The following Bottom Lines have been updated following this week's primaries in Arizona and Florida
The August 28 primary set the field in this race to replace retiring Republican U.S. Jeff Flake. On the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema faced just minor opposition to win the nomination with 81 percent of the vote. Republicans held a more contentious primary that U.S. Rep. Martha McSally won with 53 percent to 28 percent for physician Kelli Ward and 20 percent for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. McSally was always the favorite, but she was forced to move more to the right than her congressional voting record would suggest she is, and she had to embrace President Trump, which will provide Democrats with fodder for the general election. Because Sinema didn’t have to focus on her primary opponent, she used the time to build an organization and define herself through television ads that touted her moderate issue positions. As a result, she probably starts the race with a slight edge, but McSally can close the gap. Until just days before
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