ARIZONA NEWS

Early Arizona polling for Senate looks good for Democrats, bad for MAGA

Feb 16, 2023, 11:01 AM | Updated: 11:07 am

PHOENIX – Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego is the very early front-runner for the Senate seat currently held by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, according to polling released Thursday.

OH Predictive Insights surveyed registered Arizona voters on eight potential 2024 general election matchups — two-way contests against four prominent Republicans plus three-way races with Sinema in the mix — and Gallego came out on top each time.

Gallego, a five-term congressman, is the only major candidate from either party to officially enter the race. The general election isn’t until Nov. 5, 2024, but his early declaration appears to have given him a boost, according to the new poll.

It remains to be seen if Sinema, who left the Democratic Party to become an independent in December, will seek a second term.

The polling released Thursday included two moderate Republicans, former Gov. Doug Ducey and Karrin Taylor Robson, and two MAGA options, Kari Lake and Blake Masters.

Lake defeated Taylor Robson in the 2022 GOP primary for governor before losing to Democrat Katie Hobbs in November. Masters emerged from the crowded field to win the Republican Senate primary before losing handily to incumbent Mark Kelly in the general election.

The OH Predictive Insights poll was conducted Jan. 31-Feb. 9, starting about a week after Gallego announced his candidacy. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%.

“What I take away from this data is that the two key factors in this Senate race will be the ‘style’ of Republican nominated to run and whether Sinema is also on the ballot,” Mike Noble, chief of research for the Phoenix-based public opinion pollsters, said in a press release.

“But, there’s a long time between now and Election Day, which leaves plenty of opportunity for something to happen that can shift the dynamics of this race.”

In the two-way matchups, Gallego had double-digit leads over Lake (10%) and Masters (11%) and was 4% ahead of either Ducey or Taylor Robson.

Sinema brought up the rear in all four of the potential three-way races, but her inclusion helped Gallego against the moderates and hurt him against the MAGA choices.

The three-way results were as follows:

With Ducey as the GOP candidate: Gallego 32%, Ducey 27%, Sinema 17%, undecided/don’t know 23%.

With Taylor Robson as the GOP candidate: Gallego 31%, Taylor-Robson 24%, Sinema 21%, undecided/don’t know 25%.

With Lake as the GOP candidate: Gallego 34%, Lake 26%, Sinema 19%, undecided/don’t know 21%.

With Masters as the GOP candidate: Gallego 33%, Masters 24%, Sinema 22%, undecided/don’t know 21%.

OH Predictive Insights also surveyed respondents about favorability for each of the potential candidates except Ducey.

Gallego was the only option with a positive net favorability, at plus-8 percentage points. Taylor Robson (minus-6) was the only Republican option with a better net favorability than Sinema (minus 10), with Lake at minus 22 and Masters at minus 24.

“Since the midterms, Lake and Masters’ images have taken a real hit among the all-important independent voters,” Noble said.

“Being well-liked is truly half the battle, but the best bet for any potential candidate to stay competitive in the coming election is to continue capturing more support from Arizona’s influential independents.”

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Early Arizona polling for Senate looks good for Democrats, bad for MAGA