Democratic Senator Mark Kelly will face Republican candidate Blake Masters debate Thursday night hosted by Arizona PBS.
Kelly, a new senator, is running for a full six-year term after serving just two years and winning a special election in 2020. Masters, a venture capitalist backed by former President Donald Trump.
The race is one of the few in the country that will decide or Republicans can take a majority in the Senate.
The debate is scheduled for 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/6 pm PT. and it is is being published here,
U.S. Senator Mark Kelly and challenger Blake Masters are set to meet Thursday night for an hour-long debate on Arizona PBS.
Kelly, a member of the Democratic Party, was elected in 2020 to replace the late Sen. John McCain. Kelly is seeking his first full six-year term. Masters is a Republican and a protege of businessman and political megadonor Peter Thiel.
The election is November 8, and early voting begins October 12.
The debate will begin at 6 pm and will feature Libertarian Marc Victor. It will be broadcast statewide on Arizona PBS, other television and radio stations and online at pbs.org and azcentral.com. The debate will be moderated by “Arizona Horizon” producer Ted Simons.
– Arizona Republic
Tens of millions have already entered the race
Arizona’s race for the US Senate is considered one of the most important in the country, which will help decide who will run Congress’ upper chamber.
The House is divided 55-50 but Democrats hold the majority because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ voting authority. (The vice president also serves as president of the Senate).
Outside groups have already spent tens of millions in the race in an effort to profile candidates on TV and phones. This makes it difficult for the debate to surprise the spectators or explain the participants.
“Kelly is the most active politician at the moment, having been in the Senate for a while, as well as his previous work with the (anti-gun) Giffords organization. He can be polished and he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” he said. Barbara Norrander, professor of political science at the University of Arizona.
– Ronald J. Hansen, Arizona Republic
Expect to hear more about the border in Thursday night’s debate. 65% of voters in the Grand Canyon State said immigration is an “important” issue in considering their vote, according to a CBS News and YouGov poll.
If there’s one issue that has alienated Kelly from his fellow Democrats, it’s on immigration.
Kelly distanced himself from President Joe Biden’s policies, criticizing them and calling for resources to be spent on the southern border, such as hiring more border agents.
In Arizona, immigration-minded voters are the key to winning every state election.
Before Masters won his candidacy in August, he promoted a version of “the great replacement” theory, a racist conspiracy theory that suggests Democrats are flooding the country with immigrants to influence elections and undermine white power.
— Ken Tran
Researcher: Masters should take advantage
The pressure is on the Republican opposition, said Jessica Taylor, Senate editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington, DC.
“I think it’s important for Masters because he’s not as popular with voters as Kelly is, and he has to convince independents and Republicans to stay in his camp,” he said. “This is an important time for him to make a good impression with the voters or introduce himself to them.”
This could be complicated by a recent decision by a Pima County judge to reverse the state’s Civil War-era ban on all abortions. It brings attention to an issue that is seen as problematic for Masters and away from rising gas prices and a highly uncertain economy, two issues that Republicans see as favorable to them.
While issues can move in importance throughout the election season, debates rarely resolve issues, Taylor said.
“They only matter if there is a big mistake,” he said.
– Ronald J. Hansen, Arizona Republic
Suffolk decision: Kelly leading the Masters with seven points thanks in part to the abortion
Democratic Senator Mark Kelly (49%) leads Republican challenger Blake Masters (42%) Suffolk University’s poll was published last week.
Libertarian Marc Victor is pulling 2%, according to Suffolk, while another 7% say they have no idea.
Kelly’s seven-point lead over Masters is led by women (55%-35%) and independents (51%-36%), the poll found, while Masters leads 50%-42% among men.
“The importance of abortion rights in Arizona should not be underestimated,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “In fact, independent women are voting on this issue with the same strength as Democratic men.”
When voters were asked to rate on a scale of 1-10 how much their views on abortion would affect the people they will vote for in November, 49% of independent women gave the highest rating, compared to 50% of Democratic men. Just 26% of independent men gave it a rating of “10,” while 75% of Democratic women gave it the highest.
– Ledyard King