McSally vs. Sinema vs. Election Officials (Updated)

 

Kyrsten Sinema has taken a slim lead over Martha McSally in the razor-thin Arizona vote for a new US Senator.

Arizona, like Florida, is commonly subject to close votes and slow counting. The vast majority of Election Day votes were recorded by the wee hours of Wednesday morning. From 1.1% reporting to 99% reporting, Republican candidate McSally led Democrat Sinema by about one percent. (Much in line with my prediction earlier Tuesday.)

The counters spent Wednesday sorting and classifying the early mail-in votes, of which there were an estimated 650,000, and began counting those ballots on Thursday. At 5 pm local time (7 pm ET), the first chunk of those numbers came in.

On Wednesday morning, McSally led Sinema 49.36% to 48.39% — a 0.97% advantage with 1,740,329 votes counted.

With the early voting returns starting to trickle in Thursday afternoon, Sinema leads McSally 48.91% to 48.80% — a 0.11% advantage with 1,869,265 votes counted. This is approximately 129,000 new votes. In numbers, Sinema now leads by 2,106 votes.

Understandably, partisans on both sides worry about shenanigans from their opponents. The GOP already sued the state’s county recorders for not following a uniform standard for counting mail-in ballots. The judge rejected it, but Democrats claimed this was an attempt at voter suppression. Despite losing the case, it’s good to see that the Republicans are already lawyered up to make sure the vote isn’t stolen.

The vast majority of mail-in ballots come from Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. More than half of Arizona’s residents live in this county, so about 345,000 more votes are expected from there. On Election Day, Sinema led slightly in Maricopa. Arizona’s Secretary of State is in charge of elections and she is a Republican. The Maricopa County Recorder is a Democrat.

With perhaps as many as half a million votes yet to be counted, we’ll need to wait a few days to determine the winner. And then, the recount. And the legal battles. And the court cases.

Update (8 pm ET): About 29,000 more votes have been added in the past hour from the heavily Democratic Pima County and Sinema’s lead has grown. She now leads McSally by 8,859 votes, or 0.47%. Remember that there are still approximately 470,000 votes to be counted.

Update (8:30 pm ET): As more votes roll in, Sinema’s lead has held. She now leads McSally 49.10% to 48.59%. This is a difference of 0.49%, or 9,610 votes. About 435,000 votes to be counted.

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There are 59 comments.

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  1. Member

    Funny how Democrats always gain votes when they are late, recounted or irregular. 

    If nothing else, it may be time to shut down the government at budget time if Democrats refuse to approve voter ID, registration reform and longer prison sentences for cheaters. Trump should make it a priority. 

    Why do Republican candidates always have to win by more than the margin of fraud?

    • #1
    • November 8, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    • 15 likes
  2. Member

    Well this should bring a smile to @garyrobbins face.

    Isn’t just amazing how in close races the Democrats always manage to find just enough votes. Must be magic.

    • #2
    • November 8, 2018 at 4:38 pm
    • 9 likes
  3. Member

    Will members of the SEIU be involved in the recount? It’s such a trustworthy organization, you know.

    • #3
    • November 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm
    • 6 likes
  4. Member

    McSally was as superb a candidate as we could wish for, Sinema as loopy. The governor at the top of the ticket is probably the best in the country, with strong coattails. Welcome to the age of Trump, if we couldn’t win this seat we are going to be crushed outside of the hillbilly states.

    • #4
    • November 8, 2018 at 4:44 pm
    • 3 likes
  5. Member

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    we are going to be crushed outside of the hillbilly states.

    Nice. Trump is the voice we hired in response to this contempt.

    • #5
    • November 8, 2018 at 4:47 pm
    • 12 likes
  6. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    McSally’s problem is that she always campaigns with an NFL-style prevent defense. It’s why her races are always so close.

    She campaigns not to make mistakes instead of going on the offense.

    • #6
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:04 pm
    • 9 likes
  7. Contributor

    Michael Walsh is right. The Democratic Party is a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. They are stone-cold thieves.

    • #7
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm
    • 9 likes
  8. Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    we are going to be crushed outside of the hillbilly states.

    Nice. Trump is the voice we hired in response to this contempt.

    I live in the village of Frog Level, NC 60 miles west of Asheville.

    • #8
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm
    • 1 like
  9. Contributor

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    we are going to be crushed outside of the hillbilly states.

    Nice. Trump is the voice we hired in response to this contempt.

    I live in Frog Level, NC 60 miles west of Asheville.

    Then you should know better.

    • #9
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm
    • 2 likes
  10. Member

    Moderator Note:

    Personalizing. Please stick to the issues.

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Michael Walsh is right. The Democratic Party is a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. They are stone-cold thieves.

