Campaign

Kelly expands lead over McSally in Arizona

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly leads Sen. Martha McSally (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.

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 McCain’s (R) seat, takes just under a quarter of independent voters.

The same poll found former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump among Arizona voters by a 52 percent to 43 percent margin. Biden is hoping to become the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton 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.

Tags Arizona Bill Clinton Donald Trump Joe Biden John McCain Martha McSally

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