Arizona Senate race one of the closest – and most expensive – in the nation

The Senate race between Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema to replace Jeff Flake is one of the closest races in the nation. Consequently, it is also one of the most expensive elections Arizona has ever experienced.

According to, the Senate race between McSally and Sinema has raised over $39.7 million between both candidates. This will be the most expensive Senate race in the past 18 years (and maybe even longer, as OpenSecrets only has campaign data starting in 2000). Further, the closeness of the race likely accounts for the steep cost of each campaign.

Matthew Benson of public affairs firm Veridus explains that all eyes in the country are on this race.

“I think it’s understandable how expensive the campaign is when you consider this might be the closest Senate race in the entire country,” he states. “We’re talking about an election in which the control of the Senate is at stake, and this could make a big difference in deciding that.”

Benson notes that the open seat certainly plays a role in the election being so close, but it is mostly attributed to the formidability of both candidates.

“We’re talking about two members of Congress that are as politically astute as anyone that I can recall,” Benson said. “You have to go a long way to find an Arizona Democratic candidate as positioned to run as Kyrsten Sinema. But also, with Martha McSally’s service background, she is equally qualified and positioned to be the next senator.”

Political consultant Mario Diaz adds that beyond social standpoints, the candidates are very similar in many aspects, which brings the vote even closer.

“On the Democratic side, you have a candidate who is a more moderate and pro-business Democrat,” Diaz said. “On the other side, you have a pro-business, socially conservative Republican. The bread and butter issues, once you eliminate the social aspects, are on point.”

Diaz believes that this midterm election will receive a higher voter turnout than past years. Because Republicans want to maintain control of the Senate and Democrats want to take control, more voters will likely show up to the polling stations. In fact, the number of registered voters has increased by 3.5 percent year-over-year.

Ben Norman

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