Two Republican big hitters — former President George W. Bush and former 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — are heading to Arizona to bat for U.S. Senate candidate Martha McSally ahead of November’s election.
McSally, currently a U.S. representative, is engaged in a tight race to keep the seat now held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake in Republican hands. With Republicans holding a slim 51-seat majority, the balance of power in the Senate is in play.
The Air Force combat veteran, who represents the Tucson area, is facing off against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, whose district includes the east side of Phoenix.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls taken over the last month gives Sinema a slight 1.8 percent lead. However, an ABC15/OH Predictive Insights poll published Tuesday found McSally with a six point advantage, 47 to 41 percent, while a CBS News/YouGov survey shows Sinema ahead by three points, 47 to 44 percent.
The Arizona Republic reported that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who is running for the U.S. Senate in Utah, will headline a rally for McSally on Friday in Gilbert, just to the southeast of Phoenix.
Romney is a Mormon, and that region of what is known as the East Valley has a significant Mormon population. It also abuts Sinema’s district.
— McSally For Senate (@MarthaMcSally) October 9, 2018
Additionally, Bush will hold a private fundraising breakfast for McSally in Scottsdale next week, on Oct. 19. Sinema’s district includes a large swath of the city.
According to the Arizona Republic, Trump is expected to campaign in Arizona for McSally later this month.
He carried the Grand Canyon State by 3.5 percent in 2016.
Trump endorsed McSally immediately after she secured the Republican nomination in August, tweeting that she “is an extraordinary woman. She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress…(She) has my total and complete Endorsement!”
Martha McSally is an extraordinary woman. She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress. She is Strong on Crime, the Border and our under siege 2nd Amendment. Loves our Military and our Vets. Has my total and complete Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
McSally supports Trump’s proposed border wall, while Sinema does not.
A terrific event today for @MarthaMcSally @RepMcSally with Transportation Secretary @ElaineChao. Women supporting Women in the US Senate race here in Arizona. Vote for Martha! #AZSEN pic.twitter.com/FGAiBTzs54
— Jan Brewer (@GovBrewer) October 9, 2018
Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who endorsed McSally in May, and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao appeared at an event for the candidate on Monday in Arizona.
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