Arizona’s Democratic Senate seat will remain in Democratic hands after Sen. Mark Kelly easily defeated his Republican challenger Blake Masters in Tuesday’s election. Kelly will serve a full six-year term.
Given the weakening economy and President Joe Biden‘s low approval rating in the swing state, Republicans saw the seat as a pickup opportunity. The Democrats are now one seat away from retaining their Senate majority for another two years thanks to Kelly’s victory.
The Democrats will take control of the House if they are successful in either of the two remaining contested races on December 6 Nevada and Georgia. The Democrats’ narrow Senate majority is largely thanks to Arizona’s support. Even though Kelly was ahead in the polls, Biden narrowly won the state in 2020.
When compared to the Democratic nominee for governor in the state, Katie Hobbs, Kelly has also performed better. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion rights became a major issue in Kelly’s campaign. In the Republican primary, Masters took a more conservative stance on abortion than he does now.
But his attempts to moderate his stance in the run-up to the general election were criticized by Kelly. Masters retaliated by attempting to portray Kelly as an extremist for his views on the matter.
Masters campaigned as though the election were a referendum on Biden’s leadership and the issues of inflation and border security. Masters linked Kelly to Biden’s border and economic policies in their one and only debate, while Kelly emphasized his autonomy from national Democrats.
Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States has invested some of his political capital in the outcome of this election. He came to the state to back Masters and the Republican nominee for governor, Kari Lake. He backed Masters during the Republican primary. During the primary, Masters had agreed with some of the former president’s rhetoric disputing the outcome of the 2020 election.
Democratic donors poured money into the race to protect the seat giving Kelly a huge fundraising advantage over Masters. For the majority of the race, Kelly outraised Masters by millions of dollars. Republican organizations from the outside helped Masters close the gap.
During the Republican primary Peter Thiel, a billionaire venture capitalist and Masters’ mentor contributed $15 million to a super PAC that supported Masters. Candidates like Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon have been pushed aside as Masters emerged victorious. There were disagreements between Thiel and national Republican groups over campaign funding because of his involvement.
Former astronaut Kelly first won the seat in a 2020 special election, defeating then-Senator Martha McSally to serve out the final two years of the term of the late Republican Senator John McCain. His wife, the late Representative Gabrielle Giffords is a vocal proponent of gun control measures after she was critically injured in a 2011 shooting outside a supermarket.
With Kelly on their side, Democrats in Arizona have a better chance of keeping the other Senate seat, which is held by Kyrsten Sinema. In 2024, she will likely seek re-election.
Mark Kelly Wins Arizona Senate By Defeating Dems
Arizona Democratic Senate Mark Kelly will win a full six-year term CNN projects defeating Republican Blake Masters a venture capitalist who was backed by former President Donald Trump and had repeated some of his falsehoods about the 2020 election.
With 85% of the vote counted as of Friday night, Kelly led Republican candidate Blake Masters who was former President Donald Trump’s pick in the crucial swing state by almost six percentage points. With Kelly’s victory, the Democrats now need to hold on to just one of the two seats in Nevada and Georgia that have not yet been called.
Friday morning, 88% of the votes had been counted in Nevada with Republican candidate Adam Laxalt leading by 1%. There will be a runoff election on December 6 between Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock who was leading by more than a percentage point.
Up until about the middle of October Kelly had raised and spent over $81.8 million and her spending was over $75.9 million. This was significantly more than the $52.4 million raised and $39.1 million spent by venture capitalist Masters. The Federal Election Commission reports that Masters spent only $9.7 million of the $12.3 million he raised during the same period of time.
During his campaign, the Arizona Democrat touted his willingness to work with Republicans and ran on a platform of bipartisanship. To fill the remaining two years of the term of Republican Sen. John McCain who passed away in 2018 from an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was elected to the Senate in 2020.
When Kelly spoke out against the decision to end Title 42, he publicly differentiated his stance on immigration from the Biden administration. Initiated by the Trump administration the policy used Covid to deny entry to asylum seekers.
The Democratic governor of Arizona has also been an outspoken advocate for tighter border controls. During a recent debate, he described the current situation at the southern border as “a mess.”
I warned the president against making a rash decision that would escalate the crisis when he decided to alter the rules. That’s why I’ve spoken out against this administration several times, Kelly explained in October.
The CHIPS and Science Act a central part of President Joe Biden’s economic policies was signed into law in August and Kelly was a chief negotiator in its creation. Kelly who served in both the Navy and NASA is married to Gabrielle Giffords, a former U.S. representative who was shot in the head in 2011 but recovered.
You can also read about Nevada Senate Race.
Laxalt’s Nevada Senate Race Lead Shrinks to 800 Votes
While party control of the Senate is still up in the air, Republican Adam Laxalt’s lead over Democratic incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada shrank to less than 800 votes on Friday night. With only about 7% of the vote remaining to tally, Cortez Masto trails Laxalt by only 0.1%.
After Tuesday’s midterm elections Laxalt took the lead in Nevada but Cortez Masto has been steadily closing the gap to the Republicans. For Democrats in Nevada voting by mail is the preferred method and those votes have mostly gone to Cortez Masto.
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) November 12, 2022
Moreover, she is gaining ground in Clark County where the city of Las Vegas is located with about 52% of the vote to Laxalt’s 45%. The outcome of the Senate race in Nevada is one of three that will be pivotal in deciding who controls the upper chamber.
Georgia’s Senate race will move on to a runoff election in December after neither Sen. Raphael Warnock nor his challenger, Herschel Walker reached 50 percent in the general election. The vote count continues in Nevada and Arizona over the next few days.
Even though Republican Joe Lombardo has a slight lead over Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak the race in Nevada has not been called as of Friday.
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