She had counted on the low information voters to carry her to Congress, but as more and more of those voters become informed, Martha McSally is sinking in the polls. Congressman Ron Barber has pulled away from McSally according to Roll Call.
Barber was left of the paper’s list of “10 most vulnerable incumbents,” last week.
Evidence of the internal Republican polling, which shows McSally falling behind, was demonstrated in the less than enthusiastic conversations among Republican Party operatives in recent interviews. It has gotten so bad, that one Republican Party operative in an appearance on an obscure Tucson radio show desperately steered the conversation away from the topic of McSally to a local school board race.
According to the Yellow Sheet, “the primary reason Barber narrowly won in 2012 is that neither his campaign nor the national Dems grasped how competitive the race could be early on, something the source attributed to how handily Barber defeated Kelly in the special election that put him in office. As a result, McSally gained momentum, and the Dems struggled to stop it. But this year, the source said the Dems and Barber’s team were prepared and have run a much better campaign.”
The dems are much more prepared and McSally’s team isn’t. Her recent ad has drawn criticism for its incredibility. In the ad, McSally claims that she was the one who sounded the alarm about the A-10 and that Barber was asleep at the switch. However, according to retired A-10 pilot Tom Norris, “I was personally engaged with Rep Barber’s staff in June of 2013 on the A-10 issue. He was gathering data and had established a dialog with other senators, representatives, and the USAF before her op-ed in August of 2013. The definition of clueless has to be a person who assumes nobody is doing anything, pulls the fire alarm, then watches events with no impact for over a year, then claims credit.”
The truth of the A-10’s possible demise was revealed on the popular James T. Harris radio show during an interview with the perpetually befuddled Senator Jeff Flake shortly after Barber had already gone to work behind the scenes. Flake, who is closely associated with McSally has shown little interest in saving the A-10. In fact, there was little interest in the Arizona Republican delegation to save the A-10. As a result, Barber worked closely with New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) to save the troop saving plane. According to sources, McSally operatives later sought Ayotte’s endorsement and were rejected.
McSally’s embellishment of her accomplishments have irritated many of the very people who would naturally support her. Because of her exaggerations, she has been unable to earn the support of many of the Air Force retirees who reside in CD2. One retiree said of McSally’s bold claims about her service, “Barber has seen way more enemy fire than she has.”
McSally refused to participate in any debate during the Republican Primary. After every possible maneuver to dodge a debate with Barber, the two will face off tonight in a lived televised forum at 6:00 p.m. on PBS (Channel 6) and NPR 89.1 FM.
To learn more about the event click here