Democrat strategists are worried about Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) reelection chances in Arizona as Republican Blake Masters rides a wave of momentum in the home stretch.
Though Open Secrets shows Kelly’s fundraising machine had outraised Masters by more than $60 million as of late September, the latest polling out of Arizona shows the candidates in a statistical tie in one of the most competitive and important Senate races this midterm election cycle.
While Kelly recently told NBC Correspondent Vaughn Hillyard that he “doesn’t follow things like polls,” Politico‘s Natalie Allison reported Saturday that national and local Democrat strategists are panicking.
Mark Kelly on GOP’s recent extra boost behind Blake Masters in final month :
“I don’t follow things like polls.” pic.twitter.com/XYOWYNGqWn
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) October 20, 2022
“We believe this is a race that’s within a point in either direction, and there’s still a good chance that we would lose,” a Democrat source close to the campaign told Politico. “And it’s important people understand that.”
The source added that the race should never have been perceived as “safe” for Democrats.
Election attorney and Democrat consultant Roy Herrera also submitted that Democrats are looking at “a very narrow path to victory” in Arizona races.
“Any poll that shows the Democrats are doing any better than the low or mid-single digits is probably not accurate, or won’t be maintained through the election cycle,” he continued.
Masters told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday over the weekend that the momentum behind his campaign is “undeniable.”
“The momentum here on the ground is undeniable, and I’m not surprised to see that reflected in the polls,” Masters said. “You know, we’ve got the winning message. Mark Kelly’s got nothing but lies to run on; he’s got to lie about me with vicious attack ads that are fake, and he’s got to lie about his own record. All of a sudden, he’s pretending to be a center-right Republican; well, no, that’s Campaign Kelly. D.C. Mark Kelly votes in lockstep for Joe Biden’s failed agenda.”
“We in Arizona bear the brunt of the border crisis; we bear the brunt of the inflation crisis — I know inflation is bad everywhere, but it’s the worst in the country in Maricopa County in the greater Phoenix metro,” he added. “So I’m getting out there every day and hammering Mark Kelly — not attacking his character; maybe he’s a nice guy — but his voting record. His voting record is far left, to the left of Bernie Sanders.”
While the U.S. Senate is currently deadlocked at a 50-50 split between Republicans, Democrats, and their liberal independent allies, the battleground state of Arizona is one of several crucial races that will determine the Senate majority for the next two years.