Democrats flip Arizona US Senate seat with Sinema victory

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema will win ...

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 11:46 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 11:46 AM

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema will win Arizona's US Senate race, defeating Republican Rep. Martha McSally and flipping a seat that had been in GOP hands for 24 years.

McSally conceded the hard-fought race on Monday night -- six days after the election -- as county-by-county tallies of mailed-in ballots continued to increase Sinema's lead.

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"I just called Kyrsten Sinema and congratulated her on becoming Arizona's first female senator after a hard-fought battle. I wish her all success as she represents Arizona in the Senate," McSally said in a video posted on Twitter Monday night.

The concession by McSally means the Senate will have 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats in the upcoming Congress. The Senate race in Florida remains undecided and the Mississippi Senate race is going to a runoff later this month.

The win comes despite President Donald Trump and Republicans pushing false conspiracy theories about why ballots in Arizona were taking so long to count.

Trump tweeted Friday that "electoral corruption" was taking place and suggested Arizona should have a new election. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, in an email to reporters, accused the Maricopa County recorder of trying to "cook the books" for Sinema.

The reality is about three-fourths of Arizona's ballots are cast by mail. Because of a state law requiring ballots to be sealed and signed, and signatures to match those on voter registration forms, it routinely takes the state longer than most to tally its results.

McSally's campaign and state-level GOP officials ignored national Republicans' tactics of casting doubt on the election's results.

A shifting Sun Belt

Sinema's victory showed that Democrats are continuing to gain momentum in the rapidly diversifying Sun Belt and firmly places Arizona among the most important presidential and Senate battlegrounds.

The race was certain to deliver Arizona its first female senator. And it came at a time of major change in the state's delegation.

Trump long sought to recruit a Republican to run in the primary against Sen. Jeff Flake, a critic of the President's incendiary rhetoric. At a 2017 rally in Phoenix, Trump huddled backstage with then-state Treasurer Jeff DeWit, former state GOP Chairman Robert Graham and then-Rep. Trent Franks to discuss a potential primary.

Rather than face an all-but-certain loss to a Trump-aligned candidate in a primary, Flake retired, opening up the seat on this year's ballot.

Then, in August, longtime GOP Sen. John McCain died. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Republican former Sen. Jon Kyl to the seat, but Kyl has committed to filling it only through this year -- leaving the possibility that Ducey could have to select another new senator in the coming weeks or months. Either way, McCain's seat is on the ballot in 2020 and is sure to be a top Democratic target.

The upheaval comes as Arizona, long a Republican bastion, emerges as a swing state in presidential elections. Hillary Clinton lost to Trump by just 4 percentage points there. The result, and the state's growing Latino population, solidified Arizona as a battleground moving forward.

The fight between McSally and Sinema was bitter, with both drastically shifting their previous positions.

Attempting to prove her conservative bona fides during a primary fight with former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, McSally abandoned her previous support for moderate immigration bills.

Sinema's House record ranks her among the most centrist Democrats -- but McSally seized on her rival's past as an anti-war activist, airing a television advertisement featuring Sinema protesting in a pink tutu. McSally told The Arizona Republic that Sinema "has a lot of explaining to do if you look at her Green Party-pink tutu, proud Prada socialist past and her extreme makeover."

Latino Democratic strategists, meanwhile, groused that Sinema had moved too far right on immigration to appeal to a crucial, growing portion of the Democratic electorate.

The focal point of the contest, though, was health care -- particularly pre-existing conditions. Sinema and Democratic groups lambasted McSally's vote for a House GOP bill to repeal Obamacare, which nonpartisan experts said would weaken the Affordable Care Act's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

McSally responded with advertisements claiming to be "leading the fight" to ensure those people are protected -- even though, under Obamacare, they already are, and the fight in Congress was over Republicans' efforts to change those protections.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118587

Reported Deaths: 3310
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8050179
DeSoto728580
Harrison549185
Jackson480088
Rankin404686
Madison386194
Lee366582
Forrest311878
Jones296684
Washington2627100
Lafayette255043
Lauderdale2546135
Lamar231940
Oktibbeha204855
Bolivar203979
Neshoba1868111
Lowndes181962
Panola172040
Leflore170688
Sunflower164349
Warren156156
Monroe153873
Pontotoc150620
Marshall148430
Lincoln143359
Pike140656
Copiah139336
Scott127029
Coahoma125837
Union125825
Yazoo123434
Simpson123149
Grenada122939
Tate121039
Itawamba117226
Leake116342
Pearl River116360
Holmes115060
Adams109445
Prentiss109220
Alcorn104512
Wayne102722
George101719
Covington98829
Marion95943
Tippah94924
Newton87227
Hancock86828
Chickasaw86727
Tallahatchie85526
Winston85221
Tishomingo82741
Attala80527
Clarke77053
Clay71022
Jasper69617
Walthall64427
Calhoun63313
Noxubee60217
Smith60216
Yalobusha56416
Montgomery55823
Lawrence54414
Claiborne53916
Tunica53717
Perry52423
Carroll50312
Stone49114
Greene48118
Humphreys45117
Amite42813
Quitman4236
Jefferson Davis42112
Webster37813
Benton36710
Wilkinson34221
Kemper33315
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27910
Franklin2513
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 161537

Reported Deaths: 2718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23769383
Mobile17039318
Tuscaloosa10539141
Montgomery10435199
Madison946798
Shelby756365
Baldwin674369
Lee662465
Calhoun468962
Marshall445251
Etowah436552
Morgan426335
Houston421234
DeKalb351229
Elmore326558
St. Clair307042
Limestone295131
Walker285593
Talladega273937
Cullman260025
Lauderdale237143
Jackson221917
Autauga210331
Colbert208232
Franklin207732
Blount198825
Russell19763
Chilton190932
Dallas188127
Coffee182611
Dale180852
Covington176729
Escambia175331
Clarke138017
Chambers137047
Pike135514
Tallapoosa135387
Marion110331
Barbour10459
Marengo103522
Butler101541
Winston94313
Geneva9357
Lawrence87733
Pickens87418
Bibb85615
Randolph84316
Hale78030
Cherokee76114
Clay75812
Washington75412
Henry7286
Lowndes71728
Monroe66010
Bullock65017
Crenshaw61130
Perry5966
Fayette59413
Cleburne5779
Wilcox57112
Conecuh56513
Macon54120
Lamar5165
Sumter47721
Choctaw39412
Greene34616
Coosa2143
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