The Southwest

Hot-button issues, and some hot races

If the stars align for the GOP, the Democrats' hold on Arizona's eight congressional seats could shrink from five to one. In the 1st District, first-term Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is struggling against GOP dentist Paul Gosar. Three other Democrats are in reelection battles: Rep. Harry E. Mitchell of the Scottsdale-centered 5th District, who is running against former state representative David Schweikert; Rep. Raul M. Grijalva of the southwestern border's 7th District, who faces Republican Ruth McClung, a physicist; and Tucson's Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of the 8th District, who is running against Iraq war veteran Jesse Kelly. Arizona's tough anti-immigration law has been a hot issue.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law, has a clear advantage in her reelection campaign against state Attorney General Terry Goddard (D).

Sen. John McCain appears headed to a fifth term in his race against former Tucson City Council member Rodney Glassman (D).

Will a star be born in Land of Enchantment?

The governor's mansion in Santa Fe looks likely to change hands, as Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez (R) is considered the favorite for the state's top job over Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D). Martinez is viewed as a potential star-in-the-making for the national GOP as she seeks to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Richardson (D). If she wins, she will become the nation's first female Latino governor.

Two of the state's Democratic members of Congress -- Reps. Martin Heinrich and Harry Teague -- face competitive reelection contests. Heinrich appears to be the safer of the two incumbents, narrowly leading Republican Jon Barela in the Albuquerque-based 1st District. Teague has a more difficult task, as he seeks to hold off former representative Steve Pearce (R) from reclaiming the sprawling, conservative-leaning 2nd District seat.

In the Sooner State, it's time to 'woman up'

In one of two all-female gubernatorial contests this year (New Mexico's is the other), two-term GOP Rep. Mary Fallin is the favorite against Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Brad Henry (D). This puts the Sooner State on track to have its first female governor.

Interestingly, in a cycle that's seen female candidates tell their male rivals to "man up," the phrase "woman up" might more aptly describe the dynamic of the Fallin-Askins race: Fallin recently drew criticism for citing her role as a mother as a key difference between herself and Askins, who has never been married and does not have children.

Meanwhile, the race to succeed Fallin in the House is all but over, with former youth camp director James Lankford, the unexpected winner of the GOP primary and runoff, on course to sail over his Democrat opponent, attorney and former Marine Billy Coyle.

Ten years gone in Austin? Not necessarily.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry has served 10 years, longer than any governor in Texas history. Democrats would like to send him into retirement, and in Bill White, the former mayor of Houston, they believed they had the candidate to do it. But White may fall short.

White has challenged Perry on ethical grounds and kept the race closer than some people expected. But Perry has benefited from the fact that the Texas economy is stronger than other big states and went tea party before tea party was cool. Perry defeated Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) in the primary by running against Washington and is doing the same in the general election. Given the sizeable advantage Republicans have in the state, he will be hard to beat.

Two House Democrats are in trouble. The most endangered appears to be 10-term Rep. Chet Edwards, who has done everything possible to distance himself from President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who once endorsed him to be Obama's vice president). But that may not be enough to hold off GOP businessman Bill Flores.

The other close race is in the 23rd District, geographically the largest in the Lone Star State, running from San Antonio to the outskirts of El Paso. Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez survived a challenge two years ago and hopes to do the same this year against Republican businessman Francisco "Quico" Canseco.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc id dictum mauris. Nulla vulputate pretium pretium. In felis justo, luctus quis mollis sit amet, laoreet in justo. Donec elit diam, sagittis vitae tempus vitae, pharetra vestibulum orci. Morbi fringilla suscipit dui, sed interdum diam imperdiet vitae. Nullam vel viverra elit. Vestibulum porttitor sagittis magna, ut laoreet nulla porta in. Proin iaculis erat a dui lobortis ut lacinia odio iaculis. Fusce auctor elementum scelerisque. Maecenas vitae dolor dolor, non vulputate orci. Nam convallis, dolor quis eleifend tempus, neque elit facilisis arcu, ut vulputate felis tellus cursus turpis. In suscipit sollicitudin congue. Maecenas egestas ipsum euismod tortor tempor facilisis. Praesent at nunc vitae nisi cursus ornare a eu mi.

CONTRIBUTORS: The state previews were written and compiled by Washington Post staff writers Chris Cillizza, Dan Balz, Amy Gardner, Shailagh Murray, Paul Kane, Aaron Blake, Felicia Sonmez, Ben Pershing and Perry Bacon Jr. PHOTOGRAPHS: The photographs were taken by The Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters and Getty Images photographers.

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