Rep. McSally has 20-point lead in AZ GOP senate race

Former combat pilot and two-term congressman Arizona rep. Martha McSally has opened a commanding 20-point lead in the polls ahead of the state's August 28 primary. 

The race pits McSally against two strong supporters of Donald Trump: former state senator Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Ward has received some kind words from the president, and Trump, who pardoned the sheriff following a contempt conviction, has said good things about Arpaio.  On the other hand, McSally has only recently appeared to embrace the president, although unlike retiring Senator Jeff Flake, she was never a vocal critic of Trump.  So far, Trump has not definitively endorsed any candidate, although Steve Bannon is backing Ward.

McSally has benefited from some big money from national Republicans.

Tucson.com:

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward is holding on to the same 27 percent she had a month ago.  And former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has seen his own support slip slightly to just a hair more than 13 percent.

The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, the same week DefendArizona spent more than $900,000 on commercials backing McSally.

That organization, which was formed specifically to help McSally, is financed by various conservative Republican interests, led by California billionaire William E. Oberndorf, who put in $150,000.  There also are $100,000 donations from Tucson car dealer Jim Click; Randy Kendrick, who is the wife of Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick; and Arkansas businessman Warren Stephens.

There also are $100,000 donations each from two Delaware limited liability companies, Blue Magnolia Investments and Highway 76.  Those donations, however, have generated a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission by the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center charging that both companies are shells set up solely to allow others to give to McSally while hiding their names.

McSally has also benefited from ads paid for by One Nation praising the work she and fellow Congressman David Schweikert have done to secure the border.

Some national Republicans see a bright future for McSally, who was the first female to fly combat missions for the Air Force and received a lot of press coverage for a suit she filed against the DoD for forcing females to wear the body-covering abaya while stationed in Saudi Arabia.  She was successful in getting the policy altered.

McSally has appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.  She is only the second Republican ever to represent a southern Arizona-based district, leading some national Republicans to urge her to run for statewide office. 

McSally's Democratic opponent is likely to be Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.  McSally is likely to have a big advantage in money and name recognition, which means that the race in November is probably hers to lose.  Even in what is historically a Democratic year, McSally appears headed for the Senate with high expectations accompanying her.

Former combat pilot and two-term congressman Arizona rep. Martha McSally has opened a commanding 20-point lead in the polls ahead of the state's August 28 primary. 

The race pits McSally against two strong supporters of Donald Trump: former state senator Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Ward has received some kind words from the president, and Trump, who pardoned the sheriff following a contempt conviction, has said good things about Arpaio.  On the other hand, McSally has only recently appeared to embrace the president, although unlike retiring Senator Jeff Flake, she was never a vocal critic of Trump.  So far, Trump has not definitively endorsed any candidate, although Steve Bannon is backing Ward.

McSally has benefited from some big money from national Republicans.

Tucson.com:

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward is holding on to the same 27 percent she had a month ago.  And former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has seen his own support slip slightly to just a hair more than 13 percent.

The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, the same week DefendArizona spent more than $900,000 on commercials backing McSally.

That organization, which was formed specifically to help McSally, is financed by various conservative Republican interests, led by California billionaire William E. Oberndorf, who put in $150,000.  There also are $100,000 donations from Tucson car dealer Jim Click; Randy Kendrick, who is the wife of Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick; and Arkansas businessman Warren Stephens.

There also are $100,000 donations each from two Delaware limited liability companies, Blue Magnolia Investments and Highway 76.  Those donations, however, have generated a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission by the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign Legal Center charging that both companies are shells set up solely to allow others to give to McSally while hiding their names.

McSally has also benefited from ads paid for by One Nation praising the work she and fellow Congressman David Schweikert have done to secure the border.

Some national Republicans see a bright future for McSally, who was the first female to fly combat missions for the Air Force and received a lot of press coverage for a suit she filed against the DoD for forcing females to wear the body-covering abaya while stationed in Saudi Arabia.  She was successful in getting the policy altered.

McSally has appeal to both Democrats and Republicans.  She is only the second Republican ever to represent a southern Arizona-based district, leading some national Republicans to urge her to run for statewide office. 

McSally's Democratic opponent is likely to be Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.  McSally is likely to have a big advantage in money and name recognition, which means that the race in November is probably hers to lose.  Even in what is historically a Democratic year, McSally appears headed for the Senate with high expectations accompanying her.