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By Anthony Cave April 29, 2016

Pro-McCain PAC says Democratic challenger votes by party almost 90 percent of the time

The race for John McCain’s U.S. Senate seat is in full swing in Arizona. The senior senator already said he’s skipping July’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland to campaign for this sixth term.

His challengers include fellow Republican Kelli Ward and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 30.

We came across an advertisement attacking Kirkpatrick, which comes from the Arizona Grassroots Action Political Action Committee.

"She votes with her party nearly 90 percent of the time," the ad states, as the graphic shows Kirkpatrick and President Barack Obama side by side.

Although the PAC’s ad says it is not authorized by any candidate or committee, they’ve taken a pro-McCain stance, spending wise, in this Senate race.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the PAC has spent $211,547 against Ward in the last two weeks. They’ve also spent $45,050 supporting McCain.

But what about Kirkpatrick and her voting record?

We reached out to the PAC and did not hear back. Still, the ad’s claim checks out based on the numbers we found.

According to CQ Roll Call, which tracks and analyzes congressional data, Kirkpatrick sided with her party 88 percent of the time in 2014 and 84 percent in 2013. Although, her support of Obama was 76 percent in 2014 and 77 percent in 2013.

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CQ defines "presidential support" as voting in agreement with the president’s position.

We reached out to the Kirkpatrick campaign, and spokesman D.B. Mitchell did provide us with several examples of the congresswoman voting against party lines.

In June 2015, Kirkpatrick was one of only eight Democrats to vote for the Ratepayer Protection Act, which would have delayed compliance with carbon dioxide emissions for states. It passed with support from 239 Republicans.

And in 2009, she voted against the American Clean Energy and Securities Act, which would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to set greenhouse gas limits (211 Democrats voted for it).

Finally, we should note that, historically, most members of Congress vote along party lines, and the partisan divide has worsened in the last 60 years.

Our ruling

The Arizona Grassroots PAC said that Kirkpatrick "votes with her party nearly 90 percent of the time."

The data backs up this claim. However, her campaign can point to a couple of instances where Kirkpatrick did cross party lines on votes.

We rate the ad as Mostly True.


Our Sources

PolitiFact TV Ad Archive, "Ann Kirkpatrick," accessed April 27,2016

ABC15, "Sen. John McCain might miss Republican National Convention for first time in more than 30 years," April 19, 2016

Center for Responsive Politics, "Arizona Grassroots Action," accessed April 27. 2016

CQ Roll Call, "CQ member profiles: Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.)," accessed April 27, 2016

PolitiFact, "Cotton: Pryor votes with Obama 93 percent of the time," Oct. 22, 2014

The Washington Post, "A stunning visualization of our divided Congress," April 23, 2015

GovTrack.us, "H.R. 2042: Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015," accessed April 28, 2016  

GovTrack.us, "H.R. 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009," accessed April 28, 2016

Interview with Kirkpatrick spokesman D.B. Mitchell, April 28, 2016

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Pro-McCain PAC says Democratic challenger votes by party almost 90 percent of the time

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