The Arizona Senate Race is an Example of the Prevalence of National Politics

Arizona Senate Race is another great attraction for many US people especially for people of this state. Let’s discuss every detail briefly here.

Arizona Senate race
Arizona State Map

At a time when most Americans get their news from national cable news shows, it is no surprise that politics is usually viewed through a national lens as opposed to a local lens.

Most people probably can give you the name of the U.S. Attorney General, but what about their state Attorney General?

In years past, most people got their news from newspapers and local news stations.

People felt attached to their Representatives and Senators. Some might even vote against their party to vote for the incumbent due to that connection.

Things changed when cable news became mainstream. People turned on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC and cast the local paper aside. Politics had to adapt.

That’s why we don’t see a significant number of rogue Republicans or Democrats anymore. A candidate’s chances often hinge on the success or failure of the person at the top of the ticket.

  incumbent Republican Martha McSally
incumbent Republican Martha McSally

The special election Senate race in Arizona between incumbent Republican Martha McSally and Democrat challenger Mark Kelly is no exception. However, just prior to jump into the main discussion, you can have a look at the Alabama Senate Race details.

Before analysis, let’s refresh on why there is a Senate race in Arizona this year. In 2016, incumbent Republican John McCain beat Ann Kirkpatrick by thirteen percentage points to keep his seat.

Sadly, McCain died of cancer in August of 2018, prompting a special election in 2020. To fill his seat in the meantime, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) appointed former Republican Senator John Kyl to serve until the end of 2018.

When Kyl stepped down, Ducey appointed Arizona Rep. Martha McSally to the seat.

The US 2020 election will determine who serves out the rest of McCain’s term, which ends in 2022.

On the surface, it looks like a race between two impressive candidates. Before entering politics, McSally was a member of the United States Air Force and the first woman to fly a fighter jet into combat in U.S. history. Not only that, but she was also the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat, and she went on to earn the Bronze Star and six air medals.

Democrat challenger Mark Kelly
Democrat challenger Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly joined the United States Navy in 1987 and deployed around the world, eventually logging over five-thousand flying hours in fifty different aircraft. In 1996, Kelly joined NASA as a space shuttle pilot, spending over fifty days in space and on the International Space Station.

Two impressive candidates. Both of them considered moderates.

In a state that hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1996—and before that, not since Truman in 1948—this should be a relatively easy race for McSally.

However, Arizona doesn’t like President Trump. Therefore, in this age of national media, by association, they don’t like Martha McSally.

Let’s take a look at the history of presidential elections in Arizona:

2000: Bush (R) over Gore (D) by six percentage points

2004: Bush (R) over Kerry (D) by ten percentage points

2008: McCain (R) over Obama (D) by eight percentage points

2012: Romney (R) over Obama (D) by nine percentage points

2016: Trump (R) over Clinton (D) by three percentage points

It’s not as if Arizona was trending in the Democrats’ direction in a significant way when 2016 rolled around. Unfortunately for Republicans, it appears Trump precipitated a fall in support for the GOP among Arizonians.

Current presidential polls show the trend continuing. RealClearPolitics has former Vice President Joe Biden beating Trump by two percentage points. All of this is directly affecting Martha McSally. Also, according to RCP, Kelly leads McSally by seven percentage points.

However, not all is lost. Trump has begun to slowly close the gap in the most recent national and battleground state polls. Arizona is no exception.

The most recent poll by the Trafalgar Group has Trump beating Biden by one percentage point in Arizona. It’s a small margin, but it’s an example of the recent upward trend of support for the President. And it appears McSally might be benefiting from that as well.

An NBC/Marist poll from July 14-22, had Kelly in the lead by an astounding twelve points. However, in line with President Trump’s upward trend, a CNBC poll for July 24-26 has a spread with Kelly leading by only two percentage points. 

The correlation between Trump’s poll numbers and McSally’s poll numbers cannot be ignored. To the uninformed casual observer, the race between McSally and Kelly is just another race between a Republican and a Democrat. It’s almost a race between Trump and Biden.

Read more about close Senate races:

Colorado Senate Race 2020 polls: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

5 Reasons Why the Alabama Senate Race is Leaning Republican 

Maine Senate Race 2020 and Judge Kavanaugh Effect 


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