Ret. Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, a Republican, would be locked in a tight race with Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., in the 2nd District, according to a new poll commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Barber led McSally by a single point in the survey, 46 percent to 45 percent, released on Thursday evening.
McSally has not officially announced, but she filed a statement of candidacy last week. Last cycle, Barber narrowly defeated McSally by just 2,500 votes. There's been speculation about a rematch ever since.
"Ron is focused on doing his job everyday and representing southern Arizona," Barber political consultant Rodd McLeod said of the poll. "There'll be plenty of time to worry about the campaign next year."
McLeod added that Barber raised $293,000 in the second quarter and he will report having $550,000 in cash on hand.
See the NRCC's polling memo here:
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The NRCC would not provide name identification ratings in the poll. But Tucson voters should be familiar with both candidates because each of them ran twice for the seat last year.
In June 2012, both candidates ran in the special election to succeed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. McSally lost her primary, while Barber won his party's nomination and the general election. That November, McSally and Barber faced off for a full term in a campaign that featured extensive television ad spending throughout the district.
Barber previously worked for Giffords and inherited much of her political staff. Their efforts made the 2nd District something of a white whale race for House Republicans — it just keeps slipping away.
Wes Anderson of On Message Inc. executed the NRCC's poll, which surveyed 400 likely and registered voters in the district, according to the memo. The poll used telephone interviews conducted June 17-18 and had margin of error was 4.9 percent.