Senate opponents McSally, Kelly take to stage Tuesday for debate

Oct 6, 2020, 9:31 AM | Updated: 1:14 pm
Mark Kelly Martha McSally Arizona Senate race 2020...
Mark Kelly, left, and Sen. Martha McSally. (KTAR News Photos)
(KTAR News Photos)

PHOENIX – Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally and challenger Mark Kelly will finally meet in person to debate Tuesday after months of swinging at each other in campaign ads.

It is the only debate scheduled between the two. The 90-minute debate begins at 7 p.m. and will be carried live by Arizona PBS, KJZZ and Arizona Public Media. will livestream it.

Kelly has blasted McSally on her health care record and the retired Air Force fighter pilot has gone after the former astronaut over his ties to a company in China.

“I think you’ll see a lot of fire out of Martha McSally in the debate,” Phoenix-based Copper State Consulting political expert Emily Ryan told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

McSally has trailed in every poll since the start of September, according to tracking by aggregate website FiveThirtyEight.

Margins have fluctuated between 1 and 17 points, the site showed.

Kelly was ahead by 11 percentage points in a New York Times-Siena College poll released Monday.

“Martha McSally doesn’t just need to win over undecided voters, she likely needs to win over voters who have already made up their minds for Mark Kelly,” FiveThirtyEight’s Galen Druke told Arizona’s Morning News hours before the debate.

“And that is a tall order,” he said.

Druke said the website gives Kelly “an 80% chance of winning this race. This is one of the Democrats’ likeliest seats that they will flip.”

If Republicans hold the seat, they will be on track to keep their majority.

Hot topics for the debate will probably include the economy, the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and health care.

The public can submit potential questions online.

McSally and Kelly will trade opinions a day before Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic candidate Kamala Harris square off in a debate, which will be carried live on KTAR News 92.3 FM, and the KTAR News app, starting at 6 p.m.

In-person early voting begins in Arizona on Wednesday and election officials around the state will begin sending out absentee ballots by mail the same day.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Grant Woods (Gallagher & Kennedy Photo)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Oct. 22-24

The unexpected death of former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods on Saturday is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
1 day ago
(Arizona Lottery Photo)...

$108 Mega Million lottery ticket sells in Lake Havasu City

The Arizona Lottery said Saturday a multi-state draw ticket worth $108 million sold at a store in Lake Havasu City on Wednesday.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Associated Press

10-digit dialing required in some Arizona area codes starting Sunday

Starting Sunday, phone users in much of Arizona must include area codes when dialing to make all calls, including local calls that previously required only seven digits.
1 day ago
Pexels photo...

Police identify woman in Phoenix hit-and-run incident, investigation underway

Phoenix police are searching for the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run that occurred Saturday afternoon.
1 day ago
Chief of ICU department Dr. Valentyn Koroliuk speaks to a patient with coronavirus at the city hosp...

Arizona reports 1,483 new COVID-19 cases, 11 more deaths Sunday

Arizona health officials on Sunday reported 1,483 new COVID-19 cases and 11 additional deaths from the disease.
1 day ago
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 13: Colorado Supreme Court Justice Brian D. Boatright swears in members of the...

Arizona grand jury indicts former candidate of Cochise County Superior Court for perjury

An Arizona grand jury earlier this month indicted a former candidate for the Cochise County Superior Court for perjury, Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Thursday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Senate opponents McSally, Kelly take to stage Tuesday for debate