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New Arizona polling shows tight race for president, big gap for Senate

President Donald Trump welcomes then-Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz, to the stage during a rally at the International Air Response facility on October 19, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Recent polling of likely Arizona voters showed a tight presidential contest but a big spread in the state’s U.S. Senate race, with Republicans trailing in both instances.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden led President Donald Trump 47%-45% in the HighGround Public Affairs Consultants poll released Tuesday, within the margin of error of plus or minus 4.9%.

“In the wake of the most challenging and arguably worst three months of his term, President Trump has shown that he can remain competitive in Arizona,” Paul Bentz, senior vice president of research and strategy at Phoenix-based HighGround, said in a press release.

Republican Sen. Martha McSally, however, was looking up at Democratic candidate and former astronaut Mark Kelly in HighGround results released Wednesday.

Kelly is leading the closely watched race, a key to Democrats’ hopes of claiming control of the Senate, by a 51%-41% margin, according to HighGround’s findings.

Polling of 400 likely voters for both races was conducted May 18-22.

“Clearly, for the Arizona voter, Kelly is presenting himself as a better option than Biden, adopting the similar strategy which won Kyrsten Sinema her United States Senate seat in 2018 of avoiding the progressive partisan label that the Democratic Party’s nominee must shoulder,” Chuck Coughlin, HighGround president and CEO, said in a press release.

Respondents also were asked for their opinion on how Trump was handling the coronavirus pandemic, with 49% rating the president’s response as failing or poor and 39% answering excellent or very good.

The HighGround results were slightly better for Republicans than recent polling from Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights.

Biden led Trump by 7 percentage points and Kelly led McSally by 13 in OH Predictive Insights polling of 600 likely Arizona voters conducted May 9-11.

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