Battleground states

October 18, 2022

Americans are weeks away from November's midterm elections, and early voting has already begun in some states. A close battle for the Senate has many eyes trained on the races that could secure control for either party, while controversy over election fraud has others watching the gubernatorial races since governors play an important role in overseeing elections.  Here is the state of some of the key battleground states ahead of the upcoming midterm elections: Arizona Governor: Katie Hobbs (D) v Kari Lake (R) The race for Arizona governor is shaping up to be tight. Data from a recent Fox 10/InsiderAdvantage poll reveals that Republican candidate Kari Lake is now leading by about 4 points, with 49.3 percent to Hobbs' 45.6. An earlier Fox10/InsiderAdvantage poll had shown Hobbs in the lead at 43 percent, but Lake has gained favor in more recent surveys. Lake has a significant lead among voters aged 18 to 39, up on Hobbs by 11 points with the demographic. She also has a lead among independent voters, with only 4 percent remaining undecided.  Hobbs currently serves as Arizona's secretary of state, where political sentiments have historically favored Republicans, per The Guardian. Her opponent is a former news anchor and a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Lake has repeated Trump's false claim that he won the state of Arizona during his bid for re-election in 2020. On Sunday, Lake refused to commit to accepting the election results if she were to lose. In an interview for CNN's State of the Union, Lake stated, "I'm going to win the election, and I will accept that result." Additionally, she said, "The people of Arizona will never support and vote for a coward like Katie Hobbs."  Senate: Mark Kelly (D) v Blake Masters (R) The Fox10/InsiderAdvantage poll results also showed that Democratic candidate Mark Kelly has a 4-point lead over Republican Blake Masters in the state's Senate race, with Kelly polling at 46 percent and Masters at 41.6. Sen. Mark Kelly (D) has outpaced his opponent in raising election funds in the third quarter, according to Federal Election Commission Records, per CNBC. A surprising jump in support for Libertarian candidate Marc Victor may spell further trouble for Masters, effectively securing the win for Kelly if Victor does not drop out of the race. The results of Arizona-based pollster OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) and the latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) predicted Victor could earn close to 15 percent of the vote — a 9-point increase from their survey in September.   The Fox10/InsiderAdvantage poll included responses from 550 registered voters in Arizona with a margin of error is 4.2 percent. OHPI's AZPOP surveyed 674 Arizona likely voters between conducted Oct. 4-6 with a margin of error of +/- 3.77 percent. Pennsylvania Governor: Doug Mastriano (R) v Josh Shapiro (D) Non-partisan poll aggregator Real Clear Politics' average shows Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro (D) with a 10-point lead over his opponent Doug Mastriano (R). The polls affecting the RCP average include the latest Daily Wire/Trafalgar Group poll, where Shapiro is ahead with almost 53 percent compared to Mastriano's 43.5 percent.  Mastriano, a far-right senator, has been the center of many controversies since he falsely claimed that Trump had won his state during the 2020 presidential election and was subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 capitol attack. Mastriano was photographed outside of the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, per The Associated Press.  The Daily Wire/Trafalgar Group poll surveyed 1078 likely election voters through an online survey between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11. The margin of error was 2.9 percent. Senate: John Fetterman (D) v Mehmet Oz (R) The battle for the Pennsylvania Senate seat has been one of the most closely followed this midterm season: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is up against Trump-endorsed former TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Daily Wire/Trafalgar poll shows Fetterman ahead of Oz, 47 percent to 45 percent.  Fetterman is recovering from a stroke he suffered in May and he recently addressed the debate over the state of his health. On Saturday, he told a crowd at a rally that he has "auditory processing" issues and sometimes stumbles over his words, The Washington Post reports. His opponent has made his recovery a focus of his aggressive ad campaigns against Fetterman. Oz has also called Fetterman soft on crime due to Fetterman's celebratory response to Biden's recent pardon of those with simple marijuana possession charges.  The Daily Wire/Trafalgar Group poll surveyed 1078 likely election voters through an online survey between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11. The margin of error was 2.9 percent. Georgia Governor: Stacey Abrams (D) v Brian Kemp (R) Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams (D) is facing Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a rematch after she lost to him in 2018. The RCP average has Kemp with a 5-point lead, but a Quinnipiac University poll shows a close race with 50 percent of likely voters supporting incumbent Kemp, while 49 percent support Abrams. Abrams has been admonishing Kemp for his pro-abortion stance, while Kemp has largely avoided the issue to focus on inflation, The New York Times reports. The two candidates faced each other in their first debate since 2018 on the evening of Oct. 17. Senate: Herschel Walker (R) v Raphael Warnock (D) Another highly anticipated Senate faceoff pits Republican Herschel Walker against Democrat Raphael Warnock. This race is being closely watched, as it has the potential to determine which party ends up with control of the Senate. The Quinnipiac poll found that Warnock was in the lead with likely voters, 52 percent to 45 percent. Walker, who supports strict abortion bans, recently came under fire when a woman claimed he paid for her to get an abortion in 2009; Republicans and Trump have rallied behind him after he deemed the story an outright lie. In a recent debate, Warnock called Walker out for previous false claims he made about being a police officer, despite never having a job in law enforcement, CNN reports. Walker responded by displaying a badge, which he later admitted was an honorary badge, per CNN. Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,157 likely voters throughout Georgia via cellular and landline phones from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10. The margin of error was +/- 2.9. 

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