Kelly leads McSally by 7 points in Arizona Senate poll

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D) leads Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyWhere Biden, Trump stand in key swing states Abrams announces endorsements in 7 Senate races Why Trump, GOP are running into trouble in Arizona MORE (R) in the race for an Arizona seat in the United States Senate, according to a new poll.

The poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based polling firm, shows Kelly scoring 49 percent of the vote among Arizona voters, compared with 42 percent for McSally.

Kelly led McSally by a narrower margin, 47 to 44 percent, in the firm's December poll.

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McSally, who was appointed to the seat by Gov. Doug Ducey (R) after the death of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice Biden takes page from Trump with public auditions for VP slot Why Trump, GOP are running into trouble in Arizona MORE (R), has seen her favorable ratings drop substantially in recent months. Today, 43 percent of Arizona voters see her favorably, while 47 percent see her unfavorably.

But Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insights' chief of research, pointed to the number of Arizona voters who do not have an opinion of Kelly — nearly a quarter of likely voters — as an opportunity for McSally to fight back, if she can define the political neophyte early.

The race has become one of the most expensive in the country, as both Kelly and McSally prove prodigious fundraisers.

Through the end of 2019, Kelly had raised more than $20 million and had $13 million in the bank.

McSally had raised $12 million, a figure that would have been more impressive if she were running against any other Democrat in the country. She ended the year with $7.6 million on hand.

Arizona is fast becoming a battleground state in 2020, both in the race between Kelly and McSally and in the presidential contest. Arizona's demographics are changing rapidly as more voters move in from nearby states in search of high-tech jobs in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

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The OH Predictive Insights survey found just 47 percent of Arizona voters approve of the job President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Brazil surpasses Russia with second-highest coronavirus case count in the world Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE is doing, while 50 percent disapprove. 

Just 46 percent of Arizona voters approved of the way Trump was handling the novel coronavirus outbreak spreading across the country, while 54 percent disapproved, pollsters discovered.

Arizona voters also favor a generic Democratic candidate for Congress by a 4-point margin, 45 to 41 percent, over a generic Republican.

The poll surveyed 600 likely Arizona voters on both cellphones and landlines from March 3 to 4. It carried a margin of error of 4 percentage points.