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CNN Polls: Democrats hold the upper hand in Arizona, Tennessee Senate races

Democrats hold an advantage in two states that are critical to the party's chances of taking control of the ...

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 4:52 AM
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 4:52 AM

Democrats hold an advantage in two states that are critical to the party's chances of taking control of the US Senate, according to new CNN polls conducted by SSRS. The surveys show Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and former Gov. Phil Bredesen leading their Republican opponents for open seats Arizona and Tennessee, where sitting Republican senators are retiring.

In Arizona, Sinema tops Republican Rep. Martha McSally by 7 points, 50% to 43% among likely voters, while in Tennessee, Bredesen holds a 5-point edge over Rep. Marsha Blackburn, 50% to 45% among likely voters there. Roughly 1 in 6 voters in each state say there's a chance they'll change their mind before Election Day.

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Likely voters are a subset of registered voters in the poll and include those most likely to turn out based on a combination of self-reported intention to vote, interest in the election and past voting behavior.

Arizona and Tennessee are two of the four states where Democrats are widely seen as having at least some chance of picking up Senate seats in November's election. The others are Texas -- viewed as more of a long-shot - and Nevada -- generally viewed as the Democrats' best chance for a Senate pickup. In order for the party to have any shot at taking control of the senate, it's almost certain that at least one seat from Arizona or Tennessee would need to go Democrats' way.

Arizona has been a Democratic target for some time on account of its changing demographic profile, though the state hasn't voted for a Democrat in major statewide elections since Janet Napolitano's turn as governor in the Bush years. Tennessee has generally moved away from its more Democratic-friendly past. Those differences are readily apparent in the two states' impressions of President Donald Trump in the new polls. In Tennessee, likely voters are about evenly split on the president's performance, 49% approve and 48% disapprove, far outpacing his nationwide approval rating in the latest CNN polling of 36%. In Arizona, by contrast, Trump fares only slightly better than his national number, with 39% of likely voters saying they approve of the way he's handling his job while 57% disapprove.

The Republican incumbents for these seats -- Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee -- have both been publicly critical of Trump. Approval ratings of the president are closely tied to preferences in the Senate race, according to the poll. Among those voters who disapprove of Trump's performance in Arizona, 85% back Sinema, while in Tennessee, 92% of those who disapprove of the president back Bredesen.

Democrats hope that a ticket topped by Bredesen, the state's former governor whose positive favorability ratings outstrip the negative by a 2--to-1 margin (52% favorable to 24% unfavorable among the state's registered voters), can outweigh the state's underlying Republican tilt. Blackburn, by contrast, splits public opinion, with 41% of registered voters viewing her favorably and 39% unfavorably, with 20% unsure. Bredesen's edge here is driven by cross-party appeal. Although his favorability ratings are underwater among Republicans, 28% of them have a favorable view of him, while just 9% of Democrats have a positive view of Blackburn.

In Arizona, both Sinema and McSally are viewed more positively than negatively, though more than 2-in-10 likely voters say they have no opinion of each Senate candidate.

Health care tops the list of voters' most important issues in both states, with 29% calling it tops in their Senate vote in Tennessee and 25% saying the same in Arizona. The economy follows in Tennessee at 22%, immigration lands third at 16%. In Arizona, immigration is next on the list at 22%, with the economy just behind at 20%. Voters who say health care is their top issue are broadly supportive of the Democrat in both contests, breaking for Bredesen over Blackburn by 71% to 21%, and for Sinema over McSally by 75% to 14%. Both economy and immigration voters favor the Republican in each state. Blackburn holds a whopping 50-point lead among immigration voters in Tennessee and a 10-point advantage among economy voters. In Arizona, McSally tops Sinema by 33 points among immigration voters and 24 points among those who call the economy the most important issue in their vote.

In both states, Republicans have the upper hand in the gubernatorial race. Governor Doug Ducey narrowly tops David Garcia in Arizona, 49% to 46%, while Republican Bill Lee leads Karl Dean in the race for Tennessee's open governor's seat by 52% to 43%. Ducey's recent appointment of former Senator Jon Kyl to fill the Senate vacancy created by the death of Sen. John McCain earns high marks among Arizonans, 50% overall approve of the appointment while just 24% disapprove. Approval rises to 60% among those most likely to turn out to vote.

The CNN Polls in Arizona and Tennessee were conducted by SSRS September 11 through 15 among random statewide samples reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. In Arizona, results for the full sample of 1,001 adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, for the subset of 854 registered voters, it is plus or minus 4.1 and for the 761 likely voters plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. In Tennessee, results for the full sample of 1,000 respondents have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. It is 3.9 for the sample of 852 registered voters and 4.3 for results among the 723 likely voters.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 570667

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson834821584
Mobile45819855
Madison36785532
Tuscaloosa26757465
Shelby26612255
Montgomery25739624
Baldwin23810325
Lee16801181
Calhoun15130332
Morgan14941289
Etowah14662368
Marshall12806235
Houston11515292
Elmore10654217
St. Clair10521251
Limestone10472158
Cullman10257204
Lauderdale9991253
DeKalb9298191
Talladega8739187
Walker7594286
Autauga7419113
Jackson7269117
Blount7184139
Colbert6583142
Coffee6045131
Dale5326117
Russell465842
Chilton4645117
Covington4579125
Franklin444381
Tallapoosa4379157
Escambia420082
Chambers3852125
Dallas3688163
Clarke364462
Marion3380106
Pike324879
Lawrence3192101
Winston291072
Bibb280165
Geneva271583
Marengo258567
Barbour243461
Pickens239162
Butler236172
Hale231878
Fayette224564
Henry205145
Randolph194944
Cherokee193948
Monroe192141
Washington177139
Macon167552
Crenshaw164458
Clay162559
Cleburne159145
Lamar149538
Lowndes144354
Wilcox129231
Bullock125642
Conecuh118130
Coosa116029
Perry109928
Sumter108032
Greene97836
Choctaw63825
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