WATCH: Voters react as Mark Kelly blasts Biden, fellow Democrats over ‘dumb’ border crisis decisions
Voters across the political spectrum reacted strongly to Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly’s sharp criticism of President Biden and his fellow Democrats over what he called “dumb” decisions pertaining to the border crisis while debating his Republican opponent, Blake Masters, earlier this month.
“Democrats don’t understand this issue. And Republicans just want to talk about it and complain about it and actually not do anything about it. They just want to politicize that,” Kelly said when debating the topic of border security on Oct. 6.
“You know, I’ve spent a lot of time on our southern border, and let me just say it’s a mess. It’s a chaos. It’s crisis after crisis,” he said.
In a survey that played the video of his remarks and allowed respondents to track their reaction in real time, 200 participants evenly split among Democrats (blue line), Republicans (red line) and independents (yellow line), had overall positive responses to Kelly’s remarks. Democrats and independents both awarded him a “B” grade, while Republicans awarded him a “C.”
According to pollster and Fox News contributor Lee Carter, who conducted the survey through her company Maslansky + Partners, the responses indicate that politicians who don’t stick to the party line may have opportunities to break through to more voters.
Carter said Kelly appeared authentic to the respondents, directly addressing the issue and taking responsibility for his party.
“I’ve been strong on border security,” Kelly said during the debate. “And I’ve stood up to Democrats when they’re wrong on this issue — including, by the way, including the president. You know when the president decided he was going to do something dumb on this and change the rules that would create a bigger crisis, I told him he was wrong.”
“This is a good message for his state and to move the middle,” she said, noting the importance of moderate voters in the battleground state.
Fox News’ Power Rankings has rated the race between Kelly and Masters a toss-up.
The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Fox News’ Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.