Regardless of what happens at tonight’s U.S. Senate debate between John McCain and Ann Kirkpatrick, and regardless of the never ending battling between Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and the two Senators from the Grand Canyon State, it very well could be John McCain who delivers Arizona for Donald Trump.
The most recent polls show a very tight race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton leads the last poll conducted by 2%, but well within the margin of error. Meaning the the whole of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes will surely come down to the ground game and turnout machinery built by the campaigns.
Clinton had built an impressive apparatus across the swing states, including Arizona, boasting 32 offices with 161 staff. Meanwhile the Trump campaign’s ground game is notoriously absent and has mainly been handled by the GOP, who recently passed instructions to focus on the down-ticket races in light of the latest Trump scandal.
On the flip side, John McCain has built an impressive operation over 34-years of running for office in Arizona and is expected to easily defeat Kirkpatrick according to the latest polling numbers. And while Trump’s and McCain’s constituencies vary in that McCain is far more favorable to the 33% Hispanic population of the state it is easy to picture a scenario where a deadlocked race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Arizona comes down to the efficiency of the ground operations built by the Clinton and McCain campaigns.