Martha McSally Faces an Electoral Beatdown In 2020

During a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel about prevention and response to sexual assault in the military, Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., recounts her own experience while serving as a colonel in the Air Force, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. McSally, the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, says she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

One thing that both political parties have in common is that they default to nominating dull proven losers because those losers are popular with the party’s establishment and are very unlikely to cause much trouble or upset too many any apple carts. This is the case of Martha McSally.

McSally is a prime example of a resume masquerading as a candidate. Her qualifications are that she was the first American woman to fly a fighter aircraft (A-10) in a combat zone and she was the first American woman to command a fighter squadron. We don’t know how well she did any of that but she was first and for the Arizona GOP that was enough. In 2012, she ran in the GOP primary for the special election to replace Gabby Giffords (AZ-8) and lost. She turned around, won the GOP nomination in AZ-5 and lost to the Democrat incumbent. Losing two congressional contests in one election cycle is damned impressive, but not so impressive as to keep the AZ GOP from boosting her.

In 2014, a wave year for the GOP, she ran for the House, this time in AZ-2 — if you’re keeping track, this is the third district she’s carpetbagged her way into — and won by 167 votes. She did manage to hold her seat in 2016.

In 2018, she tried to fail upwards and ran to replace Jeff Flake in the US Senate and lost to Kyrsten Sinema, hooker boots and all, while Doug Ducey was boatracing his opponent. So it isn’t like Arizona won’t elect Republicans, it is just very reluctant to elect McSally.

When John McCain died, McSally got the nod to fill the remainder of his term and now will have to defend that seat in 2020.

Her opponent is Gabby Giffords’s husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly. Where McSally seems to think that interacting with voters will give her cooties, Kelly is a dynamic campaigner. Where McSally seems to think she’s owed something, Kelly is willing to work his progressive, gun-grabbing ass off to get it. Check out the first quarter fundraising numbers.

How in the hell can an incumbent senator in what will be a tightly contested race only raise $1.8 million in any quarter, much less going into the general election? How can she have been in office for 18 months and only have $2 million cash-on-hand?

And there are other strange things, for instance:

No matter how you cut it, McSally can barely win “gimme” elections. She has a track record of folding like a cheap suit when faced with an actual challenger. If the GOP was interested in keeping this seat, they’d make McSally ambassador to Dumbf***istan or some place and find a real fighter who can campaign and raise money. But they won’t and a seat that we should have retained will be handed to the Democrats.