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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