Blake Masters disputes poll that says Mark Kelly has double-digit lead in race for US Senate

Oct 13, 2022, 11:40 AM | Updated: 11:51 am

Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, left, and his Republican challenger Blake Masters, right, arriv...

Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, left, and his Republican challenger Blake Masters, right, arrive on stage prior to a televised debate in Phoenix, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — A poll released this week found that Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly continues to hold a double-digit lead over Blake Masters in Arizona’s race for U.S. Senate, a result disputed by the Republican.

Masters discredited OH Predictive Insights’ latest survey, telling KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday it was “designed to push a narrative and demoralize Republicans.”

Kelly polled at 46% while Masters garnered 33%. Libertarian Marc Victor’s support jumped from 6% to 15% since OHPI’s last survey was released Sept. 21.

The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.77%, was conducted Oct. 4-6, so it probably doesn’t reflect any impact from the Senate debate televised the evening of Oct. 6.

“I literally laughed when I saw it … every other credible poll, every piece of internal data we have suggest this race is tied,” Masters said. “It’s within the statistical margin of error.”

Mike Noble, chief of research for OHPI, told KTAR News on Wednesday his firm has “no self-interest” in the numbers and has “a long track record of polling Arizona’s sentiment in the races.”

“We put our numbers out there and it’s not our opinion, these are voter opinions of the people … it’s not us, it’s voter opinion,” Noble said.

The OHPI findings in the Senate race are at the fringe when compared to other polling. As of Thursday morning, Kelly led by 4.5 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling average and 6.5 points in the FiveThirtyEight polling average.

“Most of the polling that has been done in this race has not included the third-party candidate. … Because when yes, you show the head-to-head matchup, it seems a much closer contest, but the reality is not that. Marc Victor is on the ballot,” Noble said.

Noble said that Masters’ deficit is a direct result of some Republicans choosing Victor over their own party candidate.

Masters’ support from his own party was 58% in the new poll, while Victor was pulling 21% of Republicans. Kelly, meanwhile, was the choice of 86% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans.

“It’s really that Masters has a bit of a base problem that he could definitely shore up from now until Election Day,” Noble said. “But it’s a problem in the contest.”

Victor, the only Libertarian on the Arizona general election ballot, doesn’t expect to win the race but is pleased at the polling numbers despite him believing “almost nobody knows about me.”

“I am 100% confident that if [the voters] knew what I was actually saying, then I would definitely win,” Victor told KTAR News’ The Gaydos and Chad Show on Tuesday.

Early voting is underway for the Nov. 8 general election in Arizona.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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Blake Masters disputes poll that says Mark Kelly has double-digit lead in race for US Senate