grijalva, who usually doesn’t even need to formally campaign, is in the proverbial fight of his political life. And, should he lose his race, it could be biggest “sleeper” win in the nation by the Tea Party.
His opponent, Tea Party candidate and rocket scientist, Ruth McClung, is running a hard-hitting campaign that took flight (no pun intended) after she directly attacked Grijalva’s plea for a boycott of Arizona.
Simply put, the 28 year-old Palinista wants voters to, “Boycott Grijalva, not Arizona.”
To be fair Grijalva made a decision to speak out against a law, SB 1070 (Arizona’s misguided immigration bill), that would be harder to enforce that banning chewing gum at the mall, and probably would have lead to the needless harassment of hispanic American citizens. His mistake was timing-Arizona’s economy is tanking just as badly as the rest of the country.
Grijalva quickly changed his stance on the boycott because he thought it wouldn’t change the mind of the states legislators. Nonetheless, a statewide boycott was successfully used to nudge the state towards adopting a Martin Luther King holiday. Who knows if Grijalva’s comment costed the state jobs, the issue that bugs people is perceived loyalty to the people of Arizona.
Which can be defined many different ways of course. Grijalva affirmed his loyalty to his beliefs about what a fair and democratic society should be, and to Latinos who might have been unfairly targeted by the law. Independents and conservatives may be more concerned about supporting the economic recovery in the state above all else. Though Grijalva’s district is a democratic stronghold, amazingly some polls show a tight race.
Grijalva was born in Tucson and spent the vast bulk of his professional life helping citizens in the state, a fact that voters should remember when they head to the polls this fall. While Ruth McClung claims she “loves the west” and has been in Arizona since 2000, does she really have the experience to represent Arizona in Congress rather than being a puppet for the Tea Party? Polls aside, Grijalva is almost certain to be victorious in November.
Should Grijalva fall short, then likely it would be in the context of widespread losses for democrats on a scale unlike anything seen in recent history. Though the fact that the race is close means that something wicked is galloping down the path towards incumbents this November.