Senate candidate promised to vote against GOP more than 20% of the time. She rarely ever did.

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) has voted with Donald Trump more than 97 percent of the time.

Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) at a February news conference
Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) at a February news conference. CREDIT: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

As a Congressional candidate back in 2014, Martha McSally (R-AZ) explicitly promised that she would vote against her party more than 20 percent of the time in Congress. She has not even come close.

McSally made the promise in an October 7, 2014 debate against then-Rep. Ron Barber (D). First, she attacked Barber’s claims of bipartisanship, suggesting that his record as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress was insufficient. “I don’t think it’s bipartisan when you say you voted against your party only 20 percent of the time,” she said. “If that’s what’s going on in our country, that’s what’s wrong with Washington, DC.”

The moderator then asked whether McSally, if elected, would vote against the GOP positions more than 20 percent of the time. “Absolutely,” she replied.


It is now clear that this was an empty promise. According to FiveThirtyEight, McSally has voted with Donald Trump fully 97.2 percent of the time. In October, the Arizona Republic called her “Arizona’s most reliable vote for [the] Trump agenda.” Now seeking the GOP nomination for retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R) open seat, McSally even highlighted that quote in her campaign kickoff ad.

Martha McSally campaign video screenshot
CREDIT: Martha McSally campaign video screenshot

After making the now-broken bipartisanship pledge, McSally cited “equal pay for equal work” for women as an issue on which she disagreed with the GOP and one on which she would focus. More than three years into her House tenure, she has sponsored no bills dealing with that topic and has not signed on as a co-sponsor of the Fair Pay Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, or even even two non-binding resolutions commemorating Equal Pay Day.