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Arizona Senate: Sinema wins, why did McSally underperform other statewide Republican nominees?

Arizona Senate: Sinema wins, why did McSally underperform other statewide Republican nominees?

McSally received 200,000 fewer votes than Republican Governor Doug Ducey

A week later and the Arizona Senate race has finally been decided, Democrat Krysten Sinema is the projected winner.

The Associated Press called the race Monday evening:

McSally has conceded:

Over the last few days, Sinema continued to increase her lead, but McSally’s campaign insisted that when it was all said and done, they’d emerge victorious.

So what went wrong? How did a strong, staunchly Republican candidate lose?

From Arizona Central:

The Arizona Republic estimates there are about 170,000 votes still to be counted. McSally would have to win those by nearly 23 percentage points to retake the lead.

Even worse, 95 percent of the uncounted votes are in Maricopa and Pima counties, the two places where she has underperformed.

Sinema played for crossover voters — those Republicans who may be willing to change their behavior and go for a Democrat — as well as independent voters.

In doing so, Sinema forged a path that allowed her to overtake Pima County, the Democratic-leaning county that anchors McSally’s Tucson-based 2nd Congressional District.

Sinema won Pima County over McSally by about 15 percentage points.

And Sinema ran up the numbers in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area which leans Republican. She won Maricopa County by 3.7 percentage points.

As the latest round of ballots came in on Monday, Sinema again tallied big margins in Maricopa and Pima counties, the state’s population centers, while McSally piled up small wins in smaller counties.

In Maricopa and Pima counties, Sinema led McSally by 103,000 votes. Elsewhere, McSally led by 64,000 votes.

The Pima County numbers may be especially painful for McSally because most of the county is in her congressional district.

Even so, her deficit in Pima County, 54,000 votes, was larger than it was in Maricopa County, which has three times more voters.

Yavapai and Pinal counties are the most populous GOP-leaning areas of the state. Together, they supported McSally by a net 28,000 votes. Mohave County, where McSally collected her biggest share of votes, about 70 percent, gave her another 31,000 net votes.

The state’s 10 remaining counties narrowly voted for Sinema.

McSally’s biography as the first woman combat pilot and alignment with Trump played well with rural Arizona voters on the outskirts of the suburbs.

But it almost certainly contributed to her cratering in Maricopa and Pima counties, particularly among moderate women and independent voters.

Like the rest of the country, rural areas remain crimson while densely populated urban centers are blued.

The big question is why McSally underperformed other statewide Republican nominees, particularly Republican Governor Doug Ducey?


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” How did a strong, staunchly Republican candidate lose?”
Seriously? Staunchly Republican? Hardy.

buckeyeminuteman | November 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm

You ask why she underperformed. I ask how many doctored ballots did the Democrat election officials create these past 6 days…

The establishment picked her and she was a go along to get along Republican. She appealed to moderates and turned off conservative voters.

    Even so. She lost to a certified communist nut job. This is almost like Ted Cruz nearly losing in TX. How can that be? At least with Cruz, he hurt himself by being a NeverTrumper for a while and has the personality of a prune. McSally had all of the qualities Republicans love. Sure she is probably a RINO but losing to a communist? WTF!!! Her MAGA promises probably annoyed the McCain machine.

      Jon Gabriel lays out why: McSally played too safe, had to sell her self to the rest of the state (and failed to do it enough), and even alienated her own county.

        EBL for the win! Jon Gabriel has a modest size piece that gets directly to the heart of why McSally got the vote she did.

        Aarradin in reply to EBL. | November 13, 2018 at 3:39 am

        Thanks for the link, EBL – at least I managed to get something out of clinking on this article, if only from a link to an actual analysis on another site. LOL.

        This Kemberlee airhead is clueless. What a waste.

        “How did a strong, staunchly Republican…” – LOL!!!

        That article doesn’t spell it out but it sounds like the AZ GOP is disorganized, no unified message. Just like CA. Would it have been to her advantage to ride Ducey’s coattails AND embrace MAGA?

        BTW, to those who keep blaming CA for everything, it’s time to wake up. Most of the people who are leaving CA are middle class moderates/conservatives. Like me. I’ve been planning to move to AZ but it looks like this state is as much in denial as TX about its home-grown problems. (Clue: It’s about the cities! No Republican mayors or city councils. Everywhere in the country it’s like that. Wake up everybody!)

        While McSally’s campaign style was probably a critical factor, I am skeptical of the “McCain” hangover mostly because McCain outperformed Trump, who had a relatively narrow win when he was running against the worst possible choice for Presidents the Democrats could have made (i.e. Hillary Clinton).

        Jon Gabriel seems to ready to dismiss the suburban factor. This is probably going to be the key swing demographic that will effect the 2020 elections, and the GOP isn’t doing well at all with them. This isn’t just limited to Arizona, but rather it is a nationwide effect, where even very pro-Trump candidates got their butts handed to them in suburban districts.

