The Politics of Polling in Arizona’s CD-8

How Jesse Kelly costs Republicans Congressional District 8 (Again)

Recently, there was a press release from the Jesse Kelly campaign that showed the results of a polling survey that was conducted by TeleOpinion. While Kelly attempted to tout the poll as having overwhelming support, Kelly himself was only able to garner 35%. This is after Kelly had been the GOP nominee in 2010 and had several million dollars spent by both his campaign and independent expenditure groups on his behalf. Sure, he lost by about 4400 votes, but that was 2010 – the best Republican year in over a generation. Congressional District 8  by enrollment numbers, is a Republican district. While he was running against an entrenched Democrat incumbent, so were many other Republicans throughout the nation in 2010. A comparison of those races show that Jesse Kelly was the only Republican candidate to lose in a Republican district anywhere in the country in 2010.

In his present poll, Kelly’s level of support reveals that 65% of likely primary voters prefer either another candidate or are undecided about the race. This does not bode well for Jesse Kelly. In fact, given the dynamics of this race and the fact that Kelly had run for this very high-profile, high-dollar race before, Kelly has most likely peaked at this point and his poll numbers have nowhere to go but down.

How does Kelly try and remain competitive in this race? His only option is to go negative. Watch for Team Kelly to start launching negative (in many cases unsubstantiated) attacks against both State Senator Frank Antenori and Dave Sitton. Kelly will try to tear his opponents down because that’s his only option to move the needle.

Unfortunately, this will also have the effect of turning off many potential voters to Jesse Kelly and will further spirally his support numbers downward. The question that Jesse now has to answer is: Is he willing to mortally wound fellow Republicans that have an opportunity to win CD-8 back? Or, will he cost Republicans in Arizona and across the nation an additional seat in Congress by continuing a quixotic campaign?

Governor Brewer today proclaimed April 17th as the date for the special congressional election in District 8. Let the games begin!


  1. Jesse Kelly is better than the pro-public employee union “conservative” Frank Antenori.

    • And Jesse “Low-Tax” Kelly really wants the seat. I mean, not a month after Gabby survived being shot in the head, he was already making inquiries on when he could run again for it. It’s that kind of proactivity you seldom see in today’s politican.

      Maybe he’ll have another gun-raffle fundraiser!

      • I hope he does! I’ll buy 2 tickets!

      • Jesse Kleey made no such inquiries Klute.

        • Fortunately, I have a long memory:

          And yes, I know the Kelly camp denied this later. I would’ve too. It’s unseemly to be seen standing over fresh graves like a ghoul waiting for the first bite at the corpse.

          • Chandler Right says

            WOW I had never seen that. That blows my mind. That does give me pause as to who is the best person for that seat.

          • You may have a long memory Klute, just not a very good one!


            Read the story. It was a reporter’s “ASSUMPTION” on the source of the inquiry.

            • Yes, I know that was Kelly’s attempt at saving face, a PR move after his ambition made him make a very public and ghoulish attempt to capitalize on a national tragedy.

              Of course he’s going to say he didn’t do that. Wouldn’t you?

              • Did you even bother to follow the link I sent Klute?

                Try this one! It has a quote the quote from Miller himself.


                “But Miller told The Hotline that he was mischaracterized in the story, and that he had no idea if that call was from someone in Kelly’s campaign or someone seeking just general information.”

                Are you one of those people that think people should believe it just because YOU say it is so? It must be a sad life you live if your only joy in life is found in attempting to defame people with your lies.

                Now….. show some proof that Kelly made the call or better yet, since you seem to have so much first-hand knowlege on the subject, prove to us that it wasn’t you that made the call to see if you could run for the seat.

              • Look, we’re not going to obviously convince each other. I believe Jesse Kelly is a man of low character, who when found out, a panicked man, and by extension his native political machine, put out a bunch of denials. You believe he’s Hell and Jesus, and thus his story.

                But from a political standpoint, if I can drive the conversation with this, think what Antenori and Sitton are going to do with it with money and a staff behind them.

                Jesse Kelly has his shot, so to speak, and he failed. Time for him to go back to whatever position his dad has for him at the construction firm and be happy with that.

  2. “Guest opinion”….
    I notice that there is no author listed on this piece……… Is that you Frank?
    A few things you failed to mention in your Antenori campaign piece.
    1. Kelly was out-spent 3.5:1
    2. Name the other race in the country where the DNC spent money promoting the libertarian to pull votes from the republican.
    3. Where was the RNCC in CD-8.

    And,….this is priceless!!! LOL!!
    “How does Kelly try and remain competitive in this race? His only option is to go negative. Watch for Team Kelly to start launching negative (in many cases unsubstantiated) attacks against both State Senator Frank Antenori and Dave Sitton”.
    Do you not see the irony here Guest? LOL

    I could go on but I was always told not to wrestle with pigs because first, you will get dirty and second, it irritares the pig.

    Unknown author, whoever you are, I wouldn’t have put my name on such drivel if I had written it either.

  3. Iris Lynch says

    Jesse Kelly is a good man and I have appreciated his mode of campaigning. His name is known in CD8 and he lost by a fairly slim margin, especially considering the amount of OUTSIDE money spent to defeat him. It seems foolish to me to start from scratch with other candidates, even though they are good people, and so I will again back Jesse Kelly. I would hope that the other excellent candidates would look to other races that can really use them to defeat liberals.

  4. @NidanGoju, regarding this remark:
    “2. Name the other race in the country where the DNC spent money promoting the libertarian to pull votes from the republican.”

    Arizona CD-5, currently represented by Congressman David Schweikert (R), who defeated incumbent Harry Mitchell (D).
    Just sayin.

  5. Tiny Elvis says

    ….35% in an open primary this early is pretty good, actually.

    I checked out the poll:

    The poll is meaningless at this point without the crosstabs, but the spin job is impressive.

    15% for Antenori and 7% for Sitton…43% undecided.

    Hey, look at it this way – of those with an opinion, Kelly is garnering 61.4% of the vote.

  6. Klute, your memory may be OK but your facts are wrong.

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