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: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17436187
Hinds16524328
Harrison13876199
Rankin11000217
Jackson10652187
Lee8981141
Madison8413168
Jones6552112
Forrest6101121
Lauderdale6034189
Lowndes5463119
Lafayette507393
Lamar496465
Washington4877124
Bolivar4068109
Oktibbeha401681
Panola378380
Pontotoc372155
Monroe3628105
Warren3619101
Union350563
Marshall349569
Neshoba3433152
Pearl River3380104
Leflore3079108
Lincoln300687
Sunflower289272
Hancock285360
Tate276762
Alcorn268854
Pike266580
Itawamba266261
Scott253448
Yazoo250156
Prentiss249552
Tippah245850
Copiah244549
Coahoma243654
Simpson240069
Leake234367
Grenada221171
Marion218473
Covington216972
Adams210170
Wayne206432
Winston205267
George202739
Attala195761
Newton195745
Tishomingo192461
Chickasaw186144
Jasper176038
Holmes169868
Clay162735
Tallahatchie154935
Stone148424
Clarke143562
Calhoun138021
Smith125825
Yalobusha120234
Walthall113437
Greene112129
Noxubee111425
Montgomery110936
Carroll105922
Lawrence104317
Perry103231
Amite99926
Webster94324
Tunica87621
Jefferson Davis87327
Claiborne86825
Benton84023
Humphreys83624
Kemper79120
Quitman7029
Franklin68716
Choctaw62313
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55920
Sharkey44217
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 432536

Reported Deaths: 6379
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63523957
Mobile30967562
Madison27627201
Tuscaloosa21122268
Montgomery19495326
Shelby18941126
Baldwin16798188
Lee12901102
Morgan12447129
Etowah11911178
Calhoun11365205
Marshall10322119
Houston8813156
Limestone823176
Cullman8159106
Elmore8056104
DeKalb7796102
Lauderdale773399
St. Clair7705122
Talladega6347109
Walker5993174
Jackson590341
Colbert543274
Blount541186
Autauga527061
Coffee454160
Dale405482
Franklin371948
Russell345712
Chilton340972
Covington334168
Escambia328344
Dallas310196
Chambers297370
Clarke290536
Tallapoosa2665107
Pike258830
Marion250155
Lawrence249150
Winston231442
Bibb219848
Geneva206946
Marengo205229
Pickens198631
Hale180842
Barbour177836
Fayette174528
Butler171358
Cherokee162530
Henry157523
Monroe150718
Randolph143236
Washington139527
Clay128546
Crenshaw121644
Cleburne119724
Lamar119621
Macon119637
Lowndes112536
Wilcox105822
Bullock101428
Perry99118
Conecuh96320
Sumter89726
Greene76723
Coosa62215
Choctaw51624
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