• 33-39 vs. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith (15-13)While the whole race trades in a narrow band, as Wall Street types might say, the matchups on the edges make sense. DuVal's toughest opponent is Smith, who has a reputation as something of a moderate for his stances on immigration and guns. His weakest, meanwhile, is Thomas, who was disbarred in 2012 for some pretty extreme ethics violations.
• 33-37 vs. Secretary of State Ken Bennett (12-24)
• 36-35 vs. state Treasurer Doug Ducey (11-20)
• 35-32 vs. physician John Molina (7-12)
• 36-32 vs. former California U.S. Rep. Frank Riggs (5-13)
• 37-33 vs. former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones (9-15)
• 37-32 vs. state Sen. Al Melvin (4-22)
• 40-35 vs. former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas (13-29)
But what makes for a more electable candidate in a general election usually has the opposite effect in a GOP primary, and vice versa. Luckily for someone like Smith, the field is incredibly jam-packed, and the race for the Republican nomination, as you'd expect, has barely taken shape:
Bennett: 20It's very possible that the ultimate winner could prevail with a relatively small plurality. But regardless of who emerges as the GOP nominee, the general election numbers show that there's a real chance for this contest to become very competitive. Thanks to Arizona's reddish demographics and expected mid-term falloff for Democrats, Daily Kos Elections currently rates this race as Lean Republican. But it's received little national attention so far and could wind up as a serious sleeper.