Tomorrow, we in the 8th Congressional District in Arizona will be going to the polls to elect someone to finish out the term of Gabrielle Gifffords, who resigned a year after being shot in the head by crazed stalker Jared Loughner. The two major candidates are Democrat Ron Barber, who was an aide to Giffords before her shooting, and Republican Jesse Kelly, who came within two percentage points of unseating Giffords in her last election. While everyone from the Arizona Daily Star to the Hufflepuff Post is rushing to confidently assure us that Ron Barber has it in the bag, there are some interesting signs that that may be just smoke and mirrors. First off is the fact that the Pima County Recorder's office reports having received more than 108,769 early ballots by mail. Since there are 328,495 registered voters in CD8, that would mean that 57% of that number have already voted. The Recorder's office also reports that Republicans hold the edge on early ballots, although they are talking about the number of registered voters who are registered as Republicans, not necessarily who the votes went to. The Arizona Secretary of State's office confirms that Republican voters outnumber Democrats in CD8 by a small margin. Second is the fact that the Democrats are pulling poor Giffords out, literally and physically, to try to gain sympathy votes. Not only is Nancy Pelosi out there, invoking Giffords' name in recent fundraising appeals, but Giffords interrupted her convalescence and showed up to do some last-minute campaigning for Barber Saturday night. Up until now, Giffords' has stayed out of the race, other than appearing in a campaign mailer. Third, and this is more anecdotal, I've noticed some interesting campaign posters going up just recently. Of course, the street corners and roadways have been filled with the usual posters with the candidates' names on them ever since the campaign started. But just lately, I've noticed that every Jesse Kelly sign I see now has a smaller sign next to it, claiming that Jesse Kelly wants to take away seniors' Social Security and Medicare. In some places, they've actually been stuck ON the Jesse Kelly signs. Since Arizona is a huge retirement mecca, this is obviously an attempt to panic elderly voters - who make up quite a large percentage of those registered here. Question is, if Ron Barber is so handily ahead as we're told, why the last-minute scare tactics? All in all, I think a lot of people are going to be watching tomorrow's election returns from Arizona a lot more closely than they might want to admit to.