Cook Political Report shifts Arizona Senate rating to ‘toss up’
The Cook Political Report said on Thursday that it would be shifting its rating of the Arizona Senate race from “lean Democrat” to “toss up” less than two weeks ahead of the November midterms.
Jessica Taylor, Cook’s Senate and governors editor, said the nonpartisan election handicapper was shifting the race back to a “toss up” because recent private polling has shown the race between Sen. Mark Kelley (D) and Republican Blake Masters tightening up despite the fact that Democrats are outspending Republicans in the state by a 2-to-1 margin.
Even recent public surveys have shown the two polling within the margin of error. A poll from the left-leaning Data for Progress released on Wednesday showed the candidates tied at 47 percent each.
While Taylor noted that Kelly was favored to win among all of the Senate seats they’ve rated as “toss ups,” she said that “if Arizona is falling, many states before it already have, most likely, including Nevada and maybe Georgia.”
“Given the spending disparity, some Democrats rightly worry about what the race would look like were they not so heavily outspending Masters, underscoring again just how important the fundraising advantage has been across the board for Democrats. Kelly outperformed Biden in the state in 2020 by two points, but it was also by a much narrower margin than polling two years ago,” she also noted.
The Senate Republicans’ campaign arm slashed spending in the race in August, and a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) canceled $9.6 million in spending in the state in September. And while former President Trump has traveled to Arizona twice this year, he’s notably left the state out of a last-minute campaign blitz.