U.S. senatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., celebrates her primary election victory, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. McSally will face U.S. Rep. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., in the November election as they seek the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

If you hadn’t been following the Arizona senate race, you were probably surprised last night when the relatively unmentioned Martha McSally romped to a win in a three person field. Not only did McSally pull in a majority of the votes cast, she trounced here nearest competitor, Kelli Ward, by nearly 25 points. In short, it wasn’t really a contest.

From NYT https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/28/us/elections/arizona-primary-elections.html

But it was portrayed as a highly competitive race by parts of the media:

For months, the media has given massive coverage to Kelli Ward and fringe candidate, Joe Arpaio, to give the impression of a fragmented GOP dominated by candidates with fairly exotic beliefs.

Key takeaways. Nominating McSally increases the odds that Jeff Flake’s seat will stay in GOP hands. McSally is infinitely more disciplined, if nowhere near as interesting, as Ward and Arpaio. Arizona was Trump +4 in 2016 and McSally will not only pull in most of the primary vote that went against her, she won’t provide a focal point for anti-Trump anger as Ward and Arpaio would.

So far, McSally has voted with President Trump’s desired outcomes 97% of the time. She could very well end up being another Jeff Flake, but the better odds are that she will be something more like Lindsey Graham than Flake or Murkowski or Collins.

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