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AZ-Sen: NBC News/Marist Poll Has Mark Kelly (D) Leading Martha McSally (R) 53-41

3 min read

Some very good news today out of Arizona courtesy of NBC News/Marist’s recent poll:

The NBC News/Marist poll released Sunday found Biden with 50 percent support among registered voters in Arizona, compared to the president's 45 percent. The results were barely outside of the poll's margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

That’s not all:

Meanwhile, Kelly earned 53 percent of the vote from registered voters, compared to McSally, the sitting senator, who got 41 percent support. In March's poll, Kelly and McSally were separated by 3 percentage points: 48 percent to 45 percent.

The NBC News/Marist poll surveyed 1,020 adults, including 826 registered voters between July 14 and 22. The margin of error among the adults reached 3.7 percentage points and among the registered voters was 4.1 percentage points.

Kelly has been consistently leading in the polls so it’s no wonder why the Cook Political Report moved this race from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democrat”:

The GOP-held race we are shifting into Democratic takeover territory is Arizona Sen. Martha McSally — an appointed senator who comes just off a 2018 loss for the same position — from Toss Up to Lean Democrat. Fueling this move is that McSally is not the traditional incumbent, which also factors into our decision to move this into the Democratic column. She was never elected to this seat, appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey instead just after her 2.4 point loss last cycle to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to fill the seat formerly held by the late Sen. John McCain.

As a result, McSally started out in a weaker position than incumbents — who have six years to mend wounds from a bitter contest — begin anyway, and she’s done little to run a different race from the losing one she did just two years ago. Plus, she’s running against Democrats’ best recruit in the country, former astronaut Mark Kelly — a fact even Republicans reluctantly admit privately. In talking with multiple GOP strategists this week, it’s becoming clear that many are beginning to give up on McSally, as poll after public poll have shown her trailing. She still has her own hefty fundraising to rely on, but Kelly has double the cash on hand now.

“McSally has scar tissue” from 2018, as one Republican observer put it. And many don’t believe she’s improved as a candidate or learned many lessons from that loss. The cruel irony isn’t lost on GOP strategists that it’s Gardner who is the far better campaigner and candidate running in the tougher state, while McSally has a more favorable (but still increasingly difficult) state but is running the weaker race. Add to that that she’s up against Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and there’s no room for error. Republicans are trying to hit Kelly for business ties to China, and they think that has dented his favorables somewhat, but not enough yet.

“Arizona is just about off the map,” one top Republican Senate strategist admitted. “I think Kelly has run the best campaign in America.”

Also, here’s something you should know about McSally:

Sen. Martha McSally's campaign has received tens of thousands of dollars from political action committees associated with commercial travel in the past two years.

The last of those contributions came just after the Arizona Republican introduced a bill to subsidize vacations for Americans, according to publicly available Federal Election Commission data.

On June 22, McSally introduced the American TRIP Act, which would provide every adult with a $4,000 tax credit to be used for a vacation within the United States. Families would receive an additional $500 tax credit for each child, meaning a family of five would receive a total credit of $9,500.

Let’s keep up the momentum and flip Arizona Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Kelly, Biden and their fellow Arizona Democrats campaigns:

Joe Biden


Mark Kelly

Hiral Tiperneni

Tom O’Halleran

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