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United States Senate election in Arizona, 2016

 

United States Senate election in Arizona, 2016

United States Senate election in Arizona, 2016

November 8, 2016

 
Party Republican Democratic

Incumbent U.S. Senator

John McCain
Republican

The 2016 United States Senate election in Arizona will take place on November 8, 2016, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Arizona, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. The primary election will take place on August 30, 2016.[1]

Incumbent Republican Senator John McCain is running for re-election to a sixth term in office. After hinting in September 2013 that he could retire,[2] he subsequently said that the chances he would run again were "pretty good", but his campaign had emphasised that he had not made a decision yet.[3] On April 7, 2015, McCain announced that he will run for re-election.[4] McCain is expected to face strong primary opposition from the Tea Party.[5][6]

Contents

  • Republican primary 1
    • Candidates 1.1
      • Declared 1.1.1
      • Potential 1.1.2
      • Declined 1.1.3
    • Endorsements 1.2
    • Polling 1.3
  • Democratic primary 2
    • Candidates 2.1
      • Declared 2.1.1
      • Withdrawn 2.1.2
      • Potential 2.1.3
    • Endorsements 2.2
  • General election 3
    • Polling 3.1
  • References 4
  • External Links 5

Republican primary

John McCain, the [9]

In September 2014, McCain began having "serious conversations" with state Republicans, local officials and key supporters about running for re-election. Though he faced a primary challenge in 2010 from former Congressman J. D. Hayworth, Hayworth was a flawed opponent and ran a weak campaign; McCain massively outspent and easily defeated him. However, he could face a stronger challenge in 2016.[5] A survey by Public Policy Polling in March 2014 found that McCain was the most unpopular Senator in the country, with 30% of Arizonans approving of him to 54% who disapproved. His unpopularity was bipartisan, with his approvals at 35%-55% with Republicans, 29%-53% with Democrats and 25%-55% with independents.[10] An April 2014 survey by The Polling Company for Citizens United Political Victory Fund found that 64.2% of Republican primary voters favoured "a new person" to 29.3% who thought that "Senator McCain deserves to be re-elected to another six-year term." It also found him trailing in match-ups with a generic primary opponent and against specific opponents (see below).[11]

Further compounding matters for McCain is his relationship with the Arizona Republican Party.[5] After his re-election in 2010, McCain adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration. By 2013, however, he had become a key figure in the Senate for negotiating deals on certain issues in an otherwise partisan environment. By early 2014, McCain's apostasies were enough that the Arizona Republican Party formally censured him for having what they saw as a liberal record that had been "disastrous and harmful". The action had no practical effect but showed that McCain's history of being criticized at the state level as insufficiently conservative was still ongoing.[12] Tea Party leaders have said that they are "sick to death" of McCain and will oppose him if he seeks re-election,[5] with one prominent critic of McCain saying that Arizona conservatives were preparing for a "civil war".[6] However, McCain still has a large warchest - $1.7 million as of June 2014 - and would be helped by Arizona state law, which allows independents to vote in the Republican primary.[5]

By early October 2014, McCain was telling reporters that the odds of him running for re-election were "pretty good", saying that whether or not Republicans retake control of the Senate in the 2014 elections would be a factor in his decision-making, "but it certainly wouldn't be the deciding factor."[6] In late October, it was revealed that McCain had scheduled a meeting with supporters two days after the 2014 midterm elections to "discuss my thoughts on my own re-election in 2016."[3] At that meeting, following the Republican takeover of the Senate, he said that he was "seriously considering" and "leaning towards" running for re-election and will make an announcement in early 2015.[13]

