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GOP Yanks Ad Spending for Marquez Peterson in Arizona

Vague debate answer on climate change drew crowd reactions

Former Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is running in Arizona’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Former Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is running in Arizona’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will halt television ad spending in Arizona’s 2nd District days after the party’s candidate stumbled during a debate.

During the race’s only debate Tuesday, Lea Marquez Peterson drew guffaws for a vague answer on whether she believes in climate change, the Arizona Republic reported. Marquez Peterson trailed Democratic opponent, former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, by 11 points in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll.

Health care has also been a vulnerability for Marquez Peterson.

Kirkpatrick lost her seat in 2010 in part due to her vote for President Barack Obama’s health care law, the paper reported, but she has since found her support for the law in 2010 is benefitting her in this race.

The candidate said during the debate this week that she was motivated to run when district Rep. Martha McSally voted for a Republican bill that would have left millions more patients without health coverage, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

McSally is running against U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for Sen. Jeff Flake’s soon-to-be-vacated seat in a race that Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates a Toss-up.

Support for the 2010 health care law has ticked upward since Republican efforts to void the law last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly tracking poll. Four in 10 Americans are “very worried” they or a loved one could lose health care if those with pre-existing conditions are not protected, according to the most recent KFF numbers.

Marquez Peterson has had to straddle opposition to the 2010 law while vaguely promising to keep intact the law’s popular protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for the 2nd District as Tilts Democratic.

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