How could Arizona elect someone like Kyrsten Sinema?

The election results for Arizona are in, and Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema has won, winning the seat held by outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

It's a puzzling result, not the least because the vote count took a week. In mitigation, there were far fewer warnings of fraud than we are currently seeing in Florida, and the delay was solely the result of 640,000 mail-in ballots that had yet to be counted. And, according to media reports, it's typical of Arizona to take a long time, so it wasn't that unusual.

But there was some weirdness: How could 350,000 voters check off their ballots for Republican gubenatorial candidate Doug Ducey and yet place the x down for Sinema as well? It doesn't usually happen that way, but take a look at the comparable results - this time, it did.

And, ugh, what a result. Instead of voting for Republican fighter pilot Martha McSally, who would have been in the spirit of another Arizona Senator, John McCain, voters chose Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, a far-left Code Pink activist, who said she was fine with Americans joining the Taliban, called Arizona "the meth lab of democracy," said it was 'inappropriate' to condemn anarchists for destroying property, and worked with an anti-war group that portrayed U.S. servicemen as evil skeletons. She certainly had some baggage, and ordinarily, that should have been enough to sink her.

But it didn't. Like McSally, she did some time as a congresswoman and perhaps from that, as well as her campaign trail appearances (which didn't have any gaffes comparable to the ones that came up from her past), she was able to persuade voters she was a moderate. Based on that background and what we have seen from Democrats so far in the midterm aftermath, I'm not optimistic, but it is what it is.

How did it happen? If Sinema was caught warning others how they could 'stop your state from becoming Arizona,' there must be some significant discontent in the state. It didn't show up in the governor's race, but maybe that was a plus with some lefty voters.

The woman factor also was not a factor, given that her opponent was a successful woman who succeeded in a man's field, so the only thing left there was the radical feminist activist agenda which Sinema embraced. Again, good for some leftwing votes, but doesn't explain what got her over the top.

There was also the fact that Arizona has been a red, one-party state for a long time, other than in some pockets of Tucson, where Sinema is from, where some very far left Democrats have been elected, such as Raul Grijalva, and the Phoenix suburbs, where Gabby Giffords, a moderate Democrat, was easily elected. Perhaps voters were tired of too much red-state rule from their part of the world and wanted a shakeup. This would follow the lines of suburbs going Democrat, plus traditional Democratic strongholds holding strong, which might explain what went on, given that Democrats had a high enthusiam factor.

And there's also the broad trend: Colorado, the most populous mountain state, has done a lot of going blue as outsiders moved in and urbanization happened. It's quite likely that demographically, Arizona may be following the same pattern.

The other thing is, McSally may have lowered her own voters' enthusiasm factor by acting standoffish from Donald Trump at first, although she did take a Trump endorsement in the end. Also, radio host Mark Levin complained that McSally refused to go on his program, which sounds like a rather bad mistake. So, she may have failed to whip up the GOP base, while Sinema's gaffes were natural base whippers for the Democrats. Democrats, in other words, probably liked her gaffes, while moderate suburbanites probably looked at her nothing-special congressional record, giving Sinema a win-win, while McSally stayed on the fence about Trump.

The one lesson of the midterms was that GOP candidates who distanced themselves from Trump tended to do very poorly, as Trump himself made clear enough, going all Hugo-Chavez in style by reading off names. (Chavez used to do that kind of thing). Hard as that might be to take for those who were already licking their wounds from defeat, it's pretty obvious Trump was right. Voters like a strong horse, a winner, and if you don't want to be with the winner, some are going to turn to the other party. Perhaps McSally's earlier distancing of herself from Trump was fatal and the eventual Trump endorsement she got was too little too late.

Now we have a new lefty in the Senate, and while she may cause problems for Republicans, her past gaffes ought to be good fodder for her ouster in six years. Given McSally's considerable merits, it's a darn shame it should take that long.

The election results for Arizona are in, and Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema has won, winning the seat held by outgoing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

It's a puzzling result, not the least because the vote count took a week. In mitigation, there were far fewer warnings of fraud than we are currently seeing in Florida, and the delay was solely the result of 640,000 mail-in ballots that had yet to be counted. And, according to media reports, it's typical of Arizona to take a long time, so it wasn't that unusual.

But there was some weirdness: How could 350,000 voters check off their ballots for Republican gubenatorial candidate Doug Ducey and yet place the x down for Sinema as well? It doesn't usually happen that way, but take a look at the comparable results - this time, it did.

And, ugh, what a result. Instead of voting for Republican fighter pilot Martha McSally, who would have been in the spirit of another Arizona Senator, John McCain, voters chose Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, a far-left Code Pink activist, who said she was fine with Americans joining the Taliban, called Arizona "the meth lab of democracy," said it was 'inappropriate' to condemn anarchists for destroying property, and worked with an anti-war group that portrayed U.S. servicemen as evil skeletons. She certainly had some baggage, and ordinarily, that should have been enough to sink her.

But it didn't. Like McSally, she did some time as a congresswoman and perhaps from that, as well as her campaign trail appearances (which didn't have any gaffes comparable to the ones that came up from her past), she was able to persuade voters she was a moderate. Based on that background and what we have seen from Democrats so far in the midterm aftermath, I'm not optimistic, but it is what it is.

How did it happen? If Sinema was caught warning others how they could 'stop your state from becoming Arizona,' there must be some significant discontent in the state. It didn't show up in the governor's race, but maybe that was a plus with some lefty voters.

The woman factor also was not a factor, given that her opponent was a successful woman who succeeded in a man's field, so the only thing left there was the radical feminist activist agenda which Sinema embraced. Again, good for some leftwing votes, but doesn't explain what got her over the top.

There was also the fact that Arizona has been a red, one-party state for a long time, other than in some pockets of Tucson, where Sinema is from, where some very far left Democrats have been elected, such as Raul Grijalva, and the Phoenix suburbs, where Gabby Giffords, a moderate Democrat, was easily elected. Perhaps voters were tired of too much red-state rule from their part of the world and wanted a shakeup. This would follow the lines of suburbs going Democrat, plus traditional Democratic strongholds holding strong, which might explain what went on, given that Democrats had a high enthusiam factor.

And there's also the broad trend: Colorado, the most populous mountain state, has done a lot of going blue as outsiders moved in and urbanization happened. It's quite likely that demographically, Arizona may be following the same pattern.

The other thing is, McSally may have lowered her own voters' enthusiasm factor by acting standoffish from Donald Trump at first, although she did take a Trump endorsement in the end. Also, radio host Mark Levin complained that McSally refused to go on his program, which sounds like a rather bad mistake. So, she may have failed to whip up the GOP base, while Sinema's gaffes were natural base whippers for the Democrats. Democrats, in other words, probably liked her gaffes, while moderate suburbanites probably looked at her nothing-special congressional record, giving Sinema a win-win, while McSally stayed on the fence about Trump.

The one lesson of the midterms was that GOP candidates who distanced themselves from Trump tended to do very poorly, as Trump himself made clear enough, going all Hugo-Chavez in style by reading off names. (Chavez used to do that kind of thing). Hard as that might be to take for those who were already licking their wounds from defeat, it's pretty obvious Trump was right. Voters like a strong horse, a winner, and if you don't want to be with the winner, some are going to turn to the other party. Perhaps McSally's earlier distancing of herself from Trump was fatal and the eventual Trump endorsement she got was too little too late.

Now we have a new lefty in the Senate, and while she may cause problems for Republicans, her past gaffes ought to be good fodder for her ouster in six years. Given McSally's considerable merits, it's a darn shame it should take that long.