In December 2014, Politico reported that McCain and his allies were waging an "aggressive and systematic campaign" to purge the Arizona Republican Party's apparatus of Tea Party and far-right conservatives who hold "obscure, but influential, local party offices" and replace them with McCain loyalists.[14][15] The Super PAC "Arizona Grassroots Action" was created, which raised almost $300,000 and supported McCain-allied candidates with mailers and automated phone calls, bringing attention to what were previously low-profile and uncontested races.[14] Before August 26, when elections for party offices were held, almost all of the 3,925 precinct committeemen (who vote for local party chairmen, who in turn make decisions on how the party will spend state and local funds, which candidates receive endorsements or funding etc.) were opposed to McCain. After the elections, 1,531 (39%) were regarded as supportive of McCain.[14] Most notably, Timothy Schwartz, who authored the resolution which censured McCain, was ousted.[14][16] Schwartz attacked McCain for using his "prominence and money and influence" to "ramrod" his critics and former Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman A.J. LaFaro said that McCain was "vindictive" and engaging in the equivalent of "ethnic cleansing".[14]

Tea Party Congressmen Matt Salmon and David Schweikert are widely regarded as two of the most serious potential challengers to McCain. The pair, who are close friends, have agreed that if one of them decides to run against McCain, the other will not do so, to ensure that the anti-McCain vote isn't split between them.[17] Schweikert has acknowledged that he polled the race in 2014 but is considered the less likely of the two to run – he has much less cash-on-hand than Salmon and has admitted that his wife is "not thrilled" at the idea of him running for the Senate.[17] Salmon has since stated that he will not challenge McCain in the primary.[18]

In early February, McCain said that he was "most likely" running for re-election[19] and [20] Towards the end of February, Salmon and Schweikert began to distance themselves from the race,[21][22] with State Senator Kelli Ward revealing that she was considering a run.[23]

McCain officially announced on April 7, 2015, that he was running for re-election.[4]

Candidates

Declared

  • John McCain, incumbent Senator[4]
  • Alex Meluskey, printing company owner and FairTax activist[24]
  • Clair Van Steenwyk, talk radio host, candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 and candidate for AZ-08 in 2014[25]
  • Kelli Ward, State Senator[26]

Potential

Declined

Endorsements

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain
Kelli
Ward
Other Undecided
Gravis Marketing August 15-18, 2015 844 ± 3.4% 36% 45% 20%
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 300 ± 5.7% 44% 31% 25%

Democratic primary

Candidates

Declared

Withdrawn

  • Richard Sherzan, retired administrative law judge and former Iowa State Representative[41][42][43]

Potential

Endorsements

General election

Polling

With McCain
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain (R)
Richard
Carmona (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 40% 34% 25%
Public Policy Polling February 28–March 2, 2014 870 ± 3.3% 35% 41% 24%
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain (R)
Fred
DuVal (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 40% 36% 24%
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain (R)
Gabrielle
Giffords (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling February 28–March 2, 2014 870 ± 3.3% 35% 42% 23%
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain (R)
Ann
Kirkpatrick (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 42% 36% 23%
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain (R)
Janet
Napolitano (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling February 28–March 2, 2014 870 ± 3.3% 44% 36% 19%
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
John
McCain (R)
Kyrsten
Sinema (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 42% 36% 22%
With Jones
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Christine
Jones (R)
Richard
Carmona (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 36% 42% 22%
With Salmon
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Matt
Salmon (R)
Richard
Carmona (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 43% 35% 21%
With Schweikert
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
David
Schweikert (R)
Richard
Carmona (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 39% 39% 22%
With Ward
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Kelli
Ward (R)
Richard
Carmona (D)
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling May 1–3, 2015 600 ± 4% 36% 39% 26%

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b c d e f
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Sanchez, Yvonne Wingett. "Arizona GOP censures McCain for 'disastrous' record", The Arizona Republic (January 25, 2014). Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d e
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^ a b
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ a b c
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ a b
  48. ^

External Links

  • Leonard Clark for Senate
  • Ann Kirkpatrick for Senate
  • John McCain for Senate
  • Alex Meluskey for Senate
  • Richard Sherzan for Senate
  • Clair Van Steenwyk for Senate
  • Kelli Ward for Senate
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