    For getting more votes? Republicans are such whining babies. This is why when you guys criticize Dems for being sore losers because they lost the electoral college I know you are just full of it. Race comes close and you lose it’s all farud and cheating… 

    • #10
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm
    • Like
  11. Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    we are going to be crushed outside of the hillbilly states.

    Nice. Trump is the voice we hired in response to this contempt.

    One should remember that Great Plains/Rocky Mountain region states broke for Ted Cruz while the primaries were still competitive. So it was the coasts and the historical hillbilly country, Appalachia/southeast, that granted Trump the nomination—albeit his vote totals were usually pluralities in those states. So being rural doesn’t automatically mean one supports Trump.

    I don’t know if Boozswha meant it pejoratively but the observation that the Republican Party is suffering in the suburbs while Trump is President is accurate. And it is a problem for both preparing and winning elections. Suburbia is a source of not only population but also middle to upper income citizens—who on average vote more and volunteer more money and time on campaigns than lower income citizens—and losing that demographic has multiple negative effects. If one looks at the districts lost in the House a strong majority were suburban.

    If Trump actually intends to get policy enacted, and win re-election, then he needs to change his strategy/tactics and rhetoric to start growing his base. Older white rural voters are a declining demographic, just a fact of life and nothing to my current knowledge could change that, and the GOP cannot rely upon them in the long run—or the short run as the midterms just showed.

    • #11
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:27 pm
    • 2 likes
  12. Member

    I don’t know if Boozswha meant it pejoratively

    See comment 8, more like self-deprecating. And I agree completely with your analysis.

    • #12
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm
    • 1 like
  13. Coolidge

    This race is, to me, a real canary in the coal mine for Rs electoral chances going forward. I respect Mr. Gabriel’s insight on McSally’s weakness campaigning, but how hard should she have had to work showing voters of AZ how off the rails Sinnema is? Coupled with Ellison’s AG victory in Minnesota, and Beto’s near upset of Cruz in Texas, I feel as if Rs are much like Greeks in Constantinople ca. 1451.

    • #13
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:38 pm
    • 6 likes
  14. Contributor

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Michael Walsh is right. The Democratic Party is a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. They are stone-cold thieves.

    For getting more votes? Republicans are such whining babies. This is why when you guys criticize Dems for being sore losers because they lost the electoral college I know you are just full of it. Race comes close and you lose it’s all farud and cheating…

    For cheating.

    • #14
    • November 8, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    • 1 like
  15. Member

    Should I assume that if it ends up being tied that Al Franken gets elected?

    • #15
    • November 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm
    • 9 likes
  16. Thatcher

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Funny how Democrats always gain votes when they are late, recounted or irregular.

    If nothing else, it may be time to shut down the government at budget time if Democrats refuse to approve voter ID, registration reform and longer prison sentences for cheaters. Trump should make it a priority.

    Why do Republican candidates always have to win by more than the margin of fraud?

    Because the various governments are for Democrats, by Democrats and sometimes ran by Democrats. When the Democrats are not in control of the government, the government does what it can to unseat the Republican usurpers and replace them with their true Democrat masters.

    • #16
    • November 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm
    • 4 likes
  17. Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Michael Walsh is right. The Democratic Party is a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. They are stone-cold thieves.

    For getting more votes? Republicans are such whining babies. This is why when you guys criticize Dems for being sore losers because they lost the electoral college I know you are just full of it. Race comes close and you lose it’s all farud and cheating…

    Maybe because every election I have worked was all fraud, cheating and dirty tricks.

    • #17
    • November 8, 2018 at 6:33 pm
    • 2 likes
  18. Coolidge

    I am going to make a superficial comment. McSally would have won, if she spent more time on her looks. People are superficial and a better TV look is probably worth 3%. Forget spending on ads and consultants, spend the money on fashion and makeup and clothes and hair styling. Be beautiful and the votes and money will come to you.

    • #18
    • November 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm
    • 3 likes
  19. Member

    Jon, even if McSally does not win Mr. Kyl does not want to serve out the entire final two years of McCain’s term. Gov. Ducey could appoint her to fill out the rest of the term.

    Two years that would allow Republican leadership in Arizona, and McSally to organize a plan, and tap into the expertise of the political machine the McCain people put together.

    In less than 24 hours there was a 25,000 vote swing for Sinema.

    • #19
    • November 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm
    • 4 likes
  20. Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    McSally’s problem is that she always campaigns with an NFL-style prevent defense. It’s why her races are always so close.

    She campaigns not to make mistakes instead of going on the offense.

    Except for that time she literally accused her opponent of supporting treason, in the only clip I actually saw of her campaign.

    I think this might be one where those of us outside the state have no idea what’s really going on. We know McSally from her biography and her best moments. From what has been floating around conservative media I don’t see how Kyrsten Sinema could be taken seriously, but I’m also not familiar with congresswoman Sinema. If she’s had the calm reasonable thing going on for a while, pointing out past craziness might seem like ancient history to the average voter, less relevant than Beto O’Rourke’s driving history.

