The late stage shakeup comes a week before the election and has the potential to swing what has become a close race between Masters and incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. Masters has trailed Kelly for most of the race but has closed the gap in the past month. Election forecasters for outlets such as Politico and Cook Political Report have moved the Arizona Senate race from a Democratic-leaning race to a toss-up in response.
Victor consistently polled in the single digits throughout the race and was never believed to have a viable shot at winning. His single digit support could prove crucial for Masters in a close race, however. Ohio Predictive Insights released the latest poll measuring Victor’s support on Monday, pegging it at 3%. The same poll had Kelly and Masters separated by just 2%: 48% to 46%, respectively.
“This is another major boost of momentum as we consolidate our support,” Masters said in a statement to The New York Times on Tuesday.
Victor, who campaigned as the “live and let live” candidate, said in video put out Tuesday morning that he made the decision to endorse Masters after having a conversation with the GOP candidate about his support for the “global peace movement.”
“We talked through many, many issues. We talked about a lot of economic issues, we talked about a lot of civil liberty issues. And while we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, I feel very confident after that conversation that Blake Masters is going to do everything he possibly can to further the interests of the Live and Let Live Global Peace Movement,” Victor said.
While Kelly has led most polls, he, along with numerous Democrats across the country, has faced significant headwinds heading into the midterms. President Joe Biden’s unpopularity with voters and concerns about inflation and crime have created a hostile election environment for Democrats. To compensate, Kelly has touted analyses that name him one of the most bipartisan lawmakers in the Senate.
The Masters campaign has been quick to point out that Kelly has voted with Biden 95% of the time over the past two years, according to an analysis of Kelly’s voting record by FiveThirtyEight.