McSally Chips Away at Gap in Senate Race
Republican Senator still trails former astronaut by 9
PHOENIX (July 14th, 2020) – After a summer of dismal polling numbers, Martha McSally has stanched her slide and now finds herself trailing Mark Kelly 52-43. This 9-point deficit represents a narrowing of the race from her low watermark in May when the Republican Senator trailed the former astronaut by 13 points.
The July Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) – a monthly survey conducted by OH Predictive Insights of likely Arizona voters – also found McSally with lower-than-expected support from a constituency she will rely upon to win re-election: registered Republicans. The poll found that McSally only earned the support of 4-in-5 GOP voters, with Mark Kelly taking 12 percent. Conversely, Kelly earns more than 90 percent of registered Democrats compared to McSally’s 6 percent. Voters not affiliated with either major party favor Kelly 59-32 over McSally.
“The formula for a Republican winning statewide office in Arizona involves locking up the GOP vote and garnering just enough Independents,” says OHPI Chief of Research Mike Noble. “Sen. McSally appears to be having a difficult time doing either.”
Another constituency where McSally will need to overperform her 2018 margins if she hopes to win in 2020 is rural Arizona. Currently, Mark Kelly is winning in Maricopa County by 12 points and in Pima County by an almost 2:1 margin. McSally is leading Kelly 53-43 in the rest of Arizona’s counties — which
comprise the more rural portion of the state. However, that 10-point margin in rural Arizona is slightly less than the 12 points that she beat Kyrsten Sinema by in her 2018 election.
Mark Kelly is overperforming Kyrsten Sinema’s margin across a number of demographics. He is performing particularly well among women and white voters, as well as self-described moderates. McSally on the other hand, has gained strength from her performance in 2018 among self-described conservatives and men.
“Coming back from a 9-point deficit less than 4 months from Election Day is not going to be an easy feat for McSally,” says Jacob Joss, an OHPI Data Analyst, “but, for now, she appears at least to have pulled out of her tailspin and is headed on the right trajectory.”
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