Democrats are leading their Republican opponents in crucial Senate races in Arizona, North Carolina and Michigan as the parties battle for control of the upper chamber this November.
A new New York Times-Sienna College poll indicates Republican candidates in tight down-ballot races may be feeling repercussions from recent controversies surrounding the handling of the coronavirus, the economy and growing civil unrest over police brutality and systemic racism.
The poll shows former astronaut and gun control activist Mark Kelly (D) leading Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyMcSally introduces bill to incentivize Americans to take a vacation Liberal group launches ad hitting McSally over book promotion Trump signs ‘foolproof’ border wall during Arizona tour MORE (R) by a 47-38 margin in the Senate race in Arizona, a state that will also be a key battleground in the presidential contest. Another 16 percent of registered voters are undecided or say they would vote for someone else.
The Arizona Senate race, which will decide who fills the final two years of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRepublican Scott Taylor wins Virginia primary, to face Elaine Luria in rematch Congress should reinstate tax certificate program to foster media ownership diversity OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Top Democrats introduce bill to stop Trump’s Germany withdrawal | Esper announces internal review on diversity in military | Top foreign policy Pentagon official resigns after White House passes on nomination MORE’s (R) term, is a top pickup opportunity for Democrats. A number of polls have shown Kelly leading, in some case by double digits, and surveys also put presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP: Trump needs a new plan Trump distracts from, fuels right-wing violence Biden to accept nomination in Milwaukee amid scaled-back convention MORE ahead of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rally sparks self quarantine of dozens of Secret Service agents GOP: Trump needs a new plan Trump faces ObamaCare court deadline as political ground shifts MORE.
The same New York Times-Sienna College poll shows Biden leading Trump by a 48-41 margin.
Democrats credit a burgeoning Hispanic population and rising distaste for Trump in the suburbs with boosting their chances of winning the state’s 11 electoral college votes for the first time since 1996.
The Cook Political Report rates the Arizona Senate race as a “toss-up.”
Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night Cruz urges Trump to support Israeli annexation Black voters need a new Senate as much as a new president MORE (R), who is running for a second term in North Carolina, is also trailing his Democratic challenger, former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, albeit by a smaller margin. The new poll shows Cunningham with a 42-39 lead among registered voters, with 19 percent saying they’re undecided or would vote for someone else. The poll’s results are within the margin of error.
The same poll found Trump trailing Biden by 9 points in the Tar Heel State.
The Cook Political Report rates the North Carolina Senate race as a “toss-up.”
Michigan Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersCongress should reinstate tax certificate program to foster media ownership diversity Black voters need a new Senate as much as a new president McConnell plans to stay on as Senate GOP leader even if he loses majority MORE (D) also has a 10-point lead over his Republican challenger, businessman and former combat veteran John James, leading him by a 41-31 margin. However, a whopping 29 percent of voters remain undecided or say they would vote for someone else.
Besides Alabama, where Democratic Sen. Doug Jones is viewed as particularly vulnerable, Michigan represents the next best chance for the GOP to go on offense in the battle for the Senate. However, James has not led in a single mainstream poll to date.
The Cook Political Report rates the Michigan Senate race as “lean” Democratic.
Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, though control of the upper chamber is increasingly seen as being in play as the GOP plays defense in a slate of states with only a couple of pickup opportunities.
Besides Arizona and North Carolina, Democratic candidates are putting up stiff challenges to Republican incumbents in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine and Montana, providing the party with a number of paths to the Senate majority.
The New York Times-Sienna College surveyed 650 registered voters in Arizona, 610 registered voters in Michigan and 653 registered voters in North Carolina from June 17 to 22. Each state’s results have a of error of about 4 percentage points.