A new poll finds Arizona’s Senate race between Sen. Mark Kelly (D) and Republican opponent Blake Masters is getting razor-tight.
The Emerson College poll released Friday shows Kelly leading Masters 47 percent to 45 percent, a finding within the survey’s margin of error, while 4 percent of respondents said they plan to vote for someone else and 5 percent are undecided.
The poll shows that 47 percent of respondents view each of the candidates favorably. Kelly is viewed unfavorably by 49 percent, while Masters is viewed unfavorably by 48 percent.
Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College polling, said in a release that a significant gender divide exists between Kelly and Masters. While Masters leads by 10 points among men, Kelly leads by 13 points among women.
Kelly also has an advantage among independent voters, 46 percent to 37 percent.
A slight majority of 53 percent also said they expect Kelly to hold his seat and defeat Masters.
The race is critical to the battle for the Senate majority. Republicans need a net gain of just one seat to take the majority, but their expectations have dimmed in recent weeks amid stumbles by some of their candidates.
Respondents in Arizona considered the economy to be the most important issue for deciding who they will vote for, with 36 percent rating it their top priority. Abortion access and immigration followed, with 16 percent each.
That could be good news for Masters, who like other Republicans has criticized the Biden administration and Democrats for high inflation.
Almost two-thirds of respondents who rated the economy as their most important issue back Masters, and 98 percent of respondents who considered abortion access their most important issue support Kelly.
Democrats have sought to make abortion rights a key part of their campaign messaging since the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision in June.
The poll also found that Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake are tied for the governor’s race at 46 percent each.
The poll, Emerson’s first of Arizona’s general election during this cycle, was conducted among 627 very likely general election voters. The margin of error was 3.85 points.
The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Kelly leading Masters by 4 percentage points.