The open Senate race in Arizona may be turning into a surprisingly competitive contest. The seat was left open when Republican Jon Kyl decided to retire, but most viewed it as a likely hold for Republicans given the leanings of the state. But a new PPP poll of likely voters for the League of Conservation Voters finds that the race is effectively tied.
According to the poll, Republican Jeff Flake is currently at 44 percent support while the Democrat Richard Carmona has 43 percent support. The remaining 13 percent are undecided.
Carmona remains mostly unknown in the state with roughly half the voters having not formed an opinion about him yet. This means there is a lot of room for both sides to try to define him and potentially move the election as a result.
A Democratic win in Arizona would effectively be the final nail in the coffin for the Republicans’ already fading hopes of taking back the Senate. The troubles with Todd Akin in Missouri significantly narrowed Republican prospects of winning the Senate by forcing them to basically sweep all the competitive elections if they want to get the majority. Needing to actually defend another Republican held seat makes that long shot task even more difficult.
It will be interesting to see if this poll encourages other pollsters to look into the race. There has been remarkably little public polling of the Arizona senate race so far this cycle. It could be a really competitive race or this one poll could simply be an outlier.