If Democrats have any hope of retaking the Senate in 2018 while facing an unfavorable map, the Arizona Senate race is a must-win. According to a new survey, the top Democrat there has a real shot to flip retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat in November: She is leading each of her potential Republican opponents in a two-way race.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the presumptive Democratic candidate, tops establishment favorite Rep. Martha McSally, conservative former state Sen. Kelli Ward, and anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a general election matchup, a new survey from ABC15 in Phoenix and OH Predictive Insights found.
From the poll, one of the first to evaluate the general election landscape in the Grand Canyon State:
- Sinema: 48 percent; McSally: 42 percent; 10 percent undecided
- Sinema: 50 percent; Ward: 40 percent; 10 percent undecided
- Sinema: 59 percent; Arpaio: 33 percent; 8 percent undecided
It’s just one poll, of course, and the election is many months away. But it seems to confirm what many politicos suspected: Democrats have a real chance to win in Arizona, where Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by less than 4 points in 2016. The appropriate caveats from CNN’s Harry Enten:
I should say that while they haven't been gold standard polls... All of the (limited) general election polls in AZ have had Sinema ahead of McSally including this latest one. Sinema also leads Ward/Arpaio by 10+. https://t.co/WZnTEF1mOA— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) April 19, 2018
As for the Republican primary itself, which will take place in late August, the new ABC15 poll finds Ward in the lead with 36 percent, followed by McSally at 27 percent and Arpaio at 22 percent.
That is a little out of line with other surveys of the race, which have shown McSally in the lead, according to RealClearPolitics. That’s one reason, as Enten notes, to take this new poll with at least a grain of salt.
Still, Sinema looks like a strong contender to replace Flake, who decided to step down rather than run for another term. The Cook Political Report rates the Arizona Senate race a toss-up, as does the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.