Energised Democrats in Arizona eye an upset in November mid-term elections

Ben Davidson
August 29, 2018

In Arizona, candidates are vying for Sen.

Primary elections in Arizona that set the stage for the crucial Nov 6 mid-term elections went as expected on Tuesday (Aug 28), with Ms Martha McSally beating two Republican rivals to set up a November showdown with Democrat Kirstyn Sinema, who beat her party rival Deedra Abboud.

Flake's retirement after just one term gives Democrats one of their best shots at picking up a Senate seat.

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The victor of the GOP primary is likely to face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who faces only token primary opposition.

Sinema was long favored to win the primary and is seen as a competitive Democratic candidate in a general election that could hinge on how voters feel about Trump and his policies.

But the race to embrace the polarizing Trump could make it harder in November for the Republican victor.

A Trump ally there is looking for a boost from an endorsement by the president in his race for governor against the more establishment choice. Ward ran as if she was the female version of Trump, attacking the media, blasting Sen.

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But, adds Arpaio, Trump is a hero for sure. That means McSally could come out on top even if a majority of Republicans split their vote between the more right-leaning Ward and Arpaio. Trump has not endorsed in the race, but he has had praise for McSally. Former state Sen. Kelli Ward walked back comments late Monday about the timing of the McCain family announcing he was stopping medical treatment and a tweet saying political correctness is a cancer. John McCain and selected a far-right conspiracy theorist as one of her surrogates.

McCain's death narrowed the number of Republican-held seats in the 100-member US Senate to 50, with Democrats controlling 49.

Polls have shown a close race. Trump appears to have tilted the Republican race toward Rep. Ron DeSantis, whom he endorsed late a year ago.

DeSantis, who aired a campaign ad showing him urging his toddler daughter to "build that wall" with toy blocks, now leads in polls. But Mr Trump won Arizona by less than five points in 2016, and the demographics of the state - which borders Mexico - are trending in favour of Democrats as more Latinos come of voting age.

Democrats, though, are hopeful of capturing one of Arizona's Senate seats for the first time in almost a quarter century, saying the GOP is wounded after a divisive primary that saw the party's conservatives split between Mr. Arpaio and Ms. Ward.

Graham's top challengers include former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a progressive favorite endorsed by US Senator Bernie Sanders.

As detailed below, Arizona's secretary of state called for some polling stations to stay open past 7 p.m. because widespread technical problems hit dozens of locations in the early morning. "We encourage any voter who wants to cast their ballot to be in line at any of your designated polling places by 7 p.m. and their vote will be counted". While the 2018 midterms are favoring Democrats, the Arizona race will be a tough climb.

Democrats see several Republican-held districts in South Florida as prime opportunities to pick up seats.

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