Polls offer different views on race for U.S. Senate in Ariz.

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A pair of internal polls released Wednesday in Arizona's U.S. Senate race is painting two very different pictures of this high-profile political battle.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was the first to release a poll showing Richard Carmona holding a four-point lead (47-43 percent) over Republican Jeff Flake.

But a few hours later, Flake's campaign released its own survey showing he was up six points. It put Flake up 49 percent to 43 percent.

The remaining 8 percent of voters were undecided, according to the survey conducted by the Washington D.C.-based Tarrance Group.

Both surveys were released hours before the two candidates met for their first statewide televised debate on Channel 8 (KAET-TV).
Recent polls have shown Carmona surging as voters prepare to begin casting early ballots this week.

Flake and his allies have launched a series of hard hitting ads accusing Carmona of being a big-spending Democrat who would be President Obama's rubber stamp in the Senate.

It remains to be seen how big of an impact those commercials will have of the race.

The poll showing Carmona in the lead was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and conducted by the Colorado-based Harstad Strategic Research.

The poll of 602 likely voters was conducted Oct.7-9 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Meanwhile, Flake's campaign paid for the Tarrance Group for a poll which was conducted Oct. 7-9 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent. It had a smaller sample size than the Democratic polls,  questioning 452 likely voters.