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Poll puts Lesko ahead by 10 points in Arizona special election

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PHOENIX — With less than two weeks before a special election for Congressional District 8, Arizona’s Republican Party appeared likely to keep the seat, according to a poll.

The OH Predictive Insights/ABC15 poll of 500 showed former state Sen. Debbie Lesko led Democrat Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, 53 percent to 43 percent in the heavily Republican district.

“The GOP is in a prime position for a much-needed win as we head into the midterm elections,” Mike Noble, chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, said in a press release.

The managing partner of the Phoenix-based research polling company added, “This race appears to be a bridge too far for Democrats.”

But the automated landline survey, taken Wednesday, also revealed that 52 percent of respondents who said they were independent favored Tipirneni. Lesko had 40 percent.

Participants were grouped by gender, age and party. Republicans took up half of the overall numbers, at 50 percent. Democrats made up 28 percent and independents 22 percent.

The overwhelming majority were 55 or older. Nearly half of all respondents described themselves as conservative and 41 percent chose moderate.

“When the Democrat is up 12-points with independent voters and up by 40 points with self-identified moderate voters, that points to a problem in expanding their base for the GOP this election year,” OH Predictive Insights data analyst Noah Rudnick said in a statement.

The margin of error was plus or minus 4.38 percent.

The special election to replace Republican Trent Franks, who resigned in December, was scheduled April 24.

Lesko and Tipirneni easily won their special election primaries in February.

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