Senator Kyrsten Sinema has received so much attention lately that you might forget she’s not an Arizona Democrat running for re-election in 2022.
That would be Senator Mark Kelly. As a Democratic freshman in a state where President Biden won less than a percentage point in 2020, he one in four vulnerable incumbents those Republicans are targeting as they seek to regain a majority in the US Senate.
If the Republican Party doesn’t beat Kelly, a famous former astronaut with piles of campaign money, it will be for a major reason, party strategists and pollsters alike. tells us: A stub with winning Donald Trump’s blessing that Republicans set themselves up to lose the general election.
“With the current election environment shaping up to be very pro-Republican, the only potential issue is a far-right candidate coming out of the primary and ending up losing what should have been a Republican year. peace,” said Mike Noble, an Arizona-based Poll.
The obvious choice for a Kelly challenger might be Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona. He won re-election in a brutal year for Republicans and was not allowed to run for a third term. But Ducey has persistently maintain he doesn’t care in the Senate.
That left some lesser known Republicans vying for the nomination. The best way to stand out? Getting Trump’s endorsement means making comments or taking positions that could haunt them in November.
First, there’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who has worked in the Arizona government for the past decade. But he faces massive pressure from Trump and from Republican agencies to find fraud in his investigation into the 2020 election. At a rally in Arizona earlier this month Here, Trump refers to his baseless claims that he actually won the state and tells the crowd that he is “waiting nervously” to see if Brnovich agrees with him and that they will. soon find out whether the attorney general is a “good man.”
Brnovich, apparently undaunted, posted on Twitter a picture of himself with Trump.
Trump gave Blake Masters a warmer reception, calling him “a really cool guy” at the rally. Masters – a venture capitalist backed by Peter Thiel, a tech billionaire close to Trump – has says he believes Trump won in 2020 and that the country is run by “psychopaths”.
Then there is Jim Lamon, a businessman whose campaign has raised 1 million dollars behind a TV ad cheering “Let’s Go Brandon,” a perfectly proper tagline meant to be aimed squarely at Biden. Lamon also helped to facilitate Republican post-mortem review of 2020 election results in the state’s most populous county.
All of these efforts to win the former president’s support could backfire in the fall if Democrats are able to hold onto the eventual nominee for Trump.
“Yes, it’s been a big boon and help in the primaries given Trump’s current influence on voters,” Noble said. “However, it’s absolutely a weakness as they head into the all-important general election.”
It’s the ‘Republican’ to lose’
Before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: Given the national environment, Republicans should have a natural advantage in a situation where Biden narrowly won.
It’s not just the party in the White House that tends to struggle in the first midterm elections of a president’s term, or that the president’s approval ratings are fluctuating in the low 40s. It’s also because Biden inherited a pandemic and all the economic and social setbacks that came with it. And Arizona was only ruby red a few short years ago, suggesting that Kelly’s three-point margin in 2020 could be easy enough to erase.
Brian Seitchik, a Republican consultant based in Arizona, said of the race: “It’s totally up to the Republicans to lose.
Republicans are confident that whoever becomes their candidate will enter the race with Kelly in a strong position to win.
Daniel Scarpinato, a former Ducey chief of staff, said: “Convincing voters and voters are more likely to want to vote for someone who will become the check and balance of the Biden administration.
Proceed with caution
Arizona elected two Democratic senators during Trump’s term and ultimately voted to oust him in 2020. And even in a national environment that could lift Republicans to a majority, they still have can try to lose.
Scarpinato said he has never seen candidates engage in behavior that “disrupts the party or puts people in a position where they are seen as non-selectable.”
But he warned that Republicans can’t be so preoccupied with fighting each other in the preliminary round – which means until August – that they delay attacks against Kelly.
“They need to start now,” said Scarpinato.
A Republican national strategist involved in the Senate races told us that the primary concern for many in his party is that the nominee ultimately drains resources. their way in the preliminaries, leaving them short of money ahead of Kelly, who finished last year with almost $20 million in his campaign account.
And while others note that while Republican-aligned outside groups like the Club for Growth can create any gap in spending, money could be one reason why. Many Republicans hoped Ducey would change his mind and decide to run, Noble said.
Ducey was re-elected in 2018 even as Democrats won a Senate seat in Arizona for the first time in decades. He’s proven he can run the same top state campaign. But Ducey has said publicly and privately that he’s not running, and it’s easy to see why: He’ll have to get through the Republican primaries and general elections without Trump’s support, who blamed him for losing the state in 2020. Just a few weeks ago, Trump reiterated in a statement that Ducey will never get “the endorsement or endorsement of MAGA Nation!”
One of the big unknowns in the 2022 election is the influence of presidential approval ratings. If it continues into his low 40s, Kelly could be ousted no matter how deftly he executes a campaign or how tough his opponent faces.
“He has to carry Joe Biden like a sack of potatoes wherever he goes,” said Stan Barnes, a Republican strategist based in Phoenix.
What to read
One more thing …
A moment of jubilation inadvertently sheds some light on the Supreme Court’s key motivations – perhaps more consequentially than Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.
In oral arguments last week in a case about whether Boston can stop a private group Hang the Christian flag in front of City Hallan attorney for plaintiffs speaks to Clarence Thomas, a deeply conservative justice who joined the court in 1991.
“Sheriff —” the attorney, Mathew Staver, began, before correcting himself and continuing, “Justice Thomas.”
The incident received little attention after a series of recent commentaries and reports about Thomas’s growing influence after years on the sidelines.
Last year, Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, observed in an opinion essay that “it is remarkable the extent to which the Supreme Court, with the addition of three candidates Donald Trump, who generate a conservative majority of 6 to 3, appears to be reshaping the image of Justice.” Thomas.”
Here’s one thing that opposition political experts seem to agree on: Liberals have lamented Thomas’ role as a “New Chief Justice,” while conservatives, including The Wall Street Journal’s influential editorial pagepraised “Thomas Court.”
This is not the first time someone has made a similar mistake. Last March, when a lawyer in another case mistakenly referred to Thomas as “Mr. Chief Justice, “The actual chief justice – John Roberts – joked, “There is no opening.”
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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/27/us/politics/trump-arizona-primary.html The man in central Arizona is Donald Trump