FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb. 14th, 2019
McSally Holds Early Lead in Competitive Race
Mark Kelly Keeps the Senate Close as Democratic Contenders Have Low Name ID
PHOENIX (Feb 14th, 2019) –Senator Martha McSally is defending her seat in the upcoming 2020 cycle early polling shows that she currently holds an edge over her two likeliest contenders, though she is under the 50% threshold in each matchup.
While Mark Kelly is the only declared Democrat for the Arizona Senate, there is heavy speculation that Ruben Gallego will also declare.
“Kelly outperforms Gallego in several key areas meanwhile electoral problems for McSally continue to persist, ” said Mike Noble, Chief of Research and Managing Partner of Phoenix-based research company OH Predictive Insights. “Arizona’s most recent Senate race was a barn burner and with this early look we may be in for another.”
The survey was conducted February 12 and February 13, with a sample of 600 respondents qualified as likely voters. A Blended Live/Auto caller survey with 47% cell and 53% landline were used to collect the sample, yielding a +/-4% MOE.
Senator McSally leads astronaut Mark Kelly in a head-to-head by 2 points, 46% to 44%. Kelly recently announced his bid for the office and raised over $1 million in the 24 hours following the release of his campaign video. Congressman Ruben Gallego tweeted that he was still making up his mind and would announce his intention soon, and he has been actively eyeing the seat, however he is 8 points behind McSally as she leads 49% to 41%.
Martha McSally is still popular overall, with 51% of respondents having a favorable opinion compared to only 42% of those who see her unfavorably. Problems that hindered McSally in the unsuccessful 2018 campaign such as a weakness with older voters continue to persist, with higher unfavorables at 46% among those aged 65 and up. The chart below shows McSally’s favorables and unfavorables by region, and very few respondents had no opinion.
This is buoyed by a net +31 in the rural areas, though McSally continues to struggle with only a net +1 in Maricopa, a county Sinema won by 4 points in 2018. This is a struggle in both head to head polls, as she trails Mark Kelly by 8% (Kelly leads 49-41%) and even is down to Gallego by a point (Gallego leads 45-44%).
Mark Kelly and Ruben Gallego aren’t as well known as Kelly earns high marks with 41% favorable to 21% unfavorable, and Gallego at 30% favorable and 23% unfavorable. The chart below shows this breakdown by region like the McSally chart above.
Both candidates remain unknown in rural areas, as 51% had no opinion of Kelly and 59% had no opinion of Gallego. One reason Kelly outperforms Gallego in the matchup against McSally is that he is both better known and much better liked in Pima with a +23% net favorable and 75% name recognition there, compared to only a net +7% and 37% name ID for Gallego.
“There’s still time for the Democratic Senate candidates to define themselves to a large portion of Arizona, though Mark Kelly starts off in a much better position,” said Noah Rudnick, senior data analyst at OH Predictive Insights, “This race will be decided in the upcoming months as Arizonans are exposed to millions of dollars in voter contact.”
Methodology: This blended poll was conducted via 47% cell and 53% landline. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on February 12, 2019 and February 13, 2019, from an Arizona likely 2020 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.
Media Contact: Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insights, firstname.lastname@example.org, 480-313-1837
About OH Predictive Insights
Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call 602-254-5159 or submit a request online.