Former State Senator Debbie Lesko (R-Phoenix) defeated Democrat Hiral Tipirneni by five points, 52 percent to 47 percent, in the special election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District on Tuesday, thwarting the much hyped Democratic “Blue Wave.”
While the results were closer than the 21 point victory President Trump secured in this suburban Phoenix Congressional District in November 2016, the loss took the air out of the balloon for many Democrats and many in the media, who have been predicting a “Blue Wave” in the November midterm elections.
The vast majority of the votes in the race were cast during early voting. When those votes were counted one hour after the polls closed at 7 p.m. local time, Lesko had a 9,000 vote lead over Tipirneni, with only 19,000 votes left to count. That meant Tipirneni would have to win those votes by nearly a 3-to-1 margin to pull off the victory.
In the end, those numbers simply did not materialize for Tipirneni, a former emergency room physician who now works as a cancer researcher.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lesko had 52.6 percent of the vote to Tipirneni’s 47.4 percent.
In terms of raw votes, Lesko had 91,390 votes to 82,318 for Tiperneni, a margin of victory for Lesko of slightly more than 9,000 votes.
Decision Desk HQ provided analysis of the election throughout the night in a series of tweets.
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) April 25, 2018
In 2016, Clinton lost #AZ08 by 21%; tonight Hiral Tipirneni (D) is only losing by 6% to Debbie Lesko (R). Roughly 1/3 of the district, 46 of 142 precincts, crossed over to Tipirneni from Trump. No HRC precincts went to Lesko. #AZPol pic.twitter.com/K3JE86cqax
— J. Miles Coleman (@JMilesColeman) April 25, 2018