Postdebate poll shows Sinema leading McSally in Arizona’s Senate race
PHOENIX – In the first new poll completed since the candidates’ only scheduled debate, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema maintained a lead over Republican Martha McSally in Arizona’s high-profile Senate race.
Using a model that represents an average surge, Phoenix-based pollster Data Orbital found that Sinema holds a 47 percent to 41 percent lead over her fellow U.S. congresswoman.
When the model accounted for a Democratic surge scenario, Sinema’s advantage expanded to 48 percent to 40 percent.
“Essentially our takeaway from this would be that turnout is going to matter an extreme amount in this race in terms of it coming down to the wire,” George Khalaf, Data Orbital president, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday, when the poll was released.
The average surge model assumed a 9 percent ballot advantage for Republicans. The Democratic surge model gave the GOP a 5 percent advantage.
In the last midterm election, Republicans had a 13 percent edge in Arizona ballots.
Early voting began Oct. 10, and the election is Nov. 6.
“The way early ballot returns are going thus far, that (Democratic surge) scenario is becoming less and less likely,” Khalaf said.
The new poll of 600 likely voters was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
On Monday, Sinema and McSally sparred over the issues in their lone debate of the campaign.
Data Orbital last checked in on Arizona’s Senate race Sept. 4-6 and found Sinema holding a 46 percent to 42 percent lead.
Other pollsters have shown the race to be tighter or McSally ahead.
An OH Predictive Insights/ABC15 poll conducted Oct. 1-2 showed McSally with an advantage of 47 percent to 41 percent.
The seat, which is opening because Republican Jeff Flake didn’t seek re-election, is key to the Democrats’ hopes to gain control of the Senate.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.