Kyrsten Sinema outraises Martha McSally in US Senate race

Oct 17, 2018, 4:24 AM | Updated: 12:53 pm
U.S. Senate candidates, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., left, and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ar...
U.S. Senate candidates, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., left, and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., prepare their remarks in a television studio prior to a televised debate, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has raised more money than Republican Martha McSally in the contentious Arizona race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.

Sinema has raised about $15.7 million while McSally has brought in about $12.5 million, according to the latest numbers from the Federal Election Commission.

The latest numbers were released Tuesday, a day after the two candidates in the U.S. Senate race went head-to-head for the first and only scheduled debate.

While Sinema has raised more money, McSally has more cash on hand that she still hasn’t spent. The Republican congresswoman has more than $3.3 million on hand, while her Democratic opponent has $2.1 million.

“McSally does have more on hand for the start [of early voting], but I doubt that by Election Day she has more than a million,” Noah Rudnick, a data analyst with OH Predictive Insights, said. “That would be a lot to waste in a toss-up race.”

He said having more cash on hand will help McSally with undecided voters. Rudnick added this is especially important given that early voting has already started and “people are definitely going to be seeing their ballots and faced with the decision of who they are going to choose.”

“If you have the resources to be able to spend to push those people to vote for you, that could be the deciding factor,” Rudnick said.

The latest Federal Election Commission numbers also show a lot of money is being poured in to oppose the candidates in this U.S. Senate race, which is considered a key race in the Democrats’ efforts to take control of the Senate. Republicans currently hold control with a 51-49 margin.

A combined $27 million has been spent against the candidates. Of that money, about $14.6 million has been spent to oppose Sinema and more than $12.8 million has been spent to oppose McSally.

“That’s a lot of money,” Rudnick said. “It shows that the campaigns are letting these outside groups do the negative ads and the dirty work for them. They don’t want to attach their name to it as much.”

He added negative ads can have a big influence on voters.

“If I am a McSally voter and I see an anti-McSally ad and it resonates, you just become an undecided voter,” he said. “And then from there, it’s up to the campaign to really persuade those undecided voters.”

The opposition spending is expected to increase as the Nov. 6 midterm election gets closer.

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Kyrsten Sinema outraises Martha McSally in US Senate race