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AZ Senate Race Still Too Close to Call; Media Calls Green Party Candidate A "Spoiler"

Created: 09 November, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
2 min read

The Arizona Senate race is a real nail biter.

Over 48 hours after the polls closed in Arizona: "Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema leads Republican Rep. Martha McSally by only a few thousand votes in a race that is too close to call."

This election is pivotal as Republicans try to hold onto their majority in the U.S. Senate, and the Republican Senate win in Florida is now in jeopardy as new ballots appear in Broward County, sending the close Senate race there tumbling toward a manual recount, with state Republicans ordering an investigation of the new ballots.

Arizona is crucial because it was one of only two Republican Senate seats in play for Democrats this election.

That's why the Green Party candidate in the race, Angela Green, informally withdrew from the race and threw her support behind the Democrats' candidate, Kyrsten Sinema, saying:

"After seeing the most recent poll numbers, I felt the only way I could make my Senate race matter is to withdraw from it.I knew I wasn’t going to win, so being a true candidate for the people and not the politics, I felt that if I withdrew and could endorse a candidate closest to the ideas and views of those whom I represent, then at least I can feel as though this withdrawal from the Senate race will not be in vain. So I made the hardest decision of my Green Party campaign and that was to drop out and endorse Kyrsten Sinema of the Democratic Party. Although not perfect, she is better than the alternative."

Still, it appears that Green, whose name remained on the ballot, took over four times as many votes as the narrow difference between Sinema and Republican candidate Martha McSally. Because those votes would ostensibly have gone toward Sinema had Green's name not been on the ballot, the media is calling Green a spoiler in the race if McSally closes the gap when all the votes are counted.

This is an opportune time for election reform activists to point out that a ranked choice voting ballot in Arizona would prevent candidates like Angela Green from "spoiling" the results for a Democrat who actually enjoys broader support than the Republican in an election. It would also prevent more conservative Libertarian Party candidates from spoiling the results for a Republican who enjoys broader support than the Democrat.

Something for Democrats and Republicans to consider.