US Senate Race: Kelly Takes a Double-Digit Lead Over Masters
Secretary of State Race: 1 in 4 Likely Voters are Undecided
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PHOENIX (September 21st, 2022)- Similar to how the Arizona weather doesn’t seem to cool off, neither does this election season. With just about three weeks until early voting for the midterm elections begins, candidates are staying hot on their heels in hopes to make it to the finish line. OH Predictive Insights’ (OHPI) latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) assessed Arizona likely voters’ sentiment toward the U.S. Senate and Secretary of State races. According to the survey, Democrat incumbent Mark Kelly is favored to win the Senatorial election over Republican Blake Masters by a 12-point margin. In the race for Secretary of State, only 5 points separate the leader, Republican Mark Finchem, from Democratic challenger Adrian Fontes.
This AZPOP was conducted September 6th – September 9th, 2022 and surveyed 654 Arizona likely voters, giving the survey a margin of error of +/- 3.83%.
U.S. Senate Race
The recent survey revealed that likely voters prefer Mark Kelly (47%) to win the U.S. Senate election over Blake Masters (35%) and Libertarian Marc Victor (6%). Twelve percent of voters are still undecided. When it comes to the favorability of candidates, likely voters give Kelly a 51% favorable rating, and a 43% unfavorable rating. As for Masters, 40% gave him a favorable rating, and 49% gave him an unfavorable rating.
Taking a deeper look at party affiliations, 86% of Democrats indicated they would vote for Kelly, and an equal share (4%) plan to vote for Masters and Victor – the remaining 6% of Democrats are unsure. As for Republicans, only about two-thirds (65%) said they would vote for their own party’s candidate, while 20% would vote for Kelly, 3% for Victor, and 12% who remain undecided. Among Independents, support is more mixed with 43% saying they would vote for Kelly, 28% for Masters, and 10% for Victor who is outperformed by unsure Independents (19%).
“Incumbent Kelly is performing fairly well among some key underrepresented groups in the electorate like Hispanics and Independents, and with 1 in 5 likely voters of his opposite party supporting him, the Democratic senator is in decent standing in his race,” said Mike Noble, OHPI Chief of Research. “However, Kelly can’t quite count his chickens yet – early voting is still 3 weeks away.”
Kelly’s Coalition of Support
Kelly’s most notable support – in addition to liberals (80%) – comes from younger voters, particularly those ages 18-34 years old (63% for Kelly vs 19% for Masters) and Hispanics (62% for Kelly vs 22% for Masters).
Kelly also outperforms Masters across Maricopa (47% for Kelly vs 39% for Masters), Pima (53% for Kelly vs 32% for Masters), and Rural (45% for Kelly vs 28% for Masters) counties.
Across household income segments, Kelly leads, though at closer margins as income increases. For likely voters making less than $50k per year, Kelly is at 52% support, and Masters at 27%. Among those who make $50k to $100k per year, Kelly has 45% support vs 42% support for Masters, and those who make more than $100k per year revealed 40% support for Kelly vs 39% for support Masters.
He also beats out Masters among those with different levels of education, and his support largely increases among voters with a college degree. The recent AZPOP survey found that those with a high school degree or less gave Kelly 40% support vs 34% for Masters; more than half of voters with a graduate school education prefer Kelly (57%) over Masters (28%).
Masters’ Coalition of Support
Blake Masters has a large base of support from conservatives (74% for Masters vs 12% for Kelly), followed by older voters, including those 45-54 years old (44% for Masters vs 32% for Kelly) and voters over 65 years of age (48% for Masters vs 39% for Kelly).
According to data from Medium Buying for the week of 9/12 – 9/18, 2022, Blake Masters is not able to keep up with Mark Kelly in terms of broadcast spend. Kelly spent a total of $4.81M in broadcasting ($2,058,564 of which coming from Kelly’s campaign and $2,748,097 from outside groups) while Masters was only able to spend $1.85M, all of which came from outside groups.
Secretary of State Race
In the race for Secretary of State, Mark Finchem (40%) leads by only 5 points against Adrian Fontes (35%). Importantly, one-quarter of likely voters (25%) are still unsure as to whom they’d vote for.
Unsurprisingly, Finchem has a commanding lead among Republicans (73%), and Fontes has a similarly strong lead among Democrats (78%). Among Arizona’s all-important Independents, Finchem (31%) is more supported by only 3 points than Fontes (28%), while 2 in 5 Independent likely voters have declared themselves as being unsure (41%). In terms of favorability, 37% of respondents gave Finchem a favorable rating and 31% an unfavorable rating. Fontes was given an equal share of 33% for favorable and unfavorable. Interestingly, 17% of respondents had never heard of either candidate.
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“As we saw in the AZPOP prior to the primaries, the big question mark is with the undecideds who’ve held a lot of deciding power this election season,” said Noble. “With a quarter of likely voters still undecided and only 5 points between Finchem and Fontes, undecideds will be the ones to watch to see which way they sway in the Secretary of State race.”
Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights from September 6th to September 9th, 2022 from an Arizona Statewide Likely Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect the likely voter population by gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education according to a recent voter file derived from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and recent Census data. The sample size was 654 likely voters in Arizona, with an MoE of ± 3.83%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.
About OH Predictive Insights: As a non-partisan market research, predictive analytics, and public opinion polling firm, Arizona-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics, and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling, and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights serves political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing with key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call 480-313-1837 or submit a request online at OHPredictive.com.