New Arizona Senate poll: Ruben Gallego up big over Kari Lake in race for Kyrsten Sinema’s seat

Feb 22, 2024, 9:32 AM

PHOENIX – A new poll on Arizona’s U.S. Senate race is good news for Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego, bad news for Republican front-runner Kari Lake and worse news for independent incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Gallego, the presumed Democratic nominee, has a double-digit lead over Lake in a head-to-head showdown, according to poll results released Thursday by Noble Predictive Insights (NPI). Sinema, meanwhile, brings up the rear in a potential three-way contest.

While Lake has a large advantage over Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb in the GOP primary race (54%-21%), she trails Gallego 47%-37% in a general election matchup, according the poll, which was conducted by the Phoenix-based NPI Feb. 6-13. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%.

If Sinema enters the race, it apparently would hurt Gallego more than Lake, but not enough to change the outcome. When respondents were asked for their preference in a potential three-way race, Gallego led the way at 34%, followed by Lake at 31% and Sinema at 23%.

An Emerson College poll conducted Feb. 16-19 and released Thursday showed similar results, with Gallego leading Lake 46%-39% in a head-to-head matchup, and a three-way race coming out at Gallego 36%, Lake 30% and Sinema 21%.

Will Sen. Kyrsten Sinema run again in 2024?

Sinema, an independent, hasn’t yet said if she’ll seek reelection, but she is running out of time to enter the fray.

The former Democrat would have to gather more than 42,000 signatures by April 1 to qualify for the November general election ballot.

“With the filing deadline just a few weeks away and her numbers on a downturn, I would predict that Sinema may not throw her hat in the ring for the 2024 U.S. Senate race,” NPI CEO Mike Noble said in a press release.

What does Arizona Senate poll say about independent voters?

A closer look at the NPI poll results shows Lake’s problem with independent voters.

In a head-to-head matchup, Lake trails Gallego by 18 percentage points among independents, 45%-27%.

In a potential three-way race, Sinema is the top choice among independents at 38%, followed by Gallego at 23% and Lake at 19%.

David Byler, NPI chief of research, said Lake’s allegiance to Donald Trump and the MAGA movement helps make her the GOP primary favorite, but it hurts her with independents and her own party’s moderate wing in the general election.

“There’s a chunk of moderate Republicans who would pick Gallego over Lake in a two-way matchup, Sinema over both of them in a three-way race, and a bland, generic Republican over anyone – if the GOP would nominate one,” Byler said in the release.

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New Arizona Senate poll: Ruben Gallego up big over Kari Lake in race for Kyrsten Sinema’s seat