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

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Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
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Jones120349
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Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
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Lee61222
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Grenada5949
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Holmes58641
Wayne56218
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Lamar5347
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Lincoln52935
Pike49920
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Simpson3933
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Newton37510
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Adams35120
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Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
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Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
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Dallas9969
Etowah95114
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Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
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Jackson4182
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Barbour3942
Dale3911
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Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
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Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
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