The District: Just like the 1st district, the 2nd district had a split ticket, voting for Hillary Clinton 50-45 but picking a Republican for their House seat.

The 2nd district has an odd history since Arizona itself has boomed in population since its creation as a state. I mean go ahead and try to follow along with this Wikipedia entry but it will probably make your head spin.

Currently the district is the southeast corner of the state and has given us some major drama this decade. First, they essentially flipped the 2nd and 8th district representatives so the 2nd went from having Republican Terry Franks to Democrat Ron Barber.

Barber barely survived a 2012 scare by Republican Martha McSally with a victory of just over 2,000 votes (or less than 1 percent of the vote).

Undeterred, McSally tried again and beat Barber by a razor-thin margin of 121 votes in 2014. It was the last race decided that year because of the recount.

McSally had a much smoother time in 2016, despite Trump’s loss in the area.

The Incumbent: Martha McSally

No one can question the toughness of two-term incumbent Martha McSally.

She is a retired Air Force Colonel and fought in the Gulf War. She is also the first woman to command a US Air Force squadron.

In short, McSally knows how to lead.

She is a typical Republican in terms of foreign policy and environmental regulations. She has voted with her party 96% of the time in her 2.5 years in Congress.

She also realizes the precarious position she is of leading the second district.

in 2016, McSally never officially endorsed Trump nor did she given any direction to her constituents on what to do. While this clearly hurt Martha Roby, it seems to have helped McSally in the polls if you look at the numbers.

In fact, this silence has been a thorn in the side of some when it comes to McSally. Multiple articles have called out McSally for her wishy-washiness.

Still, that has not stopped her from supporting Trump’s health care reforms. McSally has campaigned on this issue and has clearly shown frustration at this whole process. According to the Associated Press, McSally allegedly told her colleagues “Let’s get this {bleep}in’ thing done”.

She admitted with was not a perfect bill but clearly wanted to get a replacement out there as quickly as possible.

Will this support help or hurt her in 2018?

The Challenger: EVERYBODY

Okay, well not really everybody but folks the crowd is stacked with potential and official/semi-official nominees.

Mary Matiella, a former Assistant Secretary to the US Army, has been cheered and bankrolled by the Progressive wing of the Democratic party.

Matt Heinz, who lost kinda badly in 2016, has declared he will try again. Guess the guy wants a little more rejection???

Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick COULD come back to the House after leaving her seat to run against McCain in the Senate race.

Billy Kovacs and Bruce Wheeler round out the declared candidates. We also have to keep an eye on Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabrielle Giffords.

While his candidacy is likely a pipe dream for Democrats, it would be a potential star for them in a key race.

Prediction:

The second district is one of the most important races in America.

McSally is personable, strong and the incumbent. Yet she has garnered some negative publicity for lack of transparency and she has banked a lot on repealing Obamacare.

If this healthcare reform works, McSally will be in great shape.

If the Democrats fail to coalesce around one nominee she will be in good shape.

If this healthcare bill falls apart and we are left with the vestiges of a system breaking down, Republicans will not be able to blame Obama anymore.

Voters will blame them, fairly or unfairly. In that case, McSally will be a primary example of a target.

This race has been super close two out of the last three elections and I think it will be again…but I have to pick SO…

TOSS-UP: Gut Feeling is Democrat.

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