by Jim Nintzel
While we have some solid numbers here in Pima County and a few other places, there's no firm number of how many ballots remain to be counted around the state, according to the chart above that recently arrived in a bulletin from Secretary of State Ken Bennett's office.
But there are estimates. The Arizona Republic is reporting that more than 150,000 ballots still need to be counted. And we know Pima County has somewhere around 47,000, although some of those might be invalid.
Among the races that remain tight:
• CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 2, where Republican incumbent Martha McSally is holding a lead of less than three dozen votes over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber. We've heard all kinds of numbers about how many Cochise County ballots are out there, but McSally was clobbering Barber there with the votes that have been counted: 8,318 to 3,911. If there are still 25,000 votes to count there, as the Arizona Republic reports, Barber is gonna be losing a lot of ground. For the sake of comparison, there were about 48,000 votes cast in Cochise County in 2012; McSally got 28,242 while Barber got 19,815. So with what's been counted so far this year, McSally is doing better than she did in 2012, but the trend could move in Barber's direction if his team did a better job harvesting early ballots. We're supposed to know more by the end of the day.
Team Barber spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn said this wasn't Barber's "first rodeo."
"Two years ago, we woke up the day after the election with a significant vote deficit, but when the last early ballots were counted, Ron triumphed," she said. "Vote counts will go up and down as the remaining early and provisional ballots are counted, but in the end, when the votes are counted, we’re fully confident that we will continue to win the early ballots, and Ron Barber will win another term in Congress."
Team McSally spoke via Facebook:
Right now, there are still many ballots to be counted and the race is too close to be called. It's critical that every last vote is counted and that all Arizonans have their voices heard.
LD9: Republican incumbent Ethan Orr holds a 67-vote lead over Democratic challenger Randy Friese.
TUSD: Michael Hicks holds a 964-vote lead over Jen Darland.
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: The Democrats were pretty much wiped out on the statewide level last night, but in the Superintendent of Public Instruction race, Democrat David Garcia only trails Republican Diane Douglas by roughly 26,000 votes. He has a narrow shot at a comeback.
PROP 122: Prop 122, which would allow voters or state lawmakers to prohibit spending money on any program they found violated the principles of the U.S. Constitution, was passing in a close race. The Yes votes were about 28,000 ballots ahead of the No votes. Here's a fun fact: Prop 122 is losing in Pima, Maricopa and Coconino counties, but winning in nearly all of the rural counties.