GOP Rep. Martha McSally has captured a strong lead over Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the latest survey to come out of Arizona’s Senate election.
In an ABC15 Arizona and OH Predictive Insights poll released Wednesday, McSally led among likely voters with 52 percent compared to Sinema’s 45 percent. The 7-point spread was outside the survey’s margin of error, which stands at plus-or-minus 4 percent.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 22 to 23 and reached out to 600 respondents via cell phone and landline. The man who led the poll says the swing in McSally’s direction comes mainly from independent voters who are coalescing around the retired military officer.
“With the hottest race in the country coming to an end, McSally is solidifying her lead over Sinema,” said Mike Noble, the chief pollster and managing partner of OH Predictive Insights. “The game-changer comes from Independent voters, who have swung from Sinema to McSally since our last poll. We’ll know come Election Night whether they stick with McSally or swing back to Sinema.”
McSally — who served as a former Air Force pilot before entering the House of Representatives — also benefits from a higher favorability rating in the state. The Republican lawmaker boasts a 54 percent favorability rating compared to Sinema’s 47 percent. Sinema — whose recent anti-war activism has garnered negative headlines — has a 37 percent “very unfavorable” rating among respondents in the OH Predictive Insights poll.
Noble believes the contentious Senate battle over Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has helped McSally in the contest — she would be one of numerous Republican candidates who have seemingly benefited from a “Kavanaugh effect.”
“If Kavanaugh didn’t happen I think it’d be an extremely tight race,” Noble said in a statement. “If not, I’d actually say the edge would go to Sinema but after seeing the polling — seeing the results — everything else — I think that McSally will end up winning coming election night.”
The most recent poll comes as a sharp contrast from an NBC News/Marist poll released Tuesday, with that survey finding Sinema to have a 6-point lead over McSally. The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls — which does not currently include the OH Predictive Insight survey — has Sinema up by .7 points, calling it a toss-up.
Before becoming a U.S. representative for Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, Sinema was involved in anti-war protests and articulated controversial positions. Some of her past comments have resurfaced during the election and have made for embarrassing headlines.
During a 2003 radio interview, for example, Sinema said she “didn’t care” if Americans wanted to take up arms with the Taliban.
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