PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Down in the polls and behind in fundraising, Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is telling her supporters to "fast a meal" and donate the money to her campaign instead.
The Republican senator made the request at a recent event in northern Arizona, where she told the audience that she needs more money to keep pace with her Democratic opponent, Mark Kelly.
"We're doing our part to catch up, you know, to get our message out. But it takes resources. So, anybody can give, I'm not ashamed to ask, to invest. If you can give a dollar, five dollars, if you can fast a meal and give what that would be," McSally told her audience on an audio recording obtained by Arizona's Family.
While many restaurants are struggling to survive the economic fallout caused by COVID-19, officials with McSally's campaign said she was joking about skipping a meal.
Since 1984 thirteen “keys” have helped one historian accurately pick who would win the presidential election.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the campaign said in part, "This is a dumb non-story about a candidate making a joke on the stump."
Republican businesswoman Christine Jones, who ran for governor in 2014 and Congress two years later, called McSally's fundraising pitch, "unconventional."
"I haven't talked to (McSally) about it, so I can't really opine on the specifics but it does feel like its a little bit of an act of desperation," Jones said.
While McSally has raised a lot of cash to wage her campaign this year, she has not been able to keep up with Kelly, who had more than double the cash on hand than she did at the end of June, which was the last reporting period.
Polls this month show Kelly leading McSally by as much as 11 points and as little as 5 points, according to a list of surveys tracked by the website, Real Clear Politics.