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Arizona Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally is slipping in her race to beat well-funded former astronaut Democrat Mark Kelly in one of the most-watched races in the country, as conservative groups have begun to invest their money elsewhere.
A poll by OH Predictive Insights showed Kelly at 51 percent compared to McSally’s 38 percent, after its April poll showed the race at 51 percent to 42 percent.
“McSally is doing terribly,” pollster Mike Noble told AZCentral.com. “There’s no way to find a bright spot on that one.”
The poll is just the latest one to show McSally doing poorly, with the Real Clear Politics polling average from March to May showing her down 9 points, with high-profile Democrats in the state saying McSally misread the electorate, which is dooming her campaign.
“The state was trending away from her to begin with in 2018 when she lost and the trend continued but she didn’t adjust to the trend,” Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego told Newsweek.
Gallego added that McSally saw that 180,000 Trump voters didn’t vote in 2018 and reacted in the wrong way. “Her mistake was misreading the electorate and moving further to the right and clutching harder at Trump. She lost moderates in the process of getting closer to him and the state continues to become more Democratic.”
McSally’s office did not respond to Newsweek’s request for comment before publication and Kelly’s office offered no comment.
But the lifeblood of any campaign is money raised to fend off attacks and go on the offensive and on that front, things appear gloomy for McSally. Kelly has outraised her $31 million to $18 million through March.
The LIBRE Initiative Action PAC, which is part of the Koch network, this week endorsed Senators John Cornyn of Texas, Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, but did not jump in to help McSally.
While the group says the three endorsements surpass their previous high of two U.S. Senate race endorsements, they made no secret that they didn’t view McSally’s bruised campaign as the right investment.
“Contrary to what people believe, we don’t have unlimited resources,” Daniel Garza, the group’s senior advisor told Newsweek. “We wanted to invest in races where we could make the biggest difference and where there was the most alignment with our values.”