Kyrsten Sinema has defeated Republican Martha McSally to become Arizona’s next Senator, the nonpartisan group Cook Political Report projects.
As election night came to a close last week, it looked as if Republicans would hold on to the Senate seat in Arizona, with McSally holding a lead of more than 15,000 votes. But Sinema continued to gain ground as more votes were counted, as votes were slow from the state’s largest — and most Democratic — county. Now, with her lead growing to more than 30,000 votes, the Cook Political Report is ready to call the race.
As the Washington Examiner noted, Sinema had 49.57 percent of the vote while McSally had fallen to 48.08 percent, a margin of more than 30,000 and what Sinema’s camp referred to as an insurmountable lead.
“McSally’s campaign said today’s results would be her ‘firewall’ but as we expected, no firewall emerged,” Sinema’s campaign manager Andrew Piatt wrote in a statement. “McSally has lost every batch of votes from Maricopa County and today, Kyrsten won by 6.25 percent — nearly double her overall performance in the county to date.”
As of Sunday, Sinema had 49.57 percent of the vote, or 1,071,280 ballots cast, the Arizona Secretary of State’s office reported. McSally, meanwhile, had 48.08 percent support or 1,038,988 votes
The editor of the Cook Political Report, which compiles polling and projects winners for Congressional races, agreed that the race is now over.
Projection: Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) has defeated Rep. Martha McSally (R) in #AZSEN. This thing has been over for a while.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 12, 2018
Prior to Sunday’s results showing an ever-increasing lead for Krysten Sinema, McSally’s camp had expressed optimism that she could come back in the race. She would now need to win the remaining Maricopa County votes by a 22-point margin in order to win the race, reports noted.
The Arizona Senate race has been contentious for Republicans, with some making unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. President Donald Trump even joined in, claiming that voters may have forged signatures and making the bizarre declaration that the election could be held again.
“Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”
Trump offered no evidence to back up his claim, and even many Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump’s claims, CNN noted.
— azcentral (@azcentral) November 12, 2018
Though Kyrsten Sinema’s lead in the Arizona Senate race continued to grow, McSally had not yet conceded and the votes were still being counted into Monday. The win would be key for Democrats as they look to keep down the advantage the Republicans will have and keep the Senate within striking distance for the 2020 election.