Polls: Democrat Mark Kelly’s Lead over GOP’s McSally in AZ Senate Race Declining

Mark Kelly and Martha McSally
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Three polls released this week show challenger Democrat Mark Kelly’s lead over Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) in the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Arizona is declining.

An OH Insight poll, conducted between July 6 and July 7 and released on Tuesday shows Kelly leading McSally by nine points,  52 percent to 43 percent, down from his 13 point lead in the same poll in May. The poll of 600 likely voters has a four percent margin of error.

A CNBC/ChangeResearch poll, conducted between July 10 and July 12 and released on Wednesday shows Kelly leading McSally by seven points, 52 percent to 45 percent, down from his nine point lead last month in the same poll, 53 percent to 44 percent. The Arizona results of this poll were a subset of a larger poll of 4,332 likely voters in six battleground states.

A CBS News/YouGov poll, conducted between July 7 and July 10 and released on Wednesday that shows Kelly leading McCally by four points, 46 percent to 42 percent, provided further evidence the race for the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona may be tightening. The poll of 1,099 registered voters has a 3.8 percent margin of error.

Arizona is a key 2020 battleground state for both the presidential race between President Trump and Joe Biden in 2020 and control of the U.S. Senate, where Republicans currently hold a 53 to 47 margin.

Trump won the state’s 11 electoral college votes in 2016 by a four point margin. In the 2020 race, however, Biden currently leads the president in Arizona by 2.6 percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls, which is within the margin of error.

Trump performs better than McSally in the latest polls. The president is tied with Biden in the CBS News/YouGov poll, four points better than McSally, and he trails Biden by six points in the CNBC/ChangeResearch poll, one point better than McSally’s seven point deficit to Kelly.

Voter attitudes towards the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the George Floyd protests and riots, and the Black Lives Matter movement are playing a key role in voter support for the presidential and Senate candidates in the state.

Poll respondents in the CBS News/YouGov poll expressed these views on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic:

Overall, how would you say things are going in Arizona in its effort to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus?

  • Very well – 5 %
  • Somewhat well – 26 %
  • Somewhat badly – 31%
  • Very badly – 38%

How would you rate the job [Governor] Doug Ducey is doing handling the coronavirus outbreak?

  • Very good – 8 %
  • Somewhat good – 30%
  • Somewhat bad – 28%
  • Very bad – 34%

Do you think the coronavirus outbreak in Arizona is . . .

  • A crisis – 44%
  • A very serious problem, but not a crisis – 30%
  • A somewhat serious problem – 16%
  • Not much of a problem – 10%

In reopening the economy and lifting stay-at-home restrictions in Arizona, do you think Arizona moved:

  • Too quickly-60%
  • Too slowly -16%
  • About right -23%

(Among those who answered “too quickly”) Do you think Arizona moved too quickly because . . .

  • Arizona’s government thought it was the right thing to do – 30%
  • Arizona’s government was under pressure from the Trump administration – 70%

(Among those who answered “too slowly”) Do you think Arizona moved too slowly because . . .

  • Arizona’s government thought it was the right thing to do -31%
  • Arizona’s government was under pressure from Democrats – 69%

Poll respondents in the CBS News/YouGov poll expressed these views on the handling of the George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter movement:

Has the way Joe Biden has handled the recent protests made you . . .

  • More likely to vote for him – 25%
  • Less likely to vote for him – 33%
  • Not changed your vote either way – 42%

Has the way Donald Trump has handled the recent protests made you . . .

  • More likely to vote for him – 28%
  • Less likely to vote for him – 34%
  • Not changed your vote either way – 38%

Do you agree or disagree with the ideas expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement?

  • Strongly agree – 25%
  • Somewhat agree – 27%
  • Somewhat disagree – 12%
  • Strongly disagree – 35%

The demographic breakdown of voting behavior is very similar in both the presidential and Senate races.

In the Senate race, Kelly leads McSally among female voters 49 percent to 36 percent. In the presidential race, Biden leads Trump among female voters 50 percent to 42 percent. Among male voters, Trump leads Biden 49 percent to 41 percent, and McSally leads Kelly 48 percent to 43 percent.

Both Biden and Kelly lead among voters 44 years of age and younger, while Trump and McSally lead among voters 45 years of age and older.

Trump and McSally lead among White voters, while Biden and Kelly lead among Hispanic voters.

White Evangelical voters favor Trump over Biden 80 percent to 10 percent, and support McSally over Kelly 74 percent to 13 percent.

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