Oct 12, 2022 - Politics

Polls show toss-up for Arizona governor, Dems hold edge for Senate

Illustration of polling, voting, and chart symbols on a grid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If the last few election cycles have taught us anything, it's that polling is far from an exact science.

  • The 2016 and 2020 elections were notorious for polling that was off the mark in presidential and U.S. Senate races.

Yes, but: It's still the primary way people measure how competitive a race is, and based on the results in Arizona, several key races are up for grabs.


Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly has consistently held the upper hand against Republican challenger Blake Masters.


Based on an average of 14 polls, FiveThirtyEight gives Kelly a 6.5-percentage point edge over Masters.

  • Kelly led all 14 polls used for the average, with leads ranging from 1 to 21 percentage points.
  • The first two polls from September had Kelly leading by 20 and 21 points. No other poll gave him an advantage of more than 13 points.

Real Clear Politics

RCP used 12 polls for its average, excluding the polls that had Kelly leading by 20 or more, and adding a couple of August polls that FiveThirtyEight didn't use. The result was a more modest 4.5-point lead for Kelly.

  • Kelly led all 12 of the polls that RCP used for its average.

Cook Political Report puts the Arizona Senate race in the "lean Democrat" category, which is the next category over from being a toss-up.

  • The race moved from "toss-up" to "lean D" on Sept. 22.


Polling shows a tight race between Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake.


Based on an average of 14 polls conducted since mid-September, Hobbs has a 0.2-point edge over Lake.

  • Hobbs led in nine of the polls, with leads ranging from 1 to 14 percentage points.
  • Three of the earlier polls showed Hobbs with double-digit leads, but in the five most recent polls that showed her winning, she was never up by more than 5 points.
  • Three polls showed Lake leading by one to 4 points, and two others had them polling dead even.

Real Clear Politics

The RCP average used 12 polls, which resulted in a 0.7-point edge for Lake.

  • Lake led five of the polls, with leads ranging from 1 to 4 percentage points.
  • Hobbs also led in five of the polls, by 1 to 3 points, and two had her and Lake running even.

Cook Political Report rates the governor's race as a toss-up.

Of note: A report on the failures of polling in the 2020 election by the American Association for Public Opinion Research found that polls overstated support for Democratic candidates.

  • Most public polling in 2016 indicated that Hillary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump.

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