Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up GOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster MORE (R-Ariz.) is statistically tied with her top challenger, retired astronaut Mark Kelly (D), long before either candidate begins selling themselves to voters in paid advertising, a new poll shows.
The survey, conducted by the Phoenix-based pollster OH Predictive Insights, shows McSally drawing 45 percent of the vote compared with 44 percent for Kelly. The poll of 600 likely voters carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“In this dogfight between two former military pilots, Mark Kelly is on Sen. McSally’s six and closing,” said Mike Noble, OH’s chief of research.
Seven months after she lost a closely fought battle against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D), most voters have formed an opinion about McSally. Fifty-one percent of voters see her favorably, and 40 percent see her unfavorably.
Kelly, making his first run for public office, is less well-known. More than a third, 38 percent, have no opinion of the likely Democratic nominee. Forty-two percent see him favorably, and 20 percent view him unfavorably.
The survey is similar to OH’s last poll, conducted in February, that found McSally leading 46 percent to 44 percent, another statistically insignificant margin. In the intervening months, Kelly has lost his only potentially significant Democratic rival — Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Final countdown: Senate inches toward last infrastructure vote Arizona state senator arrested on charges of sexual conduct with a minor House Democrats introduce bill restoring voting provision after SCOTUS ruling MORE (D) said in March he would not run.
Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), raised more than $4 million in his first weeks as a candidate, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. McSally raised $2.1 million in the first quarter of the year.
The poll was conducted May 1–2.