Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyKelly raises million in third quarter Ruben Gallego is left's favorite to take on Sinema Texas not hiring private contractor for election audit MORE (R-Ariz.) has taken a narrow lead over Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donating unused campaign funds to Arizona nonprofit focused on elections: report Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report MORE (R-Ariz.) according to a new ABC15–OH Predictive Insights poll released Wednesday.
It is McSally's first lead in the poll that comes just under eight weeks before the midterm elections.
The poll shows McSally overtaking Sinema with 49 percent of the likely vote compared to Sinema’s 46 percent, a difference that falls within the margin of error. Sinema had led by 6 points in the poll earlier this year.
Both candidates enjoy positive favorability ratings by similar margins. McSally has a 49-39 favorable/unfavorable rating, and Sinema has a 47-38 favorable/unfavorable rating.
However, McSally, whose approval rating has been tied to that of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE in past polls, is buoyed by improved numbers for the president in Arizona.
Trump is above water with about 51 percent of likely Arizona voters approving of the job he’s doing so far, compared with 47 percent who disapprove of his job performance.
He also has made significant gains among crucial swing demographics. His approval rating spiked 17.3 percent among likely voters aged 55-64, 13.3 percent among likely voters with a bachelor’s degree and 11.1 percent among women.
Trump tweeted out his endorsement of McSally in August.
Martha McSally is an extraordinary woman. She was a very talented fighter jet pilot and is now a highly respected member of Congress. She is Strong on Crime, the Border and our under siege 2nd Amendment. Loves our Military and our Vets. Has my total and complete Endorsement!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
Democrats, who are defending 10 Senate seats in states Trump won in 2016, see the Arizona race as one of their few opportunities to flip a Republican seat in November. Republicans currently hold a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the Senate. The president won Arizona by just more than 3.5 points in 2016.
The Cook Political Report lists the Senate race as a “toss up.”
RealClearPolitics average of polls has Sinema leading the race by 1.4 points.
OH Predictive Insights surveyed 597 likely Arizona voters from Sept. 5 to 6. The poll has a margin of error of 4.01 percentage points.