New Poll: Sinema and McSally in Statistical Tie in US Senate Race

  • Sinema leads McSally, 48-44 percent, an improvement for McSally from 48-42 percent in June, but still behind for a red state. This is within the 4% margin of error of the poll.
  • Sinema leads Arpaio by a huge margin at 54-36 percent (+18). Sinema also has a double-digit lead against Ward; 51-41 percent (+10).
  • McSally holds an eight-point lead over Ward; 20-point lead over Arpaio.

A new poll from OH Predictive Insights of Phoenix, Arizona has put Representative Martha McSally in the lead of the Republican primary, but continuing to trail in the general election to Representative Kyrsten Sinema. The poll also finds that Republicans struggle with moderate voters and their disapproval of President Donald Trump. They believe this continues to hurt their chances in the Senate race as opinions of the President become more polarized.

Arizona’s OH Predictive Insights and ABC15 Arizona (OHPI/ABC15) teamed up to find out who is currently winning the Senate race and why.

“The Arizona Senate contest is tightening and expect the attacks to ramp up as we head closer to election day,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based research polling company. “We have a better chance of finding a photo of Sheriff Joe Arpaio wearing pink underwear and eating green bologna than to see him as the next elected Senator of Arizona.”

Since OH Predictive polled the Republican primary last month, McSally has fallen by six-points and Kelli Ward has boosted up two-points. McSally now leads by 8 percent in the primary, with roughly the same number of undecideds as the last poll. While this is clearly an edge, the presence of hardcore conservative Sheriff Joe Arpaio is playing spoiler to a potential Ward candidacy. With 23 percent of likely GOP primary voters undecided, this race is far from over.

While McSally struggles in the rural regions, she shines in her home region of Pima county, taking four in every ten voters there. Ward’s weak performance in Maricopa county, where most votes will be from, means that her strength over McSally in the rural areas is not enough to win the primary at the moment.  In this final month of voting the big opportunity will be to win over the 29 percent of undecided voters in the large voting bloc (60 percent) of Maricopa County.

Sinema beats McSally by 4 points

OH Predictive Insights also polled a general election sample to examine how well Kyrsten Sinema performed against each of the Republican challengers, and compared this to the performance over time from the last poll.

In this poll, OH Predictive Insights found Sinema leading Arpaio by a huge margin at 54-36 percent (+18). Sinema also has a double-digit lead against Ward; 51-41 percent (+10). Against McSally, Sinema leads 48-44 percent, an improvement for McSally from 48-42 percent in June, but still behind for a red state.

The largest indicator in this general election was self-identified ideology, and the breakdown is shown below with conservatives making up close to half of the electorate, with liberals at 35 percent, and the rest moderate.

The chart below shows Trump’s net approval by ideology in teal, and lines up with Martha McSally’s net margin over Sinema. These numbers track extremely close, with the Senate preference never straying far from Trump’s approval.

The opinion on Trump shapes exactly who you are going to vote for,” said Noah Rudnick, data analyst with OH Predictive Insights. “There may be other names on the ballot, but when you get into the voting booth, the only question on the ballot might as well be, ‘Do you approve of Donald Trump?’ And for the angry moderate swing bloc, that answer is going to be no.”

Methodology: This 40% live caller and 60% automated phone poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on July 23, 2018 and July 24, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a Margin of Error of ± 4%. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

The 16% live caller and 84% automated phone poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights between July 23, 2018 and July 25, 2018, from a likely 2018 GOP primary voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 576 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4.08%. Poll report for the GOP primary election poll can be viewed here.

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