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.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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Thursday will start off once again in the unseasonably cool 60s. We will top off just a few degrees warmer on out Thursday, in comparison to our Wednesday. Most of the high temperatures will be in the lower 90s.
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