With Less than two weeks to go before the midterm elections, the Cook Political Report adjusted its ratings in Arizona’s Senate race from “Lean Democrat” to a toss-up, suggesting the GOP’s chances are improving in a crucial race that could determine which party takes control of the Senate this fall.
For several months, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., maintained a lead in the Senate race against Trump-endorsed Blake Masters, but the new rating reveals an apparent shift in the race, lessening the Democrat’s hopes for re-election.
The rating change comes “amid a spate of tightening private polling that has left Democrats worried about one of their strongest incumbents,” Cook Political Report analyst Jessica Taylor wrote. Fox News’ Power Rankings have also rated the Arizona Senate race as a toss-up.
“Despite massive financial backing from the wealthy special interests who control him, Mark Kelly’s campaign is floundering. Because Arizonans know Mark Kelly is the one responsible for surging inflation, surging crime and surging gas prices,” Masters told Fox News Digital in response to the new rating.
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With Arizona being a border state, the influx of illegal migrants and lack of border security has affected the dueling candidate’s race, and Masters claims Democrat Kelly is to blame for the crisis.
“They also know that Mark Kelly is the single Senator most responsible for our open border disaster. This election is a referendum on border security and Mark Kelly’s betrayal of every Arizona family. A vote for Kelly is a vote for open borders. A vote for me is a vote for secure borders and safe communities. That’s what is at stake in this election,” Masters stated.
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Kelly did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment regarding the new ratings.
The Senate is currently split 50-50, but Democrats have the majority through Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie breaking vote, meaning that Republicans only need to gain one seat in order to take back the majority.
Another non-partisan political tracker, Real Clear Politics, labeled the Arizona Senate race as a toss-up, with Democrat Kelly only up by 1.5 percentage points.
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Republicans are defending 21 of the 35 Senate seats on the ballot this fall. If the GOP wins the Senate race in Arizona, it could be the determining factor in their chances of taking control of the Senate this fall.