Republican efforts to hold or win the state’s three competitive congressional districts also could be complicated by Trump if, as some political experts warn, it drives independents, women and minority voters away from the GOP and even keeps many Republicans home on Election Day.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., potentially could have a tough fight in southeastern Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. Republicans also are angling to replace U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., who is running for McCain’s Senate seat, in the state’s sprawling rural 1st Congressional District.
“The establishment is so frightened about the effect down the ticket,” said David Berman, an Arizona State University professor emeritus of political science and senior research fellow at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. “I think they’ll start backing away from Trump.”
A statewide poll conducted March 7-11 by veteran Arizona political scientist and pollster Bruce Merrill gives Republicans some reasons for concern.