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Mark Kelly leads Martha McSally by 10 points in new poll on pivotal US Senate race

The Democratic challenger expands his August margin. Both McSally and Trump are on a losing streak in polls heading into debates and Arizona's early vote.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video is from an August fact check.

Democrat Mark Kelly has expanded his lead over Republican Sen. Martha McSally in their high-spending race for the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Phoenix-based OH Predictive.

The poll shows Kelly up 10 points over McSally, 52% to 42%, in an election that could help decide which party controls the Senate. An August survey by the same pollster showed Kelly ahead by five points.

"Sen. McSally's barrage of attacks against Mark Kelly seemed to be working last month," OHPI Chief of Research Mike Noble said in a prepared statement. 

“However, Kelly is now deploying his vast war chest to fight back, which is boosting his fortunes.” 

The Senate race results are identical to the 52-42 advantage for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in an OH poll released Monday.

The latest poll results raise questions about Arizona voters’ penchant for ticket-splitting: Both Trump and McSally appear stuck in the same dog house.

With just 21 days to go until Arizona’s early voters get their mail-in ballots, both Trump and McSally are on a yearlong losing streak in statewide polls: The two top-of-the-ticket Republicans have led just three of the 30 polls of their respective races, according to Real Clear Politics data.

One alarming indicator for McSally: Poll respondents were evenly split between her and Kelly in rural Arizona, an area where Republicans hope to run up the score to help counter Democratic bases in Maricopa and Pima counties. 

Kelly has a solid double-digit lead over McSally in those two counties, the poll indicates.

Maricopa and Pima are the state’s largest counties and home to almost eight in every 10 general election voters statewide.

The next potential pivot points in the two races could be their first debates:

- The first of an anticipated three presidential debates is Sept. 29 in Cleveland.

- The first, and possibly only, U.S. Senate debate in Arizona will be televised Oct. 6.

TV spending in both the presidential and Senate races is smashing records, reflecting reliably red Arizona’s new status as a swing state.

The Trump campaign is swarming the Phoenix area this week, with visits by the president Monday, his daughter Ivanka Trump on Wednesday and Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence on Friday.

McSally did not join Trump Monday at his “Latinos for Trump” rally. She stayed behind in Washington.

McSally has made some public appearances, while Kelly has run a largely virtual campaign from his Tucson home.

The Biden campaign had said he would visit Arizona after Labor Day. That hasn’t happened yet. 

His vice-presidential nominee, California Sen. Kamala Harris, has led a handful of virtual events.