Supreme Court fight may energize Arizona conservatives, but how will independents respond?

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, is considered a swing vote and is facing a tough challenge from Sara Gideon, her Democratic opponent.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

By Ronald J. Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic

When President Donald Trump and Sen. Martha McSally quickly noted their desire to fill the sudden vacancy on the Supreme Court, they fired up their conservative base voters in Arizona.

But they may have further alienated the independent voters that both will need to win on Nov. 3.

For Trump, the death Friday of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered the opportunity to move the high court even further to the right. And for McSally, R-Ariz., it was a chance to remind conservatives that she is supportive of the president’s agenda — and has been overwhelming during her time in the Senate.  

But political analysts say that those who most fervently care about the role of the Supreme Court have been on board with the Trump and GOP campaigns in Arizona for months. Meanwhile, the swath of independent voters who helped elect Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in 2018 may be unimpressed by what could appear to be a political power grab.

Aside from the process and timing of filling the Supreme Court seat, both parties will be reminding voters of the consequences of the selection of the next Supreme Court justice on issues ranging from health care to abortion and immigration reform to climate change. 

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