Sunday, July 30, 2017

CD2 candidate update: What is wrong with Martha McSally?

Here’s an update on the CD2 race from Jim Nintzel’s “The Skinny” in the Tucson Weekly. (h/t Miriam Lindmeier)

I picked a few snippets that list the candidates and some good and bad news for Dems. For more on the campaign finances and candidate creds, see Nintzel’s article.

Kirkpatrick jumps into the CD2 race

To no great surprise, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, the former congresswoman who represented the sprawling Congressional District 1 from 2012 to 2016, jumped into the race to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Martha McSally here in Southern Arizona’s Congressional District 2.

Who else is running?

Kirkpatrick will have to outrun a number of fellow Democrats, including Dr. Matt Heinz, the former state lawmaker who lost to McSally in 2016; Mary Matiella, a political newcomer who is running for Congress after a long career in the federal government that was capped with a gig as a United States assistant secretary of the Army in the financial management arena; former state lawmaker Bruce Wheeler (who just picked up the support of another would-be candidate who dropped out, Air Force vet and Jet Blue pilot Jeff Latas); businessman and political newcomer Billy Kovacs; and a handful of various other candidates who may or may not be serious about their candidacies.

The bad news for Dems

… it remains to be seen how well Kirkpatrick will connect with CD2 voters; in her unsuccessful bid for John McCain’s Senate seat last year, she lost CD2 by 3 percentage points. (On the bright side, that puts her ahead of Heinz, who lost to McSally by 14 percentage points in 2016.) Given that Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 5 percentage points in CD2, it’s fair to say that both Kirkpatrick and Heinz underperformed.

The good news for Dems

… CD2 remains a swing district and McSally herself, in her more candid moments, admits that Trump’s unpopularity—combined with her reluctance to criticize anything he does—leaves her vulnerable …

And well it should.

What’s wrong with Martha McSally?

McSally’s alliance with Trump extends to more than just not being critical. In a district that is split politically, one might expect our Rep. McSally’s voting record to reflect that split. That would be wrong.

Until recently she voted 100% in line with Trump’s positions (now 97.5%). More to the point her votes do not respect the makeup of CD2. In terms of the discrepancy between the CD2 split and her extreme voting record, she ranks 13th among the House Republicans in her devotion to Trump and the GOP party line. (See the voting records at the 538 site.)

Back in May I took exception to what I called Martha McSally’s War on Medicaid. She did vote for the House’s rather ugly American Health Care Act which was basically a repeal Obamacare and replace it with something worse. I reviewed the stats. Statewide, over 600,000 Arizonans would be affected had the House bill been approved by the Senate and signed by Trump. Here’s what the numbers say about those in CD2.

According to numbers compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation and reported by Indivisible in its summary of Affordable Care Act data by congressional district, thousands of McSally’s constituents will be negatively affected by ACA repeal. The Number of People Enrolled in a Marketplace Plan is 19,100 and the Number of People Gaining Coverage From Medicaid Expansion is 28,507, so the Total Number At Risk Due to ACA Repeal in CD2 is 47,607.

Why would Martha McSally want that for her constituents? What is wrong with her?

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