PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The likely Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly appears to be pulling away from Republican Sen. Martha McSally in one of the most important races in the country, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Sen. McSally, who was appointed to fill John McCain’s seat, is down double digits (41%-51%) with five months until Election Day, according to the survey conducted by HighGround, Inc., a Phoenix-based Republican-leaning firm.

Strong performances in Arizona's two largest counties appear to be fueling the former astronaut's lead over the incumbent. In Maricopa County, a traditionally red county, McSally trails Kelly by 20 points, while she also trails Kelly by 18 points in Pima County.

However, according to the survey, McSally, a former combat pilot, holds a nearly 30 point edge over Kelly in rural Arizona at nearly 60% to 31%.

Paul Bentz, the Republican pollster who conducted the survey, said there is still time for McSally to turn the race around.


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