Polls Predict ‘Dogfight’ for AZ Senate Seat — By: Church Militant

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) Two new polls indicate a dogfight lies ahead in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race.

Kari Lake, U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego and U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

While previous polls had projected Republican Kari Lake holding a small lead, a pair of polls sees U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, moving into first place and incumbent Kyrsten Sinema, running as an Independent, substantially improving her position.

Previously, Sen. Sinema was languishing in the teens, but now both surveys find her moving back into a competitive position.

Sinema is the first bisexual and the second openly LGBT woman to be elected to Congress, in the House of Representatives in 2012 and in the Senate in 2018.

Gallego is a Marine Corps veteran who has been described by an editorial columnist in an Arizona newspaper as an “unabashed liberal” who supports the Biden agenda.

Lake is a former television news anchor and conservative who alleged election fraud after losing the Arizona governor’s race to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Similar Findings

Emerson College surveyed the Arizona electorate Feb. 16-19, finding Rep. Gallego with 36% support, Lake with 30%, and Sen. Sinema with 21%.

Sinema’s current poll position represents a significant gain.

Meanwhile, Arizona-based Noble Predictive Insights polled the state Feb. 6-13 and projected a similar result: 34% support for Rep. Gallego, 31% support for Lake and 23% support for Sen. Sinema.

Sinema’s current poll position represents a significant gain compared to her position last fall. Until the release of the Emerson College and Noble polls, Sinema had only broken the 20% threshold once since Oct. 1, when she had one of her best showings since campaigning began.

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Though she hit the 29% mark in a previous Noble Predictive Insights survey in late October, she averaged total support of just 15.9% when calculating the results of nine polls from eight different research entities. If you remove the 29% Noble figure, which was a clear outlier, her average was an even lower — 14.2% over eight surveys.

Sinema’s Challenge

In the Emerson poll, Sinema tops Gallego among the Independent voters by just two points, 30% to 28%, with Lake receiving 20% within this segment. In order to win the three-way race, Sinema will need a larger vote share from Independents.

Expect a political dogfight to unfold.

The Noble poll better isolated where the partisan respondents were headed. Early in the cycle, Sen. Sinema seemed to be attracting more Republicans than Democrats. According to the Noble data, that has now changed.

Though the Emerson and Noble results produced similar numbers, the two are considerably different in their party division reporting. Emerson found Sinema attracting only 30% of the Independent vote, while Noble sees her with considerably more support — at 38%. She also gets 23% of Democrats and 19% of Republicans, according to Noble.

To win, Sinema must obtain the lion’s share of the 31% of Independents who are undecided while increasing her standing among Democrats, in particular, as well as Republicans.

It is probably unrealistic to believe that she can do much better among the partisan voters than these data currently suggest, but she will have to find a way to boost her numbers at least slightly within the partisan voter universe while maximizing her backing from Independents.

These polls conclude that Arizona’s U.S. Senate race is a legitimate three-way contest, in which each of the candidates can forge a victory path while probably attracting less than 40% of the vote.

Expect a real battle to unfold in this desert political setting — predicting a victor is going to be tough.

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