SPONSORED:

Kelly expands lead over McSally in Arizona

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly leads Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyNew rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees The Seventeenth Amendment and the censure of Donald Trump Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly jokes about piloting congressional subway 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 McCainCindy McCain planning 'intimate memoir' of life with John McCain Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors Arkansas state senator says he's leaving Republican Party MORE's (R) seat, takes just under a quarter of independent voters.

The same poll found former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE leading President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged 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 ClintonTrumpists' assaults on Republicans who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid will help Democrats The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Mellman: White working-class politics 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.