          People forget McCain’s machine in Arizona was ruthless. McSally had a more Flake style disposition. She survived Ward and Arpaio for not going “full Trump” but then ran a milquetoast campaign.

      Beto doing well in Texas happened for the same reason that Sinema won in Arizona: The suburbs.

      Democrats picked up suburban seats and Cruz’s support cratered in those same suburban districts.

      I don’t give the idea that Cruz did poorly and McSally lost because they weren’t “MAGA” enough because the areas that shifted to Democrats were not the areas where Trump and MAGA are strong, but in areas where Trump and MAGA do not play well.

    There is no communist nut remaining in Kyrsten Sinema. She is a certified establishment Democrat and triangulist of the first order.

McSally ran a terrible campaign. He ads were practically promoting Kyrsten Sinema. She was trying to attack Sinema for getting donations from and then returning the donations after they were busted fro wrong doing (what Kyrsten Sinema should have done). She showed ads of Sinema standing up against people blindly dogpile charges onto male sex offenders…frankly something that a representative should do on behalf of people.

McSally’s ads made me want to vote for Sinema.

McSally only won the primary because Joe Arpaio and Kelli Ward split the more rabid base.

That’s my 2 cents.

    I tend to agree with your assessment (I live in Maricopa County). And somehow it didn’t bother many people that Sinema openly despises them and the state they live in.

    McSally had a tough time getting elected to the House back in the day and did not run a good campaign for Senate. That nearly 180,000 voters chose a combination of Ducey and Sinema is a bit mind-boggling, nonetheless. That’s some serious ballot-splitting, indicating McSally turned a lot of Republicans & Indies off somehow. It’s a head-scratcher that anything she did even compares, let alone outdoes, Sinema’s public comments insulting her state and constituents, but something had to repel them.

    I’ve heard a lot of scuttlebutt that Ducey will name McSally to McCain’s seat (Jon Kyl only agreed to serve until January). Given the absence of any other semi-sane alternatives, I’m guessing that’s likely to happen.

    Should make things interesting.

      Dejectedhead in reply to Daiwa. | November 12, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      The bad mouthing of the state wasn’t even park of McSally’s campaign. That was all 3rd party digging and would have been at least somewhat effective if McSally used it. The vote split does seem a little odd, but considering Sinema at least focused on a campaign issue of healthcare makes it make a little more sense. I couldn’t even tell you what McSally was running for.

      I hope Ducey appoints someone else. Joe Arpaio would be better than McSally.

    It is not like 200,000 Republicans went and voted for Sinema, they just didn’t vote for McSally. They did vote for Ducey.

    Read the Jon Gabriel analysis. I think he nails it.

      Bucky Barkingham in reply to EBL. | November 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

      Looking at the vote totals shown above for Gov and Sen the totals are the same therefore people who voted for Ducey also voted for Sinema.

        Ace of Spades reported early in the process that GOP voters who approved of Flake voted 2-to-1 for Sinema. So we have two sources of crossover voting: disgruntled Flake RINOs and the 45% of the base who preferred anyone but McSally. It would only take a tiny minority of the base to account for the margin of victory.

        Also don’t forget that we just got rid of Flake and McCain. Even moderates may not have been excited to replace one RINO sellout for another (every indication of McSally’s voting record shows she’s a squish).

        None of these issues should be in play two years from now when the other Senate seat comes up for a special election, so that would be a better time to determine if AZ is really as purple as Democrats seem to imply.

          regulus arcturus in reply to Matt_SE. | November 13, 2018 at 8:45 pm

          Flake aided & abetted this mistake.

          I have very serious concerns for the future of this state.

          Yes, it is only 1 senator. For now.

          This is the same state which brought you Janet Napolitano.

    I found much of her campaign ads very unappealing, so much so that I blacklisted them go directly to my spam folder.

    Not sure why I got them anyway, since I live in Florida.

    The same thing happened in my congressional district (MI-8) when RINO Congressman Mike Bishop lost his bid for re-election. Issues on his website included: protecting the Great Lakes, safe pipelines, protecting kids, improved education, jobs and the economy. Talk about taking a stand.

DouglasJBender | November 12, 2018 at 8:48 pm

You know, I find it hard to trust election results any more.

    Rush has talked about this… how the Dems are fashioning the position that elections are bogus… only selected Dems in a one party rule can be fair and accurate.

No vote in a democrat controlled area is honest anymore unless they would win outright.

She lost because the Democrats cheated.

What are you going to do about it ?

RINO squish can’t get the base excited. I mean, what’s the point?

I’d go with she ran away from Trump. Six years from now just about any Republican, even her, will win in AZ. Sinema’s a nutcase. Nutcases apparently play well in certain congressional districts (ex: Maxine Waters), and possibly in CA or NY, but not most other states as a whole.

