Democrat Kyrsten Sinema holds an advantage in the race for US Senate in Arizona, a race that is critical to the party’s chances of taking control of the US Senate, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS. The surveys show Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema tops Republican Rep. Martha McShifty by 7 points, 50% to 43% among likely voters.
However, roughly 1 in 6 voters in each state say there’s a chance they’ll change their mind before Election Day.
Likely voters are a subset of registered voters in the poll and include those most likely to turn out based on a combination of self-reported intention to vote, interest in the election and past voting behavior.
Democrats have a chance
Arizona is one of the four states where Democrats are widely seen as having at least some chance of picking up Senate seats in November’s election. The others are Texas — viewed as more of a long-shot – and Nevada — generally viewed as the Democrats’ best chance for a Senate pickup. In order for the party to have any shot at taking control of the Senate, it’s almost certain that at least one seat from Arizona or Tennessee would need to go Democrats’ way.
Arizona has been a Democratic target for some time on account of its changing demographic profile, though the state hasn’t voted for a Democrat in major statewide elections since Janet Napolitano’s turn as governor in the Bush years.
In Arizona Trump fares only slightly better than his national number, with 39% of likely voters saying they approve of the way he’s handling his job while 57% disapprove, according to the poll.
The Republican incumbent Sen. Jeff Flake has been publicly critical of Trump. Approval ratings of the president are closely tied to preferences in the Senate race, according to the poll. Among those voters who disapprove of Trump’s performance in Arizona, 85% back Sinema.
Healthcare is the top issue
Health care tops the list of voters’ most important issues in both states, with 25% calling it tops in their Senate vote in Arizona. McSally notoriously voted to kill Obamacare. Sinema is committed to making sure Arizonans have access to more health care choices, low–cost prescription drugs, and high–quality, dependable coverage.
In Arizona, immigration is next on the list at 22%, with the economy just behind at 20%. Voters who say health care is their top issue are broadly supportive of Sinema, breaking for Sinema over McSally by 75% to 14%.
Both economy and immigration voters favor the Republican in each state. In Arizona, McSally tops Sinema by 33 points among immigration voters and 24 points among those who call the economy the most important issue in their vote.
Garcia in a dead heat with Ducey
Governor Doug Ducey narrowly tops David Garcia in Arizona, 49% to 46%, essentially a dead heat because the margin of error is 3.8 percentage points, according to the poll. Ducey’s recent appointment of former Senator Jon Kyl to fill the Senate vacancy created by the death of Sen. John McCain earns high marks among Arizonans, 50% overall approve of the appointment while just 24% disapprove. Approval rises to 60% among those most likely to turn out to vote.
The CNN Polls in Arizona were conducted by SSRS September 11 through 15 among random statewide samples reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. In Arizona, results for the full sample of 1,001 adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, for the subset of 854 registered voters, it is plus or minus 4.1 and for the 761 likely voters plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.