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Report: GOP leader asks President Trump to endorse Martha McSally

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., delivers her signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State's office Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at the Capitol in Phoenix. McSally is officially running as a Republican for U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – A national political website reported Friday that a top Republican Senator asked President Donald Trump to endorse Rep. Martha McSally in Arizona’s GOP Senate primary.

The Politico story said Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado asked the president to support the former U.S. Air Force pilot over former state Sen. Dr. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the Aug. 28 primary.

The website cited two unnamed senior Republicans familiar with the conversation, which occurred recently during a phone call.

According to one of the sources, Trump was non-committal in his response.

Gardner is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which, according to its website, is “solely devoted to strengthening the Republican Senate majority and electing Republicans” to the Senate.

McSally is considered the GOP establishment favorite in the race to replace Republican Jeff Flake, who isn’t seeking re-election.

The seat is key to the Democrats’ hopes of gaining control of the Senate.

According to the most recent polling, McSally is leading the primary race and also has the best chance at defeating the likely Democratic candidate, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

An OH Predictive Insights/ABC15 poll conducted July 23-25 showed McSally as the top choice for 35 percent of likely Republican primary voters, with Ward getting 27 percent and Arpaio at 15 percent. That was much tighter than a June poll, when McSally led Ward 39 percent to 25 percent.

The poll also asked about potential general election matchups. The results showed McSally within four percent of Sinema, who held a 48-44 head-to-head lead, within the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Sinema led Ward by 10 percent and Arpaio by 18.

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