Kelly faces tough Senate race despite huge funding advance | Government and politics


“If you compare candidates and remove self-funding, everyone is on competitive ground,” said McGuire Campaign spokeswoman Lisa James, who said the campaign was “very confident” about its current position.

The crowded field could play against the GOP, with the primary not until August, just three months before the general election.

“Because of the long campaign, you’re going to see the candidates turn around trying to differentiate themselves from each other,” said Bill Scheel, a partner at Arizona-based consulting firm Javelina.

Another challenge for Republicans is name recognition. With the exception of Brnovich, few are well known to voters in the state.

“It’s pretty obvious that none of the Republican candidates have really figured out donors yet,” Scheel said. “And I think the fact that you have four candidates makes it more difficult because there hasn’t been a clear favorite.”

That could change if former President Donald Trump gets involved. He has so far refused to endorse a GOP nominee in the Senate race.

“One of the biggest questions in the Republican primary is what is former President Trump doing?” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections. “Having her endorsement, especially in a crowded race, could help a candidate rise above the top.”


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