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Kelly expands lead over McSally in Arizona

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly leads Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyMcGuire unveils Arizona Senate campaign On The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly welcome first grandchild MORE (R) by 9 points in Arizona, one of the states at the heart of the battle for control of the Senate in 2020.

A new Arizona Public Opinion Pulse survey conducted by the Phoenix-based nonpartisan polling firm OH Predictive Insights shows Kelly leading McSally by a 51 percent to 42 percent margin.

The company's last survey found Kelly leading by a 7-point margin, 49 percent to 42 percent.

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Kelly, a first-time candidate and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), leads McSally by 10 points in Maricopa County, which accounts for the vast majority of Arizona's vote. Only one candidate in recent history, former Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas (R) in 2015, has won statewide election in Arizona without carrying Maricopa County.

Kelly also leads by a huge margin among independent voters, taking two-thirds among those who side with neither Democrats nor Republicans. McSally, who lost a close race for Arizona's other U.S. Senate seat in 2018 before being appointed to fill two years of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration Arizona AG Mark Brnovich launches Senate challenge to Mark Kelly Arizona Democrats launch voter outreach effort ahead of key Senate race MORE's (R) seat, takes just under a quarter of independent voters.

The same poll found former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE leading President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE among Arizona voters by a 52 percent to 43 percent margin. Biden is hoping to become the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonA modern electric grid is crucial to reach our clean energy climate goals Jeff Hauser: MacBride nomination is a return to administrations that ended 'rule-of-law' and 'rich-person accountability' Is Biden the new FDR or LBJ? History says no MORE to win Arizona's electoral votes.

"McSally's path to victory is difficult, but not impossible," said Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insight's chief of research. "She needs to expand her base outside of Trump's base of support by winning over women, independents, Latinos and suburban voters in Maricopa County."

Arizona is a must-win state for Democrats seeking to reclaim control of the Senate, where Republicans hold 53 seats, along with states like Colorado, Maine and North Carolina.

Kelly has been the party's all-star recruit. He pulled in $11 million in the first three months of the year, his campaign said Tuesday, and held $19.7 million in the bank.

McSally is no fundraising slouch herself: Her campaign said she raised $6.3 million and had $10.2 million on hand, figures that put her among the GOP's best fundraisers.