    • #20
    • November 8, 2018 at 6:58 pm
    • 3 likes
  21. Coolidge

    Moderator Note:

    Redacted for Code of Conduct

    Petty Boozswha (View Comment):
    …the hillbilly states.

    At least your so called hillbilly states provide the military with the manpower that keeps Pajama Boy in hot cocoa and you with the freedom to say [redacted] this.

     

     

    • #21
    • November 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm
    • 6 likes
  22. Coolidge

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    For getting more votes? Republicans are such whining babies. This is why when you guys criticize Dems for being sore losers because they lost the electoral college I know you are just full of it. Race comes close and you lose it’s all farud and cheating…

    Your ignorance is showing.

     

    • #22
    • November 8, 2018 at 8:03 pm
    • 2 likes
  23. Member

    This is another reason that I hate early voting. Everybody needs to show up at the polls on election day, except for true absentees. Then the vast vast vast majority of votes are counted at the same time. The absentees should be counted on election day too.

    • #23
    • November 8, 2018 at 9:02 pm
    • 8 likes
  24. Member

    I think Arizona needs more counties.

    Arizona has 15 counties. That’s about 468,000 people per county. That’s not a county. That’s a congressional district! I used to learn that each congressional district was about half a million people. I guess that would be closer to 750,000 people today.

    I live in Missouri which 114 counties and one independent city. That would be about 53,200 people per county-type area.

    I guess the population is much more centered in a few areas in Arizona, but it still seems crazy.

    I saw something online that says that McSally is more of a leftist than John McCain or Jeff Flake. That doesn’t seem possible, but I thought I would ask anyway.

    • #24
    • November 8, 2018 at 10:34 pm
    • 1 like
  25. Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    I think Arizona needs more counties.

    Arizona has 15 counties. That’s about 468,000 people per county. That’s not a county. That’s a congressional district! I used to learn that each congressional district was about half a million people. I guess that would be closer to 750,000 people today.

    I live in Missouri which 114 counties and one independent city. That would be about 53,200 people per county-type area.

    I guess the population is much more centered in a few areas in Arizona, but it still seems crazy.

    I saw something online that says that McSally is more of a leftist than John McCain or Jeff Flake. That doesn’t seem possible, but I thought I would ask anyway.

    That’s the Kelli Ward (primary loser) contingent’s bitterness showing.

    • #25
    • November 9, 2018 at 12:37 am
    • 2 likes
  26. Coolidge

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Should I assume that if it ends up being tied that Al Franken gets elected?

    LBJ stole his 1st election to the Senate.

    JFK stole the presidency from Nixon in 1960.

    Obama won all of his elections by dirty tricks and the dark arts.

    It’s not as if there is no history. The question is when will the stupid party stop rolling over and letting the Progs steal elections?

     

    • #26
    • November 9, 2018 at 3:31 am
    • 4 likes
  27. Contributor

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Should I assume that if it ends up being tied that Al Franken gets elected?

    LBJ stole his 1st election to the Senate.

    JFK stole the presidency from Nixon in 1960.

    Obama won all of his elections by dirty tricks and the dark arts.

    It’s not as if there is no history. The question is when will the stupid party stop rolling over and letting the Progs steal elections?

    Throw the offenders in prison. Every single one.

    • #27
    • November 9, 2018 at 4:25 am
    • 3 likes
  28. Coolidge

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Simon Templar (View Comment):

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    Should I assume that if it ends up being tied that Al Franken gets elected?

    LBJ stole his 1st election to the Senate.

    JFK stole the presidency from Nixon in 1960.

    Obama won all of his elections by dirty tricks and the dark arts.

    It’s not as if there is no history. The question is when will the stupid party stop rolling over and letting the Progs steal elections?

    Throw the offenders in prison. Every single one.

    Yes. Until there is jail time for the perps, the Progs will continue to steal all but landslide Republican victories. It is in their DNA so they really and truly cannot help themselves, bless their hearts.

    • #28
    • November 9, 2018 at 5:29 am
    • 3 likes
  29. Member

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Mike "Lash" LaRoche (View Comment):

    Michael Walsh is right. The Democratic Party is a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. They are stone-cold thieves.

    For getting more votes? Republicans are such whining babies. This is why when you guys criticize Dems for being sore losers because they lost the electoral college I know you are just full of it. Race comes close and you lose it’s all farud and cheating…

    For cheating.

    You got proof? Or just your hurt feelings at losing? 

    • #29
    • November 9, 2018 at 5:31 am
    • Like
  30. Thatcher

    It’s quite clear Republicans rarely survive close elections because the Democrats always manage to find a box of uncounted votes in a car trunk somewhere. Sinema would be the biggest joke of a Senator since Al Franken . . .

    • #30
    • November 9, 2018 at 5:33 am
    • 3 likes
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