Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll

Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll

Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly and incumbent Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Unemployment benefits to expire as coronavirus talks deadlock McConnell tees up showdown on unemployment benefits MORE (R) are virtually tied in the Grand Canyon State’s 2020 Senate race, according to a new Emerson College poll released Tuesday.

Kelly, a former astronaut and gun control activist who's married to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), has the support of 46 percent of registered voters, while McSally, who was appointed to her position after losing the race for Arizona’s other Senate seat last year, has 45 percent.


Despite the poll showing a tight race overall, it does flash a warning light for McSally, who trails Kelly among independents by 5 points. 

The race between Kelly and McSally is one of the nation’s highest profile Senate races. It's also McSally’s second Senate campaign in two years — last year she lost a bid against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to replace retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R), but was eventually appointed to fill the Senate seat left open after the death of former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAsian American voters could make a difference in 2020 Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP The Memo: Biden seeks to peel older voters from Trump MORE (R-Ariz.).

The Arizona race is also likely to be one of the costliest of the 2020 cycle. So far Kelly has outpaced McSally in fundraising in every quarter this cycle, ending the third quarter of 2019 with $9.5 million in cash on hand compared to McSally’s $5.6 million.

The 2018 race between Sinema and McSally drew $48 million in spending between the two candidates and outside groups. Only five other contests attracted more spending that year. 

“The support that we’re seeing for this Mission for Arizona is simply out of this world,” Jen Cox, Kelly's campaign manager, said after the campaign’s third quarter haul was announced. 

“The past few months, Mark has been talking with Arizonans from Window Rock to Clarkdale to Parker about solutions to tackle rising health care costs and the price of prescription drugs," she continued. "This campaign is demonstrating the power of putting Arizona first, not corporate PACs and not divisive politics.”

Unseating McSally would significantly ease Democrats’ path to winning the Senate majority: The party has to flip three seats if it also takes the White House and four if it does not. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as a “toss up.” 

The Emerson College poll surveyed 901 registered voters from Oct. 25-28 and has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.