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Fri, Oct. 18

Green Party candidate Angela Green drops out of race for Senate, props up Sinema

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema talks to the media after rallying volunteers at a get-out-the-vote phone bank in Phoenix, Ariz., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Sinema and Republican Martha McSally are taking different approaches to the campaign, with Sinema focusing on retail politics and McSally rallying with high profile Republicans like Donald Trump Jr. (Bob Christie/AP)

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema talks to the media after rallying volunteers at a get-out-the-vote phone bank in Phoenix, Ariz., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Sinema and Republican Martha McSally are taking different approaches to the campaign, with Sinema focusing on retail politics and McSally rallying with high profile Republicans like Donald Trump Jr. (Bob Christie/AP)

PHOENIX — A last-minute decision by the Green Party candidate to drop out of the race for U.S. Senate could provide Democrat Kyrsten Sinema a needed bump.

Angela Green told KPNX-TV on Thursday she wants people to vote for “a better Arizona.’’

“And that would be for Kyrsten Sinema,’’ she said.

Green, whose polling has never gotten above single digits, said she struggled with the decision.

“But that’s what it is,’’ she said.

Green said she could not support Republican Martha McSally who, depending on which poll is cited, is in a neck-and-neck race with Sinema. That decision, Green said, had to do with Sinema’s views.

“They are more in line with what my political, my agenda is, what I’m looking to do to help Arizona become more green again,’’ she said. That conclusion, Green said, came following watching the debate between the two contenders.

“Sinema’s stance on a lot of things are close to mine,’’ she said.

Whether that moves the needle remains to be seen.

A survey by OH Predictive Insights released Wednesday put McSally at 52 percent versus 45 percent for Sinema. Green was polling at 1 percent, with 2 percent undecided. That survey was taken between Oct. 22 and 23.

But a CNN poll covering Oct. 24 through 29 had Sinema up 4 points, the poll’s margin of error.

And one done by NBC and Marist in the Oct. 23 to 27 had Sinema with a 6-point lead in a head-to-head race, though Sinema’s lead shrunk to 3 points when polled as a three-way race including Green.

Then there’s the question of whether there are enough Green supporters out there who have not already mailed in their early ballots.

Figures Thursday from the Secretary of State show about 1.35 million ballots already have been turned in.

There are about 3.7 million registered voters. But that still leaves the question of how many will actually cast a vote. The last midterm election in 2014 had a turnout of just 47.2 percent of those registered. There have been some predictions that voter interest is stronger this year than it was at that time, especially with the fight over the Senate seat that became open when Republican Jeff Flake decided not to seek reelection.

By comparison, turnout two years ago, with a presidential election, was 74.2 percent.

“Sixteen years later and Kyrsten Sinema’s still the Green Party’s candidate,’’ said McSally spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair. That is a reference to the fact that Sinema had aligned herself with the Green Party in her first bid for the Legislature in 2002; she did not get elected until two years later under the Democratic Party banner. Green could not be reached for comment.

At least one area where Green’s views likely come closer to that of Sinema is on the issue of immigration.

“I, too, am an immigrant,’’ she wrote on the information submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. “That is why I support programs like DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and laws that make it easier and more efficient for immigrants coming here to become valuable citizens in our society.’’

McSally, by contrast, has hewed close to the positions of President Trump, promoting the fact that she supported legislation that includes building a wall. She also has come out in support of the president’s decision to send troops to the border.

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