Kirkpatrick Faces Uphill Battle In Senate Race Against McCain

By Will Stone
Published: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 6:35pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 10:50am
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(KJZZ file photos)
Ann Kirkpatrick and John McCain

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will have an uphill battle against longtime incumbent Sen. John McCain when she runs for his Senate seat in 2016.

With more than $3 million already raised, McCain is going for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate. Enter Kirkpatrick, who narrowly won the race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District in 2014. She is billing herself as a moderate Democrat in touch with the evolving demographics and politics of Arizona.

In her official announcement video, Kirkpatrick said she respects "John McCain's service to our nation. I just believe our state is changing.”

Arizona State University political scientist Kim Fridkin called Kirkpatrick's run against McCain "a long shot."

While 90 percent of Senate races are won by the incumbent, Fridkin believes a strategy for Kirkpatrick could be to emphasize McCain’s longevity.

“He has been in office for a long time. He is older, and he is being challenged by the right," Fridkin said. "So all those things could add up to some leverage for Kirkpatrick.”

Kirkpatrick is currently serving her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Editor's Note: This story has been modified to reflect the correct spelling of Kim Fridkin's name.