Former John McCain aides call out 'despicable' Republican lies as Kyrsten Sinema's Arizona Senate lead rattles Trump's GOP

Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Commission have suggested there’s something shady and underhanded about counting every vote.

Kyrsten Sinema

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema’s lead in Arizona’s Senate race continues to grow as the votes are counted. Republican Martha McSally led in the early counting, but Sinema took the lead Thursday night and hasn't looked back. As of Sunday evening, Sinema’s lead was 32,640, for a 49.6 percent to 48.1 percent lead. Republicans have taken this about as well as you’d expect, with Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Commission alike suggesting that there’s something shady and underhanded about counting every vote.

Two former aides to the late Sen. John McCain called out the Republican efforts to undermine democracy in Arizona. Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime speechwriter and co-author, responded to the NRSC’s accusation that Democrats are “cook[ing] the books” for Sinema with a tweet saying “Stop doing this, NRSC. McSally is losing fair and square, and she’s underperforming in more than Maricopa. The race is almost certainly lost and nothing will change that. All this does is poison our politics more. Despicable.” 

Salter’s tweet was followed by one from John Weaver, an adviser to McCain and to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, saying “I ran @SenJohnMcCain political world for 10 years & can tell you what is going on in AZ  is above board & by the rules. The @NRSC & @SenCoryGardner are not only spreading lies & nutty theories, but undermining democracy. @RepMcSally lost this race when she became Trump clone.”

But Republicans are engaging in classic projection: they’ve worked to cook the books and suppress the votes and stop the counting everywhere they could, so they assume that’s what Democrats are doing. And even if they don’t believe their spin, undermining the public’s faith in democracy is a good move for the Republican Party’s future.

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Laura Clawson is the Labor editor at Daily Kos Labor, and a contributing editor at Daily Kos.