Libertarian Marc Victor dropped out of Arizona’s closely watched Senate race on Monday, encouraging voters to cast their ballots for Republican Blake Masters in his challenge to Sen. Mark Kelly (D).
Polls had shown Victor garnering support in the low single digits, but his small bloc of supporters could provide a critical boost to Masters, as surveys show the Republican only trailing Kelly by a few percentage points.
“Don’t vote for Marc Victor for Senate, vote for Blake Masters,” Victor said on Tuesday. “Blake’s in a very tight race here with Mark Kelly, and I want to see him win.”
Victor met virtually with Masters prior to dropping out of the race and posted a video of their roughly 20-minute conversation.
“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,” said Victor, referring to an initiative he founded in 2019.
“Will he likely do some things that I’m not excited about? Yeah, I think so,” Victor added. “Is he likely to do other things that I’m very happy with? Yes. There’s no perfect choices here, I think we have to recognize that.”
Masters, a former executive at conservative superdonor Peter Thiel’s venture capital fund, is challenging Kelly in one of the country’s most competitive Senate races, which has tightened as Election Day approaches.
Kelly previously held a sizable lead following Masters’s primary victory as his juggernaut fundraising operation enabled an onslaught of ads in the state.
A GOP super PAC with ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, canceled millions of dollars worth of ad reservations in the state in late September.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report last week shifted its rating from “lean Democrat” to “toss up” after private polling showed Kelly’s lead narrowing.
A poll from the left-leaning Data for Progress released last Wednesday showed the candidates tied at 47 percent support each, while other recent surveys have also recorded a small gap within their margins of error.
Some strategists have suggested Masters is benefitting from the presence of Kari Lake, Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, who has led her Democratic opponent in recent polls.