First, it was Martha McSally. Then Kyrsten Sinema.
The lead in Arizona’s razor-thin U.S. Senate race continues to bounce around as an estimated 460,000 ballots remain to be counted.
Eventually, one candidate will prevail. But because this is a high-stakes race at the top of the ballot, many others will be caught in the thrill of victory and sting of defeat. azcentral columnists unpack who else might win or lose in this race, depending on the outcome.
A banner year for Democrats? Maybe
If late returns carry Kyrsten Sinema and some of the down-ballot Democrats to victory in the secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction races, we’ll need to reassess the 2018 election.
Sinema will have become the first Democrat in 30 years to win a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, and the first woman in history to do that in this state.
If Katie Hobbs (secretary of state race) and Kathy Hoffman (superintendent race) win, and if Democrat Sandra Kennedy is able to pick off Republican Rodney Glassman for a seat on the Corporation Commission, we’re looking at a strong year for D’s.
Add to that their pick-ups in the House of Representatives, and I think you can say it was even a banner year.
A pattern will have emerged that voter turnout north of 60 percent is good for Democrats. The last time an Arizona midterm went that high was 2006 when Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano won re-election by 27 points, Harry Mitchell upset Republican J.D. Hayworth for Congress by 4 points, and Terry Goddard beat Republican Bill Montgomery by 20 points for attorney general.
If these late returns from last Tuesday’s election continue to veer left, it was a good night for Democrats. And not too shabby for women, either.
– Phil Boas
No matter what, voters win in this race
Regardless who wins, the race represents a victory for moderates and centrist-leaning independents.
The bombardment of attack ads by both McSally and Sinema and their supporters didn’t materially sway anyone — save maybe hardcore partisans whose minds were already made up.
I suspect voters understood and appreciated, for the most part, the two candidates’ record of working to advance legislation rather than fight from the trenches against the other side.
The exceptionally close results suggest that voters generally find neither McSally nor Sinema too radical or extreme. That one of them has to lose is the most lamentable part of the Senate race; I suspect, however, it would not be the last we see of the person who comes up short.
Regardless, voters were the victors in this race.
– Abe Kwok
If results hold, Garcia is the anomaly
Agreed. McSally and Sinema are two stellar candidates, so I’m not worried about the outcome either way. Whoever wins goes to Washington, and whoever loses will be a strong contender for anything else she wants to do.
What the close results in other races show me is the monumentally bad campaign David Garcia ran for governor. He shouldn’t have lost by nearly 20 points when three other statewide races are still too close to call.
Why he didn’t play up the centrist credentials he built in the 2014 education superintendent race – a race he narrowly lost, when every other Democrat for state races got trounced – is beyond me.
– Joanna Allhands
What? Democrats left Garcia out to dry
David Garcia indisputably made some mistakes, like his reference to no border wall with Mexico. But comparing his campaign to any other is disingenuous at best.
He was left out to dry by everyone, most significantly by the Democratic Party. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey raked in more than $5.62 million, plus the Republican Governors Association spent nearly $9 million attacking Garcia.
What does that tell you? Money talked – as it always does. The question isn’t why Garcia lost by 20 points. We should be asking why the Democratic Party wrote him off from the get-go.
– Elvia Díaz
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor to weigh in.