The race was once considered to be a toss-up, but recent polls offer conflicting narratives on how close the race truly is.
The race has attracted a lot of attention from outside groups, which have poured more than
Additionally, both McCain and Kirkpatrick have individually raised millions of dollars and have begun spending money on television ads.
Kirkpatrick's ties to
Standing in the lobby of
Before being elected to
The 66-year-old congresswoman briefly helped make -- and eat -- tortillas at La Estrella. She spoke to locals who lined up to buy empanadas and other pastries as well as the fresh tortillas. Many didn't seem to know who Kirkpatrick was, nor that she was running against McCain.
Kirkpatrick has been criticized for her support for the Affordable Care Act, but the Flagstaff Democrat isn't backing away from the issue.
She believes that some of the issues with the system, including problems with finding companies willing to provide health insurance in rural areas, have become political. For example, AETNA's decision to leave the ACA marketplace briefly left
She contends AETNA officials left the marketplace because they wanted to hold federal officials hostage.
"AETNA's situation is vindictive. They are getting revenge on the
"Insurance companies are making record profit, including health-insurance companies," she said.
But she concedes that the Affordable Care Act still needs work.
"Even from the very beginning, I've said, 'We'd need a revision,'" Kirkpatrick said.
The top priorities for Kirkpatrick are building a world-class educational system and comprehensive immigration reform.
Kirkpatrick blames elected
McCain is well-known and is fighting battles on many fronts.
On a recent trip to his midtown
For example, McCain notes a Gallup poll found 29 percent of Americans report that the Affordable Care Act has hurt them financially.
"My opponent said it was one of her more important votes," McCain says.
The issue in finding health-insurance providers in the ACA marketplace in
"I know that when we are down to one that this is a complete contradiction to the promises that were made," McCain says. And he says he has heard numerous "horror stories" from supporters.
Jobs are also a top concern for McCain, although he believes the Obama administration has largely avoided
The Navajo coal generation plant, for example, is threatened by new standards set by the
"It is going to have devastating effect on
He offers himself as a check on presidential power, noting
"He said, 'I've got a pen, and I've got a phone,'" McCain said.
If Democratic presidential nominee
"If you talk to any small businessperson in
McCain also said
Most importantly, the plan would have provided a legal pathway for undocumented immigrants.
"There are 11 million people living here illegally," he said. "That is an unsustainable situation."
McCain still supports the plan, but says it will require a lot of work for each person before they can become a citizen.
or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson
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