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Arizona

Kelly narrowly leads Masters in new Arizona poll as analysts say Senate race favors Democrats


A new poll of the Arizona Senate race puts Republican Blake Masters 1 point behind incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D) as analysts say the political winds are blowing in Kelly's favor.

The survey is one of three released Thursday by Data for Progress showing Republicans neck and neck with Democrats in key battleground Senate races. The Arizona results came from data collected between Sept. 15 and 19 from 768 likely voters, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Data for Progress has a "B" rating from FiveThirtyEight, which tracks the reliability of pollsters.

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On average, Masters has been trailing Kelly by 7.5 points in the polls. The nonpartisan Cook Political Reportannounced Thursday that it is changing the race's rating from "toss-up" to "lean Democrat" as Kelly continues to hold a massive fundraising advantage. This follows a GOP super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, withdrawing $9.6 million in ad buys for Masters earlier this week, a move that was partially offset by other outside groups.

Data for Progress found that Republicans are competitive in other battleground states, including Georgia, where Republican nominee Herschel Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock are tied at 46%. The Georgia survey was conducted between Sept. 16 and 20 among 1,006 likely voters and has a margin of error of 3 points. In Nevada, the pollster found Republican Adam Laxalt beating Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto by 1 point. It surveyed 874 likely voters there between Sept. 14 and 19, with a margin of error of 3 points.

The Arizona Senate race has been a point of contention among GOP leaders and donors. The SLF is aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and its withdrawal from Arizona follows McConnell's apparent pressure on Republican donor Peter Thiel to step up his spending in support of Masters. Thiel backed both Masters and Republican J.D. Vance in Ohio during the primaries but has been hesitant to put his own money into the general election. He is hosting a fundraiser for Masters at the end of the month.

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Republicans need to net one Senate seat to gain majority control of the upper chamber. While several outside groups are still pouring money into Arizona in support of Masters, the SLF has redistributed its assets to boost candidates in other high-priority races.