Poll shows Rep. David Schweikert with small lead over Hiral Tipirneni
PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona is clinging to a small lead over Democratic challenger Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
The five-term Republican congressman is leading the three-time candidate 49%-46%, within the margin of error, according to the poll from Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights.
“Rep. Schweikert’s ethics troubles provided an opening for Democrats to take a reliably Republican seat,” says @MikePNoble “With an immense spending advantage and a politically wounded sitting congressman, Tipirneni has made this a competitive race.”
— OHPI (@OHPredictive) October 7, 2020
The phone survey of 531 likely voters in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District was conducted Sept. 23-27 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3%.
Schweikert is seen as vulnerable this year after admitting to 11 House ethics violations and agreeing to paying a $50,000 fine in July after a two-year investigation.
“Rep. Schweikert’s ethics troubles provided an opening for Democrats to take a reliably Republican seat,” OHPI chief of research Mike Nobel said in a press release. “With an immense spending advantage and a politically wounded sitting congressman, Tipirneni has made this a competitive race.”
Tipirneni lost congressional races twice against Rep. Debbie Lesko in 2018, in a special election and the general election, in the GOP-heavy 8th District.
But she earned strong name identification in the process and took that into her race against Schweikert in the 6th District, which covers much of north Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills and Scottsdale.
On Wednesday, she announced a third-quarter fundraising haul of $2.5 million and said she has $1.5 million on hand for the final month of the campaign.
President Donald Trump carried Schweikert’s district by double digits in 2016, while Martha McSally won the district by 3 percentage points in her unsuccessful senatorial bid in 2018.
Modeling by poll aggregating website FiveThirtyEight.com gives Schweikert a 7 in 10 chance of holding his seat.
The one thing that appears clear right now is that few races at the statewide and national level will be decided on Election Night, according to OHPI data analyst Jacob Joss.
Arizona’s 6th congressional district will likely be one of the ones that does not get decided on Nov. 3, as OHPI’s poll found that 81% of Tipirneni’s supporters planned on voting early this year, while 44% of Schweikert voters said the same.
“Arizona must be prepared for the fact that many close races may not be known for a number of days after polls close and that the leader on Election Night may not be the winner once all votes are tallied,” Joss said in the release.