GOP Sen. Martha McSally and Democrat Mark Kelly face off in the special election for US Senate in Arizona

Mark Kelly Gabby Giffords .JPG

Summary List Placement

Sen. Martha McSally is running in a special election against Democrat Mark Kelly for US Senate in Arizona.

The candidates

McSally, a former US House Representative, ran for an open US Senate seat to replace Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018 but lost to Sen. Krysten Sinema. 

Gov. Doug Ducey then appointed McSally to serve in the US Senate seat held by the legendary former Sen. John McCain, who died in office in 2018. Now, McSally is running to serve out the rest of McCain’s term, slated to end in 2022. 

Shortly after McSally took office in January 2019, former Navy captain, astronaut, and gun violence prevention advocate Mark Kelly announced he would challenge her in 2020 as a Democrat. 

Kelly co-founded the organization now known as the Giffords Foundation with his wife, the former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and seriously injured while meeting with constituents in Tucson in January 2011. 

His campaign platform emphasizes expanding access to affordable healthcare, building up Arizona’s economy, immigration reform, and protecting seniors’ Social Security benefits. 

McSally is among the most talented fundraisers among the Republicans running for re-election this year, but she faces a tough match-up to catch up to Kelly. 

Kelly proved himself to be a formidable fundraiser right out of the gate, bringing in several million dollars per quarter. He raised an eye-popping $12.8 million in 2020’s second quarter compared to $9.2 million for McSally.

The stakes

In addition to winning back the White House, regaining control of the US Senate for the first time since 2015 is a top priority for Democrats, and would be a major accomplishment towards either delivering on a future president Joe Biden’s policy goals or thwarting President Donald Trump’s second-term agenda.

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Currently, the US Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents that caucus with Democrats, winning that Democrats need to win back a net total of four seats to have a 51-seat majority (if Biden wins, his vice president would also serve as president of the Senate and would be a tie-breaker vote). 

In her short time in the US Senate, McSally has aligned herself closely with Trump, taking conservative, pro-Trump stances, and has voted with Trump 95% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight. 

And after previously being rejected by the voters in 2018, McSally now in an increasingly precarious position vying for a full term in a year where the electorate is poised to be far friendlier to Democrats. 

Thanks to Biden’s strong performance among white, suburban, and senior voters, Arizona — once considered a Republican bastion — is now a tossup state in the electoral college. Biden leads Trump by nearly four percentage points on average in Arizona, according to FiveThirtyEight’s tracker of general election polls. 

The most recent poll of the race conducted by The New York Times and Siena College in early October found Kelly leading McSally among voters over 65 by four points and leading among men, women, Latino voters, and white voters with a college degree, three more key …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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