Unnaturally Political

Where the AG Races Stand Heading into Election Day

Republicans tomorrow night have a chance to win as many as five of six key attorney general races in Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Nevada and New Mexico.

Recent polls show Republican Mark Brnovich leading Democrat Felecia Rotellini in Arizona by nine points, in a race that appears all but decided.

The AG race seems to be solidly breaking the GOP’s way in Colorado, with Cynthia Coffman leading Democrat Don Quick by seven points. This in a state where Republicans are in a fight to the finish for governor and a U.S. Senate seat.

Republican Brad Schimel is facing a closer race in Wisconsin, but still leads his Democratic opponent, Susan Happ, by four percentage points in recent polling. This race has largely been over-shadowed by the gubernatorial election in which Gov. Scott Walker is seeking a second term after surviving the 2012 recall effort against him.

Arkansas Republican Leslie Rutledge faced criticism regarding voter registration and questionable emails she sent while working for the Department of Human Services. Still, she leads her Democratic opponent, Nate Steel, by 4 percent in the latest PPP survey.

Hopes have been high in Nevada, as Republican turnout in early voting has far surpassed previous mid-term election years. Recent poll numbers show Republican Adam Laxalt closing the gap on Democratic candidate Ross Miller, the current secretary of state.

Nevada will likely be the closest of all the AG races. The grandson of former Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt has overcome criticism for his lack of political experience and weathered a flood of negative advertising to make Democrats nervous going into Election Day.

Only in New Mexico, where Susan Riedel has thus far been unable to come close to her opponent, Democrat Hector Balderas, in polling does a Republican win look out of reach.

Riedel has the support of New Mexico’s Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. Balderas, however, has far surpassed Riedel in fundraising, outspending her 4-1 on television advertising.

Balderas also has history on his side. Republicans haven’t won an AG’s race in the state in 28 years.

Five wins would mean 27 Republican attorneys general, the greatest number in American history.

Those wins, Scott Will, political director of the Republican Attorneys General Association, told me will “ensure an important layer of accountability on the final two years of the Obama administration.”


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