Because too many illegals and Californians are voting here. A squish like McSally should never have gotten nominated. Sadly, we didn’t really have any choice

    If by “Sadly, we didn’t really have any choice” you mean that Arizona Republicans had THREE choices then I agree with you 100%

    Joe Arpaio
    Kelli Ward
    Martha McSally,_2018#On_the_ballot

      Joe Arpaio – Unelectable. Too many reasons to list
      Kelli Ward – Almost as nutty as Sinema (chemtrails)
      Martha McSally – Squish.

      We needed a conservative to run. We got Unelectable Joe. That may technically be a choice but that is really no choice at all.

        You didn’t like the choices. OK. That is the way elections work. You choose from the candidates that have the initiative to run. Each quitter is permitted to do an Eric Cartman if they so choose.

          No, I didn’t like the choices. ‘Would you like Tabasco, Cholula, or Texas Pete’s hot sauce on your ration of horse dung? Excellent choice, sir. Now open wide, there’s tons of both…’

          I accepted my spoonful and voted, didn’t run away. I paid the admission price and I am allowed to complain about the movie.

          We needed another in the mold of Jon Kyl at the very least. Instead we got squish after the mold of Flake/McCain that lost to a leftist who hates the people of her state, sort of a Hillary attitude in an Ocasio-Cortez brain.

          At least we won’t have another “Maverick” who crosses party lines only so she can screw the country.

I understand that there are those who could not be convinced to vote for the (R) candidate here.

What I do not understand is how anyone could be convinced to vote for a certified goofball.

Utter moron or wishy-wash? Gee, I’ll go with utter moron, please. Can’t have enough aggressive stupidity in charge of our lives.

    The over-under will tell us. But I suspect the true conservatives went Romney on her. Simply refused to vote for another Chamber Republican.
    The problem is a million socialist Hispanics and a million Californians have moved in after ruining their own homes.

      Colonel Travis in reply to puhiawa. | November 13, 2018 at 2:17 am

      Leftist transplants move out of an area choked on tyranny – then in their new state, which was just sitting there doing fine and minding its business, vote for the same crap they just fled.

      These people claim to be the smart ones. It’s hard to come up with something more dumb than what they do.

“Even so, her deficit in Pima County, 54,000 votes, was larger than it was in Maricopa County, which has three times more voters”

This, I think, says it all, especially since a lot of the “missing” ballots came from Pima. I think Pima is where the vote manufacturing was done.

Bucky Barkingham | November 13, 2018 at 7:27 am

Posters here who say Sinema won with manufactured votes need to look at the facts. Vote totals for the Governor’s race and the Senate race are the same. This tells us that some people who voted Rep for Gov crossed over and voted Dem for Sen. Saying the Senate race was stolen is just sour grapes.

    regulus arcturus in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | November 13, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Most likely yes, at least not “stolen” in any meaningful sense, unless enough manufactured ballots were crossover ballots, giving Ducey a few more votes since he was already so far ahead (is that why his margin of victory was so large compared to Senator?).

    It signals that there are now large numbers of stupid people in AZ

      That makes no sense. Why would anyone manufacture crossover ballots? If you’re going to the trouble and risk of manufacturing a ballot you make it a straight party ticket for your own side.

        regulus arcturus in reply to Milhouse. | November 13, 2018 at 7:31 pm

        It makes perfect sense dimwit.

        Most criminals attempt to avoid detection, and what better way to add to fraud vote totals than to stuff some for the R in the lead (making it wider), and piggybacking the commie to victory?

        But perhaps I am giving modern leftists too much credit.

” How did a strong, staunchly Republican candidate lose?”, In a word RINO.

Robert Arvanitis | November 13, 2018 at 8:25 am

For those who diss McSally, just remember – ANY Republican beats EVERY democrat. The democrats have tighter party discipline that the Soviet politburo.
Remember that the democrats primaried Joe Lieberman because he was not mad-dog left enought (!)
Remember that even after that, Joe won as “independent:” and STILL voted lockstep for obamabare.
Remember Sinema WILL vote for every lunatic left initiative. McSally would vote against impeachment and similar idiocies.

regulus arcturus | November 13, 2018 at 8:29 am

Disgusting, and huge red flag: CA effect on the move

    Same thing happened in Nevada. Californians fled due to outrageous taxes and incompetence and turned Nevada blue.

      PersonofInterests in reply to Yippy. | November 13, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      That’s the problem when Demtards turn their surroundings into an open sewer like San Franciso and migrate; they fail to get a clue who made it all possible and then, take their stupid ideologies and voting habits with them. Demtards are like a cancer that metastsizes.

More like the illegals in Pima County over performed. That said, Maricopa and Pima Counties have a peculiar demographic and my guess is that a lot of the type of women, View watchers in the retirement gulags, went big for Sinema and dragged their senile husbands along to do the same. Just great having a lesbian senator, a terrific example for out young girls.

