Here’s what new polling says about Arizona’s potential 3-way US Senate showdown
Aug 3, 2023, 10:45 AM | Updated: Aug 4, 2023, 6:34 am
PHOENIX – A potential third-party U.S. Senate run by Arizona independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema may have Democrats worried, but her presence would actually be a bigger threat to Republicans, according to new polling.
With or without Sinema, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego appears to be the front-runner with the election 15 months away, according to polling conducted last month by Phoenix-based research firm Noble Predictive Insights (NPI).
Sinema hasn’t yet announced whether she plans to seek reelection to a second term, but if she does it will create a three-way race because she left the Democratic Party last year.
“Sinema’s third-party run does not guarantee a GOP victory in Arizona’s Senate race, and what is even more interesting is that there appears to be a path to victory for Sinema in a three-way showdown,” Mike Noble, NPI founder, said in a press release Thursday.
“Buckle up and grab your popcorn, because the Senate contest in Arizona is going to be one to watch.”
NPI (formerly OH Predictive Insights) surveyed 1,000 Arizona registered voters July 13-17 to see which way they are leaning in a race that could determine control of the Senate. The results had an error margin of plus or minus 3.1%.
Big picture: Ruben Gallego leading the way
The polling showed Gallego, the presumptive Democratic nominee, ahead of Sinema as well as three potential Republican candidates: Kari Lake and Blake Masters, who both lost statewide contests last year, and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb.
“Congressman Gallego’s strength in head-to-head matchups shows his appeal across various demographic groups, making him a formidable candidate in this race,” Noble said.
So far, Lamb is the only major Republican officially running. He polled at 4 percentage points behind Gallego (40%-36%) in a head-to-head contest, easily the strongest showing of the GOP options.
Adding Sinema to the mix, however, increased Gallego’s advantage over Lamb to 8 points. In that scenario, the Democrat got 33%, the Republican 25% and the independent 24%, with 18% undecided.
Who is polling better: Kyrsten Sinema, Kari Lake or Blake Masters?
In hypothetical races with Lake or Masters, Gallego had comfortable head-to-head leads against either. And when Sinema was included, the Republicans slipped to third place.
Lake, who lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the 2022 race for governor, trailed Gallego by 10% in a head-to-head matchup, 45%-35%. A three-way race showed Gallego at 34%, Sinema at 26% and Lake at 25%, with 15% undecided.
Masters, who lost to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in last year’s Senate race, trailed Gallego 44%-36% in a two-way race. With the sitting senator independent included, Gallego dropped to 32%, the Sinema grabbed 28% and Masters slipped to 24%, with 16% undecided.
“Sen. Sinema’s entry could create a more complex electoral landscape, given her ability to draw support from independents,” Noble said.