Arizona Senate Forecast & Polls
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Mark Kelly rocketed past Marth McSally to claim victory in 2020, outperforming Joe Biden and the Congressional Democratic Delegation with a 2.4% state-wide victory in the Grand Canyon State. Our Senate forecast correctly called his victory even back in June the last cycle, but the former Astronaut might face a tougher challenge in 2022. He will have to defend his seat during a midterm election where Democrats control the White House - a dynamic that traditionally boosts the party out of power. Right now, we don’t know who the Republican nominee will be, so our Senate forecast features five different potential matchups, along with the overall total forecast.
Kelly's fate might be decided by just how far Arizona has drifted to Democrats. It used to be one of the most Republican states in the nation, but it voted for Biden in 2020, and Democratic Senators twice since 2018. The dramatic shift has been driven by an exodus of white college-educated voters from the Republican party, rising turnout from Latinos and Native Americans, and the explosive population growth of Phoenix. Nonetheless, it's important to note that the state has still voted more Republican than the national popular vote in the last two elections.
In 2020, Kelly proved to be an excellent candidate, and his unique profile was a real asset. Mark Kelly could credibly argue that he could rise above the political fray, both literally and metaphorically, as a former Astronaut that had spent years of his life in the International Space Stations, 250 miles above the earth. His unique story positioned him to win independents decisively in 2020, and if he can do the same again in 2022, he will likely be able to secure a full second term. In 2022, he will be facing Republican Blake Masters, a venture capitalist. Masters broke through a competitive Republican primary to secure the nomination, boosted by billionaire Peter Thiel and the support of former President Donald Trump.