As the 2020 election season continues to heat up, trends keep improving for Democrats. Now, a new poll of the ongoing Arizona U.S. Senate race featuring incumbent Republican Martha McSally up against Democratic challenger Mark Kelly has McSally down by a whopping 6.7 percent, which isn’t exactly good news for the ardently Trump-allied Senator. She wasn’t even elected in the first place. Rather, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) appointed her to serve out the remainder of the late John McCain’s final term shortly after she lost the race for the state’s other U.S. Senate seat, which Democrat Kyrsten Sinema nabbed. Sinema was the first Democratic Senator that Arizonans elected in a long time, and it looks like it’s about to happen again.
HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the new Arizona Senate race poll, showed McSally with just 39.3 percent of the support compared to a full 46 percent of respondents who went for Kelly, who is a former astronaut and the husband of the state’s former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Together, the two of them have worked against gun violence since Giffords suffered a shooting attack at close range while at a public event.
There is one wrinkle in the new Arizona poll results. A full 12.2 percent of respondents either indicated that they were undecided or refused to name either McSally or Kelly as their preferred candidate. That large portion of undecided voters seems driven by the 34.5 percent of respondents who said that didn’t know enough about Kelly to decide if they approved or disapproved of him generally — although it’s worth noting that at least some of those in-the-dark voters may have also supported Kelly anyway, considering their large part of the overall group. Thus, they might have been ready to vote for anyone who’s not a Republican — which indicates how steep the path really is if McSally wants to actually win an election for her Senate seat.
Polling official Paul Bentz, Sr. commented:
‘Right now, not only does Mark Kelly have a commanding fundraising advantage, but he’s also holding a lead among critical swing voters including independent and unaffiliated voters as well as female voters who were the key to Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s success in 2018. Polling is a snapshot in time and only time will tell if McSally’s new ads or the President’s visit can help stem the tide, but for now, Kelly’s campaign is trending in the right direction.’
Trump is holding a rally in Phoenix on Wednesday. In the meantime, as Bentz noted, Kelly is leading with outright majorities of support among both women and voters 49 years old and younger — both of whom obviously make up substantial voting blocs. Kelly nabbed “52.7% of the female vote and 52.8% of all voters 49 and younger,” the firm notes. Kelly also secured an outright majority of support among independent, non-party affiliated voters, finishing with 51.8 percent of their support.
McSally’s seat is one of three GOP-held seats that the Cook Political Report currently names as toss-ups. The others are Cory Gardner’s in Colorado and Susan Collins’s in Maine. Just recently, a poll came out with Collins slightly behind Democrat Sara Gideon, who’s gearing up to take her on in the general election.