After her lead more than doubled, as the Inquisitr reported on Friday, Arizona Democratic United States Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema continued to see her lead widen on Saturday as election officials recorded results from approximately 100,000 uncounted ballots.
According to results posted by the Arizona Secretary of State, as of 7 p.m. local time on Saturday, Sinema led McSally by 1.41 percentage points and 29,832 votes — up from a lead of about 20,000 votes 24 hours earlier.
With just 260,000 ballots remaining to be tabulated, according to an Arizona Republic report, McSally would need to dominate the vote on those remaining ballots, winning them by about 11 percentage points in order to close the gap and edge slightly past Sinema.
As the vote-count continued to unfold in her favor, Sinema’s campaign issued a statement that seemed to rub in the reality of McSally’s increasingly likely defeat, as quoted by KTAR News in Glendale, Arizona.
“Make no mistake: this was an incredibly disappointing day for Martha McSally. Her meager gains in the rural counties were totally wiped out by Kyrsten’s continued strong performance in Maricopa County and across the state,” a Sinema spokesperson said in the statement.
“McSally can hope for a miracle tomorrow night but the data show it won’t happen.”
Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, had 199,000 ballots still to be counted, according to KPNX TV political reporter Brahm Resnik. So far in the county, Sinema was leading McSally, 51 percent to 47 percent meaning that the remaining ballots would need to break the opposite way to give McSally a chance.
Of all Democrats running in statewide elections in the 2018 midterms, Sinema leads the field in exceeding the vote total accumulated by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, in the same region. Sinema has tallied 106 percent of Clinton’s Arizona vote, Amy Walter of Cook Political Report notes. Next up is losing Texas senate candidate Beto O’Rourke who compiled 104 percent of Clinton’s total, as did Georgia gubernatorial Democratic hopeful Stacy Abrams.
While many Republicans claimed that the prolonged period of vote counting pointed to, in Donald Trump’s words, “corruption” in the state, with Trump on his Twitter account even calling for a new election to be held, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Regan, who is also a Republican, issued a statement explaining why the vote-counting in her state takes several days.
“One of the major reasons it takes time to count ballots is that there are hundreds of thousands of early ballots dropped off at the polls on election day — approximately 320,000 statewide this time,” Regan wrote.
“Once the county election officials verify the signature on each of those ballots (which is no small task!), they then make sure that a voter didn’t cast an early ballot AND vote in person at a polling location. All of these processes take a little bit of time and is done to ensure that voters can trust the outcome of their elections.”