Former astronaut raises nearly $1 million more than vulnerable GOP senator


Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) is struggling to match the fundraising momentum of her opponent, former astronaut Mark Kelly.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) is one of the most vulnerable senators in the country, and her lackluster fundraising trails far behind challenger Mark Kelly, according to numbers released on Monday.

McSally raised almost $3.4 million in the past three months, compared to a whopping $4.2 million raised by Kelly. Kelly also increased his cash on hand advantage. The former astronaut has $6 million ready to spend, compared to the $4.4 million in McSally's account.

Despite lagging behind Kelly, McSally's campaign released an Orwellian statement claiming her side had the momentum in the 2020 election. According to McSally's campaign consultant Terry Nelson, her totals show "the momentum and strength behind her campaign."

It's difficult to square the claim that McSally has the edge with the fact that she trails her opponent by more than a million dollars, a point made by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

"Democratic Senate candidates in key states across the country are breaking fundraising records, outpacing Republicans, and putting their opponents on notice — and they're doing it with strong grassroots support and small-dollar donations," Stewart Boss, DSCC spokesperson, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Kelly's campaign has been thriving on small donations from Arizonans. More than 90% of Kelly's donors gave less than $100. The average donation was $45.

Health care was a central issue in the 2018 campaign. McSally was in favor of ripping health insurance away from millions of Americans, including people living with preexisting conditions. When Republicans were preparing to vote for a health care repeal bill, McSally, who was then a member of the House of Representatives, reportedly led the charge, telling her colleagues, "Let's get this f***ing thing done!"

McSally has continued her anti-health care crusade in the senate by rubber-stamping Trump-nominated judges with poor records on health care issues.

"McSally has repeatedly refused to stand up and fight for Arizonans in Congress," Brad Bainum, Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson, told Shareblue Media. "From supporting health care cost increases to backing tax cuts for the wealthy, Martha McSally works to put her party and corporate special interest donors first in Washington, not hardworking Arizonans."

In the 2018 election, Arizonans rejected McSally and voted for Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. McSally is only serving in the senate because Arizona's Republican governor appointed her to the position.

In 2019, donors are rejecting McSally with their wallets and purses.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.