2020 is a very different year, and not just because of COVID-19. President Trump, after winning in a surprise four years before, is fighting an uphill battle in the polls. Most incumbent presidents get reelected, but this could be one of the exceptions.
Some Republican incumbents have embraced Trump, and some of those who opposed him disappeared from the landscape. That is what upset Republicans’ longtime hold on Senate seats in Arizona, as Jeff Flake decided not to run. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema won a narrow victory in 2018 over her House colleague Martha McSally. McSally then was appointed to the other seat, formerly held by the late Sen. John McCain.
Now McSally, a former Air Force combat pilot, is being challenged by popular former astronaut Mark Kelly, who is leading according to some observers. In the craziness of 2020, some of her party members who are major Trump opponents are attacking her, saying she should have parted ways with the president.
A group named after the party’s early and most prominent member, the “Lincoln Project,” held a town hall Thursday attacking McSally for supporting the president. Among the PAC members are George Conway, husband of key White House aide Kellyanne Conway, and Steve Schmidt, formerly an adviser to McCain. Other targets are Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sens. Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis and Cory Gardner.
The group, in its attacks ultimately targeting Trump, is aiming to give Democrats not only the White House but both houses of Congress as well. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Democrats running for national office have offered few ideas for dealing with a global pandemic and other serious problems that Trump faces daily. If his “Republican” opponents succeed, what will be left of their party? They aren’t likely to find much acceptance in the Democratic Party of 2020.
Pinal was the largest county won by McSally in 2018, and it voted for Trump two years before that. This is a different year, but the results may not change much.