With Election Day a little more than two weeks away, Republican Senate candidates in Arizona and Missouri appear to have a small lead over their Democratic opponents.
In Arizona, a New York Times/Siena poll shows Republican congresswoman Martha McSally ahead of Democratic congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema by two percentage points, 48-46 percent. McSally and Sinema are competing for the seat being vacated by Republican senator Jeff Flake, making it one of the biggest pickup opportunities for the Democratic party in this year’s Senate elections.
The NYT/Siena survey was conducted over the past week, the first polling in the state since Sinema’s past anti-war activism, support for a terrorist lawyer, and negative comments about her state came to light.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, Republican attorney general Josh Hawley appears to have a marginal lead over Democratic senator Claire McCaskill. New survey data from Missouri Scout shows Hawley leading McCaskill 47 to 46 percent. Since August, most major polls have found the race to be in a dead heat, and several have put the candidates at a tie. A CNN poll from late September showed the Democrat with a three-point lead, but another from early October put Hawley’s support at 52 percent and McCaskill at only 44 percent support.
Another survey of the race from late September showed that Missouri voters would be less likely to support the Democratic incumbent if she opposed the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. Respondents were asked how they’d vote if McCaskill supported Kavanaugh, in which case Hawley’s lead narrowed to just half a percentage point. Respondents said if McCaskill opposed Kavanaugh, they’d favor Hawley over their current senator 49 to 43 percent.
Prior to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with both Kavanaugh and one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, McCaskill announced that she wouldn’t vote to confirm him, saying her decision was made independently of the sexual-misconduct allegations against him.