National Republicans want President Donald Trump to intervene in the Arizona U.S. Senate primary because they fear the GOP will nominate an “unelectable” candidate and Democrats will win the seat in November, Politico reported.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) asked the president during a recent phone call to endorse GOP Rep. Martha McSally, who is considered the establishment favorite in the Aug. 28 primary, according to Politico.
Trump has yet to make any decision.
McSally is competing against former state Sen. Kelli Ward and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Polls have shown that McSally is leading. But some Republicans are concerned because they believe a nomination for Ward or Arpaio would mean a victory for the expected Democratic nominee, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would be majority leader if Democrats win two races in Arizona, Tennessee, and Nevada and protect all of their incumbents.
Key GOP leaders have expressed firm support of McSally and believe she can help maintain the party’s majority.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he believes McSally would give Sinema the toughest competition.
“It’s pretty obvious which of our candidates have a best chance of winning,” he said.
Also, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said she would campaign for McSally. GOP senators would face a difficult decision in deciding whether to endorse Arapio or Ward if one of them wins the primary.
Is Trump likely to intervene?
It is questionable if Trump would intervene. In the past he has praised Ward. Trump also gave a pardon to Arpaio, who faced up to six months in jail in a criminal contempt in a racial profiling case. Arpaio also shares Trump’s immigration views.
Ward and Arpaio have strongly aligned themselves with the president. However, the White House balked when Ward promoted a photo of herself with Trump, saying it implied he endorsed her when he hadn’t, the Arizona Republic reported.