Editor’s Note: This post was written by Sarah Ellis, Deborah Moore and William Randall.
According to our research, we predict that incumbent Senator John McCain will win Arizona’s Senate seat with 52% of the votes and Representative Ann Kirkpatrick will receive about 46% of the vote with third-party candidates receiving the remaining 2% of votes. We believe that this will be the outcome due to many different factors.
The first reason we believe McCain will receive 52% of the votes is because of his status as an incumbent. This is a driving force in his campaign because voters know he can do the job. He has held this position for over 30 years, and as a former P.O.W. and presidential candidate, his name is well respected and widely known, especially in his own state. People are much more likely to vote for a name they know than they are for an unrecognized newcomer. Another reason Senator McCain will rally more votes than his Democratic counterpart is because the state of Arizona itself is strongly Republican. Arizona, for a number of years, has had Republican-dominated representation and it is more likely that if a person has voted Republican in the past, they will vote Republican again. McCain also has much more funding than his opponent, which allows him to publicize his campaign and keep his name in the news and in the homes of voters.
For Representative Kirkpatrick, she will most likely receive about 46% of the votes due to the sizable Hispanic population, about 30.7%, which will most likely vote Democratic. In addition to this, many people are finding fault with the Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and although Senator McCain had retracted his statement supporting Trump, many people in the state of Arizona were targets of some of his more poignant remarks, especially the immigrant population. This could drive many people to support Kirkpatrick in the election. Additionally, after McCain blamed President Obama for the Orlando attack, Kirkpatrick received about $100,000 virtually overnight. While this statement from McCain was certainly inappropriate, we do not think it will cost him the race. Even with the influx of money to the Kirkpatrick’s campaign, Senator McCain still has much more funding. There are definitely supporters of the Democratic candidate, but the power of incumbency and the name John McCain will get more people to the polls. When the citizens of Arizona are standing at the ballot box about to make a decision, it is the well-known senator who has been doing a good job for 30 years who will take the race over the hardworking newcomer that people unsure if they can take a chance on in today’s political circus.