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New Report Gives Republicans an Edge in 2016 U.S. Senate Race


A new report says Republicans have an edge in Arizona’s 2016 U.S. Senate race. But the state’s five-term incumbent John McCain still faces challenges from Democrats as well as from within his own party. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Lake Havasu State Senator Kelli Ward is widely seen as McCain’s biggest primary challenger. Much of her support has come from the more conservative wing of the Republican Party.

The Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report and the website Roll Call say McCain isn’t in much danger of a primary loss. They also recently classified the race as “favored Republican.” But Roll Call also recently listed the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee as one of the 10 most vulnerable senators up for reelection.

District One Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is likely to be the Democratic nominee for Senate in the general election. She won’t seek another term in the U.S. House of Representatives next year in order to take on McCain.

In all, 34 U.S. Senators will be up for reelection next year. Republicans currently hold a 54-46 majority. 

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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