New Polling Shows Arizona McSally/Sinema Race Back to a Dead Heat

Marsha Scott
November 8, 2018

Although Republicans retained control of the Senate during this year's midterm elections, Democrats actually earned about 11 million more votes.

Arizona's U.S. Senate race is too close to call. That means about 57 percent of the total votes cast went for Senate Democrats. Election officials in Maricopa County, the state's largest, have warned that many votes may not start to be counted until Thursday. The fact that most of the seats up for re-election were Democratic made the party more vulnerable to suffer losses, which Sens. The Democrat said she would remain "laser-focused" until polls closed.

Ultimately, Arizona voters will make the final decision.

McSally and Sinema spent Election Day trying to drum up every vote possible during last-minute stops at local restaurants.

The picture was brighter for the state's Democrats in Congress, where Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick was elected to the Tucson-area swing district seat vacated by McSally and Democrats held all their other four seats, giving them a majority of the state's nine-member U.S. House delegation.

McSally has painted Sinema as a radical leftist based on her activism in Green Party circles during the early 2000s, deploying old clips and images to tarnish Sinema, such as a photo of Sinema wearing a pink tutu at an anti-war protest.

McSally, the first US female fighter pilot ever to see combat, received support from the highest levels of the Republican Party, including President Trump who campaigned with her in the Grand Canyon State.

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In Congress, McSally, 52, represents a moderate district based in Tuscon, voting in line with Trump almost 98 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight data.

In response, McSally criticized Sinema over her shifting views, contending she was still a closet liberal who disrespected the military.

Sinema, 42, is a former Green Party activist who became a Democratic centrist with her first election to the House of Representatives in 2012. More Arizona voters identify as Republican than as Democrat by 10 points.

Though she has since embraced the president, her earlier criticism hobbled her during this year's three-way Republican primary for Senate, when challengers attacked her as insufficiently supportive of the president.

In her campaign, Sinema courted Republicans by positioning herself as a nonpartisan problem solver.

The sluggish count is a perennial issue for Arizona, but has rarely received such a high level of attention because the GOP-leaning state generally has had few nationally-watched nail-biting contests.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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