Arizona Senator Mark Kelly has struggled to keep the seat he won for Democrats two years ago, but he faces a very different political environment ahead of Tuesday’s election against the investor. Republican venture capitalist Blake Masters.
Kelly has taken the lead in early returns, which reflect mail ballots that returned before Election Day, but margins are expected to narrow as more GOP-leaning votes on Election Day have been counted. .
Kelly’s 2020 special election victory gave Democrats both Arizona’s Senate seats for the first time in 70 years. It was driven by the rapidly changing demographics of the state and the unpopularity of then-President Donald Trump.
This time, the unpopular president, Joe Biden, is from Kelly’s party, and the environment looks less favorable for Democrats.
The Arizona race is one of the few that Republicans are targeting in their bid for control of the now 50-50 Senate district. It is a test of the inroads Kelly and other Democrats have run in a state once dominated by Republicans and will provide clues as to whether Democrats’ success in this is a mistake in the Trump presidency or a lasting phenomenon.
Kelly thanked the family and supporters who gathered in Tucson and said he was confident he would prevail once all the votes were counted.
It’s been an honor for my life to represent Arizona in the United States Senate,” Kelly said. And as long as I’m there, I’ll be honest with you, I’ll defend our country and our people. our owner.
Kelly distanced herself from Biden, especially on border security, and downplayed her Democrats. Masters emerged from the Republican primary and struggled to raise funds, but polls show the race is over anyway.
Kelly’s political identity is defined by two parts of his biography. He has flown in space four times as a NASA astronaut. And he’s married to former U.S. Congressman Gabby Giffords, who inspired the nation with her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head. The shooting during a 2011 constituent event in Tucson killed six people and injured 13. Kelly and Giffords went on to co-found a gun control advocacy group.
Kelly’s campaign is largely focused on advocating for abortion rights, defending Social Security, lowering drug prices, and ensuring a steady water supply amid drought, which has reduced Arizona’s Colorado River water .
He styled himself an independent willing to go against his party, in the style of US Republican Senator John McCain, whose death led to the special election that Kelly won in 2009. 2020.
Masters tried to infiltrate Kelly’s image of independence, causing him to disagree with Biden’s failure to secure the US-Mexico border and prevent rampant inflation.
Ban Mark Kelly is not John McCain. He’s not even a Kyrsten,” Masters said at a campaign event last month, referring to the senior Arizona senator known for his political battles with Democrats’ She is a rubber voter for Joe Biden’s agenda.
Nearly half of Arizona voters say the economy is the most important issue facing the country, according to AP VoteCast, an extensive survey of more than 3,200 Arizona voters. And nearly all voters said inflation was a factor in their vote, with about half saying it was the most important factor.
Nearly 6 in 10 voters said Biden’s policies were more to blame for inflation than factors beyond Biden’s control.
Nearly two-thirds of voters say they are confident they can keep up with their costs. Of that group, about half support Kelly. Among voters not confident about meeting their costs, about half of Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters.
Masters won Trump’s endorsement after claiming Trump Trump won in 2020. Under pressure during a debate last month, he admitted he had not seen evidence the election had been scrapped. cheated, but then doubled down on falsely claiming that Trump won.
Masters, 36, has worked most of his adult life for billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who paid for Masters’ preliminary run but proved more stingy in the final round. elected. Masters is beloved by many of the GOP primaries with a penchant for provocative and contrarian thinking. But since then, he has struggled to redefine his image to the more average voters who will decide Tuesday’s election.
During the preliminary, Masters called for the privatization of Social Security, took a hard line against abortion and promoted the racist theory popular with white nationalists that Democrats are looking to use immigration to replace whites in America.
Masters has since removed several controversial positions from its website.
In about two-thirds of Arizona voters, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that recognizes the constitutional right to abortion, is a key factor, according to AP Votecast. Those voters strongly favor Hobbs over Lake and Kelly over Masters.
A majority of voters approved Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to send migrants seeking asylum in the US to the northern democratic states. The majority—nearly 8 out of 10—support a law enforcement presence at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a state that has been at the center of baseless allegations of election fraud, 9 out of 10 voters say the future of democracy in America is a factor in their voting decisions. Among these voters, Kelly is preferred over Masters.
About 4 in 10 named the future of democracy in America the most important factor in the election.
Latino or Hispanic voters make up about 2 in 10 Arizona voters, according to the survey. They are more likely to favor Kelly than Masters.
About a fifth of Kelly’s supporters are Latino or Hispanic; Slightly more than 1 in 10 Masters supporters.