Updated: Oct 20
Sinema's Third-Party Run Does Not Guarantee a GOP Victory in Arizona Senate Race
PHOENIX (August 3, 2023)- As the 2024 Arizona Senate race looms, recent public opinion polling data fromNoble Predictive Insights’ (NPI) – formerly OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) – latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) sheds light on some intriguing dynamics that challenge conventional political wisdom. Contrary to initial assumptions, the potential entry of Senator Kyrsten Sinema as a third-party candidate does not necessarily guarantee a GOP victory. The poll results indicate that Sinema faces challenges within her own party, which might make her path to victory more complex.
This AZPOP, conducted from July 13 – 17, 2023, surveyed 1,000 registered voters in Arizona and had a margin of error of ± 3.1%.
Sinema Re-Election Support
According to the survey, 57% of Arizona voters were at least somewhat willing to support Senator Sinema's re-election bid, while 43% expressed not being very or not at all willing to back her candidacy. Notably, Democrats appeared to be less enthusiastic about supporting her compared to Republicans, with 56% of Democrats expressing reluctance versus 43% of Republicans. Sinema turned off older (73% not very/not at all willing) and female (61% not very/not at all) Democrats in particular. Independents fell in between with 32% expressing hesitation to support Sinema.
Mike Noble, NPI Founder & Chief of Research, noted, "While Sinema faces challenges within her former party, we shouldn't underestimate her ability to appeal to a broader base. She has managed to attract support from Republicans and Independents in the past, which could play a role in the final outcome."
Gallego v. Lake and Gallego v. Lake v. Sinema
In head-to-head matchups, Congressman Ruben Gallego led by a 10-point margin when pitted against potential Republican candidate Kari Lake (45% to 35%). Gallego's support came from key voting blocs, including:
· Hispanic/Latinos: Gallego +22
· Independents: Gallego +14
· Women: Gallego +12
· Maricopa: Gallego +12
· HHI $50k-$100k: Gallego +12
In a hypothetical three-way race that included Sinema, Gallego retained a significant advantage. Sinema’s entry caused an 11-point drop in Gallego's support and a 9-point drop for Lake, statistically tying Sinema and Lake with support from one-quarter of voters. In this scenario, Sinema performed better among Independents, gaining 38% of their support compared to Gallego's 24% and Lake's 16%.
Mike Noble highlighted the significance of these findings, saying, "Congressman Gallego's strength in head-to-head matchups shows his appeal across various demographic groups, making him a formidable candidate in this race. However, Senator Sinema's entry could create a more complex electoral landscape, given her ability to draw support from Independents."
Gallego v. Masters and Gallego v. Masters v. Sinema
It is important to note that Gallego's lead extended over other potential Republican contenders. Against candidate Blake Masters, Gallego maintained a solid 8-point advantage (44% to 36%). A three-way race with Sinema brought a 12-point drop for both candidates, cutting Gallego’s leading margin to 4 points with Sinema in second at 28% and Masters falling to 24% support.
Gallego v. Lamb and Gallego v. Lamb v. Sinema
Similarly, in a matchup against potential Republican candidate Mark Lamb, Congressman Gallego led by 4 points (40% to 36%). However, when Sinema joined the race, the Senator’s 24% dropped Gallego's support by 7 points and Lamb’s by 11 points, putting her at a statistical tie with Lamb.
GOP Candidates Performance
While all of the three Republican candidates tested earned statistically equal support in a hypothetical head-to-head with Gallego, Lamb performs best against the Democrat at only 4 points behind compared to Masters’ 8-point lag and Lake’s 10-point lag. Among their own party, Lake performs best with 71% of Republicans backing her in a head-to-head, compared to the two-thirds captured by Masters and Lamb.
A Path to Victory
With the 2024 Arizona Senate race still in its early stages, the poll results indicate that conventional wisdom may not accurately predict the final outcome. Both Senator Sinema and Congressman Gallego have the potential to impact the race significantly.
A path to victory for Senator Sinema as a third-party candidate will require securing the right shares of each party. As she faces challenges in retaining the support of key Democratic constituencies, Sinema will need to capture about 55% of Independents, 35% of Republicans, and 20% of Democrats in a re-election bid. According to the poll, in all the three-way matchups tested, Sinema currently maintains support from roughly 4 in 10 Independents, one-quarter of Republicans, and 13% of Democrats.
Noble concluded, "Sinema's third-party run does not guarantee a GOP victory in Arizona's Senate race, and what is even more interesting is that there appears to be a path to victory for Sinema in a three-way showdown. Buckle up and grab your popcorn because the Senate contest in Arizona is going to be one to watch.”
Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by Noble Predictive Insights from July 13 – 17, 2023 from an Arizona Statewide Registered Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education. The sample size was 1,000 completed surveys, with an MoE of ± 3.1%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.
About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to elevate the world around us by empowering decision-makers with digestible data and actionable insights that translate to data-based solutions. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly O.H. Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (602) 326-5694 or visit our website at www.noblepredictiveinsights.com.