Then there’s this.

Pro-Bernie Sanders Arizona Vote Recorder Was Attorney for Fast and Furious Gun Buyer

More like the illegals in Pima County over performed. That said, Maricopa and Pima Counties have a peculiar demographic and my guess is that a lot of the type of women, View watchers in the retirement gulags, went big for Sinema and dragged their senile husbands along to do the same. Just great having a lesbian senator, a terrific example for out young girls.

Then there’s this.

Pro-Bernie Sanders Arizona Vote Recorder Was Attorney for Fast and Furious Gun Buyer

This election was simply the culmination of warning signs we’d all seen over the past two years. It was already clear from 206 that Trump and #MAGA didn’t play well in the Southwest. From the plethora of special elections, primaries, and off-year general elections, it was clear that the Democrats were surging, particularly in the suburbs.

Indeed, the Democrats wins were all due to the suburbs turning away from the Republicans, which at this point is synonymous with Trump.

Why? Because Trump and #MAGA doesn’t play as well in the suburbs as it does in the rural and exurb areas. The Democrats hemorrhaged White “blue collar” workers in 2016 because the Democrats insulted them while assuming that those voters would stay true to the Democratic line. In 2018, perhaps the same thing happened in reverse with White “white collar” types, including upper-middle class professionals. And is it any wonder? These people have to work with and interface with people who aren’t hard-core right wingers and depend on the very politeness and decorum that Trump attacks. Of course, there are also the more direct attacks, such as constant insults by many of the talking heads on the right who go so far as to call them “cucks” for not “fighting” a sad pathetic silly-slap fight that is more akin to cathartic emoting than it is to waging actual political battles.

To wit: The GOP needs to figure out how to appeal to non-MAGA types, including the White suburbanites, in order to avoid future defeats; I’m not optimistic that they will figure out how to do so before November 2020.

    With all the illegals and Californians voting for more “free stuff” the MAGA message has an uphill battle.

    turning away from the Republicans, which at this point is synonymous with Trump

    Hardly. It’s synonymous with RINO. Actually, the Rs are a useless, moribund, and generally unattractive party, with one bright spot—Camp Trump—showing any significant signs of life. The only consistently good thing about the great mass of the Party is that it’s not quite synonymous with the disgusting D’rats.

    If voters are unenthusiastic about the Republican brand, is that a rejection of MAGA, or of RINOitis?

I live in AZ. The Republican primary was in August and brutal. The victor came out cash poor and tarnished. The D primary was a relative cake walk. So Sinema came out with attack ads immediately and all the way until election. It did not help that ads featuring a retired R former AG played non-stop praising Sinema and bashing McSally. We did not see pro-McSally ads until a couple of weeks before the election.

Republicans can still win elections, but they can’t win the count.

Bad candidates lose all the time. What’s so mystifying about McSally’s loss other than her losing to a commie, who at least had a message.

McSally was a lousy candidate and an establishment Republican that would vote as directed by the leadership, not at all what is needed in government. Still, I doubt that she lost to this socialist lunatic without a good deal of help from local election officials manufacturing and destroying votes, counting illegal and disqualified votes, etc.

Karl Rove and other RINOs can’t blame it on the candidate being too conservative as McSally is one of the more liberal house Republicans.

I have a feeling the Democrats are trying to see how far they can “push the envelope” in terms of voter fraud in preparation for the 2020 election. They know the media has their back. We all know that if CNN discovered voter fraud by Democrats, it would do its best to censor it.

PersonofInterests | November 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Easy answer: First, you nominate a RINO instead of a real conservative like Dr. Kelli Ward and then you have the same kind of crap going on in Arizona that we’re seeing in FL.

Every measure should have been taken in advance to make illegal voting, Election Board activities made public; and those involved with histories of supporting voter fraud, e.g., Broward and Palm Beach Counties, absolutely ineligible to be elected and if they were, to void all votes of that county until another is elected. Maybe then, the citizens of those Counties would think better to elect another.

I normally would say “no offense”, but please take offense. Whether you live in Arizona or not, you elected Kirsten Sinema by declaring Martha McSally to be a RINO. The Republican Party is and should be a big tent. That means that you and I do not necessarily agree on everything, but we will continue to elect conservative officials. Did I agree with everything John McCain stood for? NO! But he was infinitely better than the socialist Arizona elected to replace him. Every one of you who wants their own purist, idealogical dogma in everyone in the Republican Party should be ashamed. You just elected a socialist in what should be a reliable red state. And she will be the first of many if you don’t get your heads out of your asses and start opposing the fascism the Democrat Party represents.

She did not win because she the GOP base had already seen her as Flake-lite.
Kelli Ward would have had that 200,000 votes that Ducey had and would have won.