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As 2020 Senate race nears, McSally drops in latest poll against Kelly

(AP photos)

PHOENIX — Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Martha McSally could be in danger of losing her seat in next year’s election against the likely Democratic nominee Mark Kelly.

McSally has just a 1 percentage point lead on Kelly in the 2020 general election among likely Arizona voters, an OH Predictive Insights poll released Monday found.

The poll showed that McSally was leading Kelly just slightly, 45 to 44, but her lead had fallen by one point from a February poll that had her up 46 to 44.

Ten percent of the 600 likely voters said they did not know who they would vote for when the race comes to a head in November 2020.

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“The 2020 race between these two top guns promises to be just as expensive and hard-fought as the senatorial election the Grand Canyon state saw in 2018” when McSally faced U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Mike Noble, chief of research and managing partner for the Phoenix-based research company, told KTAR News 92.3 FM. 

The poll of the 600 likely voters was conducted by phone May 1 and 2, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.

Kelly was found to be more unrecognizable in the poll, with 38% of respondents having no opinion or never hearing of him. Only 9% of participants said the same for McSally.

But Kelly’s favorability well outweighed the senator’s: He had a plus-22 net favorability, compared to McSally’s plus-11.

 

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While Kelly is “on Sen. McSally’s six and closing,” Noble said, it still remains to be seen how he will define himself over the next year and a half.

“The most interesting dynamic to watch in this early developing Senate race is that McSally is defined and Kelly is, so far, a blank slate,” Noble said.

“Put simply, will Kelly define himself or will he be defined by his opponent?”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report. 

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