In last election race in the U.S. Republican Martha McSallydefeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Ron Barber by 167 votes to represent Arizona's Second Congressional district. On election night, McSally led Barber by 161 votes, triggering an automatic recount that stretched on for weeks – a replay of their 2012 election, when a recount had Barber beat McSally by 2,500 votes.
“There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race,” McSally said after the results were announced, calling on the campaigns to “come together and heal our community.”
Barber had tried to focus on McSally's position on abortion to increase single female voter turnout, a successful strategy in 2012, when he linked McSally to Todd Akin. At the time her spokesman, Bruce Harvie, called Akins' comments about 'legitimate' rape “absolutely reprehensible.”
Democrats also accused McSally of flip-flopping on abortion in the two-year interval between campaigns. In 2012, she responded to a questionnaire from the Center for Arizona Policy by saying she supported "prohibiting abortion except where it is necessary to prevent the death of the mother" and favored conscience rights for health care professionals "to opt out of performing procedures that violate their moral or religious beliefs."
This year, she told Tucson radio talk show host John C. Scott, “I am pro-life with three exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.”