Former vice president Joe Biden has endorsed Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic candidate running for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat. In an email sent out from Sinema’s Senate campaign, Biden said:
“I am proud to support my friend Kyrsten Sinema in her campaign for Senate. Kyrsten understands the challenges and opportunities that Arizona families face every day and will make a great Senator.
I’ve seen first-hand how Kyrsten gets things done for Arizona. She was indispensable to our work to strengthen the landmark Violence Against Women Act and brought a unique perspective, having worked in communities and schools. Together with Kyrsten, we expanded protections against domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Kyrsten also cares deeply for the brave men and women who wear our nation’s uniform. From standing up for our active duty service members to her work to ensure all veterans get the care they deserve, Kyrsten is tenacious in delivering results.
Kyrsten is as hard-working and principled as they come. She has the rare ability to cut through the political games and work across the aisle to get things done. These qualities can be tough to find today, but are as important as ever to solve our nation’s toughest challenges. We need more people like Kyrsten in the U.S. Senate.”
The Senate Leadership Fund, a Super PAC run by political allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have made an initial TV advertising reservation for the fall worth $25 million, according to the Washington Examiner.
The ads will run in Missouri ($10.5 million), Nevada ($11.2 million) and North Dakota ($2.3 million). Missouri and North Dakota represent pickup opportunities for Senate Republicans to add to their slim 51-49 majority. Republicans are playing defense in Nevada, where incumbent Dean Heller is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans. The organization is holding off on buying more advertising time until later to keep its strategy for November under wraps.
In contrast, the organization’s Democratic counterpart Senate Majority PAC has announced a “first wave” of buys worth $80 million targeting Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia. With the exceptions of Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee, Senate Democrats are playing defense in the other states.
The report also notes, “The Republican super PAC is already active in West Virginia and Indiana, where Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is in trouble against Republican businessman and former state legislator Mike Braun. The Democratic super PAC has been spending on advertising in Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is challenging Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson; in Montana, where state Auditor Matt Rosendale is challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester; and in Indiana and North Dakota.”
Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema leads in hypothetical matchups for Arizona’s Senate race against all three potential Republican opponents, according to two new polls which illustrate the challenge that state and national Republicans will have in holding this Senate seat in the November general election.
According to a CBS News/YouGov poll, Sinema leads former State Sen. Kelli Ward 43-35, Rep. Martha McSally 41-34, and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio 45-28. The same poll gives President Donald Trump a 47-53 approval rating
A second poll by Emerson College has Sinema leading Ward 43-26, McSally 40-32, and Arpaio 54-30. Sinema has a commanding 51 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, with no other candidate getting more than 8 percent. Republican primary voters are more divided, with McSally leading with 32 percent, Ward in second with 19 percent, Arpaio close behind with 18 percent, and 23 percent of voters still undecided.
The Emerson poll also has incumbent Republican governor Doug Ducey with a 31 percent approval rating, lower than President Trump’s 43 percent approval rating in the state. Ducey leads his opponent, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett 44-22 in the Republican gubernatorial primary, with 35 percent of voters undecided. Former college professor David Garcia leads among Democratic primary voters, with 30 percent of the vote. State Sen. Steve Farley is in second place with 13 percent, and Kelly Fryer in third with 9 percent of the vote. However, 48 percent of voters are undecided.
Defending the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake is one of Republicans’ biggest challenges in an otherwise mostly favorable 2018 Senate cycle. According to the Prew Research Center, Arizona has the sixth highest Hispanic population in the country – roughly 2.1 million Hispanics who account for 31 percent of the state population, and approximately 3.7 percent of all Hispanics in the United States. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overperformed in Arizona in 2016 compared to previous Democratic presidential candidates, losing the state by only 3.5 percent of the vote. State Democrats may be even more energized to turn out and vote because of President Trump’s decision to pardon Sheriff Arpaio in August of 2017. There has been no polling of Arizona voters about the Trump administration’s family separation policy, but a recent Battleground Tracker poll by CBS News and YouGov found that the policy only has 27 percent support.
UPDATE: NBC News released the results of its Arizona Senate race poll this afternoon. Sinema leads all three Republican candidates by double digits: Ward 48-38, McSally 49-38, Arpaio 57-32.
Per luck of the draw backstage, each candidate gets two minutes for opening remarks. Tom Perez goes first:
- “I feel like Lou Gehrig… the luckiest person on the face of the Earth.”
- Perez gets huge applause for mentioning his fight in DOJ against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
- “We need a turnaround artist.”
This is how the first DNC regional forum opened up. Tweet/image courtesy of Jonathan Martin of the New York Times.
UPDATE: The DNC has released the video and text of her remarks, included below.
“Before we get started, I have to take some time to talk a little about the current news of the day – something that’s trending. Of course it involves the tweets of a certain President Elect. Don’t boo – vote! When they go low, we go high! Thank you, Michelle Obama.
“On the eve of the holiday where we celebrate one of the greatest advocates and defenders of justice and freedom and equality for all. As we observe the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., we have, from President Elect Trump, an attack on a living legend and civil rights hero, John Lewis.
“Mr. Trump said that John Lewis is ‘all talk and no action.’ I say, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, I say that John Lewis took action.
“He took action Marching from Selma to Montgomery. He took action in marching toward men wielding clubs across the Pettis bridge who fractured his skull because of the color of his skin. But John Lewis never stopped marching for justice and equality for all people.
“Congressman John Lewis, a proud son of sharecroppers, spent his entire life working as an advocate for young people and working people. His actions and his sacrifice helped make America the great nation that it is today. John Lewis is our hero and he symbolizes everything we stand for as Americans and as the Democratic Party.
“We denounce these remarks not only on Congressman John Lewis, but on the good people of Atlanta – the people he represents, the Fifth district, the home of the state Capitol. We denounce the attacks on the home of Spellman and Morehouse and Georgia Tech and Emory – we denounce that.
“Look – I thank you Atlanta. We know that after Hurricane Katrina, you took in many of us. We love you, Atlanta. We love you, Georgia. We love you, America. And we love you, John Lewis.”
Happy 2017! The site was inactive for several weeks because my almost 6-year-old Macbook Pro decided to go kaput while I was on vacation. A few weeks and a new hard drive later, I and the site are back and open for business.
I just arrived in Phoenix a few hours ago for the first Democratic National Committee Regional Forum. I will be in town for the next several days doing interviews and filing stories and tweeting from the scene as much as possible.
Watch this space…