Five days before the midterm election, the Arizona Green Party's Senate candidate announced she is dropping out of the race and throwing her support behind Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema.
Green's decision could remove a huge challenge for Sinema, who is facing a tightening race in Arizona against GOP Rep. Martha McSally as Election Day looms closer. The Green Party candidate had captured up to six percent of the vote in recent polls. The current Real Clear Politics polling average shows Sinema with just a lead of 0.7 percentage points.
"I want them to vote for a better Arizona, and that would be for Kyrsten Sinema, the Democratic Party" Green told 12 News on Thursday. "My main reason is that they're more in line with what my agenda is, what I'm looking to do to help Arizona become more green again. After watching the debates and seeing Sinema's stance on a lot of things that are very close to mine."
Green said the decision to endorse Sinema was difficult.
"I have to make the decision that makes sense," she said. "I can't go up against two people who have spent $50 million on their campaigns."
Green's name will remain on the ballot, according to 12 News. An estimated 60 percent of all votes in Arizona's midterm elections have already been cast via mail-in-ballot, the news outlet reported.
Green qualified for the ballot by winning the Green Party primary in August, with 389 votes. She was excluded from the lone Arizona Senate debate on Oct. 15 — a move she said had taken away her opportunity to promote her political agenda with a larger audience.
"I was denied that at PBS that day," she said in reference to the network which broadcast the debate, "and was escorted out and wasn't able to do my free election, free campaign, free anything. It was really disheartening to me... I wanted to represent the voice of those who are tired of the nonsense."
Sinema and McSally are battling in one of the most high-profile Senate races of 2018. A recent NBC/Marist Poll showed that while the Democratic candidate has a six-point lead over her GOP rival, her six-point edge dropped to three points when pollsters asked respondents about Green. Still, Sinema is polling significantly better than she did in September.
Despite Sinema's improved performances, however, the odds are still against the Democrats when it comes to reclaiming the Senate on Election Day. As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight estimates the Democrats have a one-in-seven chance of taking control of the upper chamber.