In September of this year, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly was viewed favorably by 47 percent of voters in his state, according to a survey by OH Predictive Insights. 43 percent viewed him unfavorably.
But now, just two months later, a survey by the same firm finds Kelly underwater. Only 41 percent view him favorably, while 48 percent hold the opposite view.
Numbers like the ones in the latest poll usually spell serious trouble for an incumbent Senator.
I guess Kelly can take some comfort from the fact that the same survey has him ahead in a race against a generic Republican. But his margin — 40 to 39 — isn’t very good for an incumbent, either. And back in September, he led his matchups against Republican hopefuls by an average of 43.5 to 37.
As for which Republican Kelly will face, OH Predictive Insights finds Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich leading with 27 percent support. Next comes Major General Michael McGuire at 12 percent, followed by businessman Blake Masters with 9 percent. No other candidate cracks 5 percent.
Nearly half of those surveyed are undecided about which Republican they prefer. Clearly, public opinion hasn’t crystalized when it comes to the GOP hopefuls.
How reliable is OH Predictive’s Arizona polling? In the last two elections, its call were off by around 3 percent, a normal margin of error. It had Martha McSally slightly ahead of Kyrsten Sinema in 2018. In 2020, it called both Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona and Kelly’s but overestimated both margins. (Kelly’s margin over McSally was 2.3 points. Kelly led McSally in OH Predictive’s final survey by 5 points.)
In its latest survey, OH Predictive found Joe Biden to be underwater in Arizona, 42-55. That’s consistent with national polling and Arizona is very much a swing state these days. To me, this suggests that the latest survey accurately reflects current public opinion in Arizona.
Any meaningful improvement in Biden’s standing and the standing of Democrats generally would restore Mark Kelly to his status as favorite to win in 2022. But as things stand right now, the race looks like a toss-up at best for Kelly.