Breaking News Emails
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Jane C. Timm
Republican Rep. Martha McSally wielded a literal ax on the campaign trail Sunday, as she vowed to cut taxes if Arizona voters elect her to the Senate.
“I like this,” McSally said of her “tax ax.” “Remember, I’m a warrior.”
In the race, the candidates have certainly been getting creative in how they run for office: Democratic Senate nominee Kyrsten Sinema ran a half marathon through Phoenix, Arizona, Sunday morning, scoring a personal best race time for the distance of 1 hour and 43 minutes, according to her campaign. On Saturday, the pair both attended the Arizona State University football game: McSally sang the national anthem, while Sinema did the coin toss.
The Arizona Senate rivals aren’t the only people pulling out all the stops and photo ops just two days before the midterm elections.
Musician John Legend is rallying Ohio voters in three events Sunday, while Latina actresses rallied voters in the Florida governor’s race. Former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden are hosting two events each, while President Donald Trump has two rallies.
So far, more than 34 million votes have been cast with early or absentee ballots nationwide, according to data provided by TargetSmart and independently analyzed by the NBC News Data Analytics Lab. That number exceeds the total nationwide early vote as of Election Day in 2014, when more than 21 million people voted early or absentee.
The contentious governor’s race isn’t slowing down. After Trump attacked Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum as “not equipped” to be governor during a Pensacola rally in support of his rival, former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, Democrats started the day with some Hollywood star power.
Latina actresses America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Gina Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson, and Zoe Saldana rallied Floridians to vote early for Gillum, at rally in Kissimmee with Gillum’s wife, R. Jai. The Latino vote in Florida is crucial: 17 percent of registered voters in the state are Latino.
Florida leads the nation in early and absentee ballots cast, with more than 4.3 million ballots cast so far via early or absentee ballots, according to data provided by TargetSmart.
Singer Rihanna also jumped into the race with a Sunday afternoon endorsement of Gillum posted to Instagram.
“You have the opportunity to make history this election. The US has only had four black Governors in its entire history, and we can help make #AndrewGillum the next one and Florida’s first!” she wrote, while encouraging voters to approve a ballot initiative that would restore voting rights to millions of ex-felons.
The most melodious surrogate of the day is Ohio-born John Legend, the singer-songwriter and EGOT winner, who is returning to his home state for three events in support of Ohio Democrats, including Rich Cordray and Betty Sutton, who are running a joint ticket for governor and lieutenant governor, and vulnerable Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Vaughn Hillyard contributed.