Special Senate candidates Mark Kelly and Martha McSally debate, latest polls show Kelly with six point lead


Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly speaks to supporters in Phoenix in Feb. 2019

Michael Russell, Reporter

The Arizona Senate race is moving into the home stretch.

The race is between appointed incumbent Martha McSally (R) and challenger Mark Kelly (D). Both were fighter pilots in the U.S. Armed forces.

McSally served in the Air Force from 1988-2010 reaching the rank of Colonel. She was the first woman in history to fly combat missions and the first woman to command a fighter squadron.

Kelly served as a Naval Aviator from 1987-2011, including flying combat missions. He also flew on four space shuttle missions, commanding two.

McSally and Kelly faced off in their only scheduled debate on Oct. 6 at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism.

About the only thing the two candidates agreed upon during the debate was that both spoke highly of former Arizona Senator John McCain, whose seat they are competing for.

Both candidates also spoke out against violent protests going on around the country.

Afterwards, the debate panel discussed the Senate candidates most repeated and relevant points.

The panel noted that Kelly repeated several times that the USA has 4% of the world’s population yet 21% of the world’s coronavirus deaths.

The first of two problems with those statistics are that China, which has almost 20% of the world’s population, has a totalitarian, authoritarian government. The extremely low coronavirus numbers they have claimed are highly suspect at best.

Secondly, much of the world’s population live in poor or developing countries which do not report the majority of their deaths — from any cause.

McSally’s most repeated claims were describing close relations between Mark Kelly and China, which Kelly denied.

They also sparred over McSally’s healthcare record.

Kelly claims that McSally voted against pre-existing conditions. McSally claimed she voted against Obamacare because of its expensive costs but supports coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Currently, the polling has tightened in this race.  Although, Kelly is still averaging a six point lead in the polls where he had a double digit lead over most of the summer.

President Trump is currently trailing in Arizona by about half of McSally’s deficit, three points, suggesting there are a small number of potential ticket splitters among the Arizona electorate.