Source: Rasmussen Reports.
Arizona’s gubernatorial race is shaping up as a referendum on two of the nation’s hottest political issues – health care and immigration. Republican Governor Jan Brewer has turned to outside legal help to challenge the national health care bill and defend Arizona’s new immigration law because the state’s Democratic attorney general, Terry Goddard, opposes both moves.
Brewer, the runaway leader in her own party’s primary contest, is now leading Goddard, the unchallenged Democratic candidate for governor, by 18 points in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the governor’s race.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of Likely Voters in the state support Brewer, while Goddard earns 35% of the vote. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) remain undecided.
This marks a slight improvement for Brewer who in mid-May led Goddard 52% to 39%. However, it’s a huge change from earlier in the year. Brewer trailed Goddard 45% to 36% in March. Since then, she has benefitted significantly from the national debates over health care and immigration.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all voters in the state now approve of the job Brewer is doing as governor. That represents quite a jump from 41% in March.
Forty percent (40%) now disapprove. The current figures include 33% who Strongly Approve and 24% who Strongly Disapprove.
The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Arizona was conducted on June 29, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Things began to break for Brewer when Goddard refused to join the Attorney Generals from other states in suing the federal government over the health care law. The likely Democratic nominee lost ground in the race and fell behind Brewer.
The next step was the immigration law. Just days after signing the law in April, Brewer posted a 48% to 40% lead. Since then, as many from outside the state have attacked both Arizona and Brewer, the incumbent Governor has seen her lead grow and she has held a double-digit lead over Goddard since then.
The GOP Primary race is a similar story. Brewer’s unpopularity, largely over her handling of the state’s budget problems, prompted several other Republicans to challenge her for the gubernatorial nomination. Brewer was struggling until she signaled her opposition to the health care law and then began to move ahead. Since signing the immigration law, however, her support has soared to 61%. Barring unforeseen developments, she is expected to easily win the August 24 primary contest.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of Arizona voters now favor the state’s immigration law, while 24% oppose it. This is in line with findings over the past two months.
Seventy-seven percent (77%) of the voters who favor the law support Brewer. Goddard earns 82% of the vote from those who oppose the law.
Sixty percent (60%) of Arizona voters favor repeal of the recently passed health care law, while 37% oppose repeal. This includes 49% who Strongly Favor repeal of the measure and 28% who are Strongly Opposed. Support for repeal is higher in Arizona than it is nationally.
Among voters in the state who Strongly Favor repeal, Brewer picks up 81% support. Seventy-five percent (75%) of those who Strongly Oppose repeal favor Goddard.
Twenty-three percent (23%) of Arizona voters consider themselves members of the Tea Party movement, compared to 16% nationally. Sixty-one percent (61%) say they are not members, but another 16% are not sure.
Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Tea Party members support Brewer. Non-members break almost evenly between the two candidates.
Goddard is viewed Very Favorably by 18% of Arizona voters and Very Unfavorably by 14%. The Democratic contender, served as mayor of Phoenix in the 1980s and also is the son of a former governor.
Thirty-three percent (33%) hold a favorable opinion of Brewer, who became governor last year when President Obama named Janet Napolitano secretary of Homeland Security. Twenty-two percent (22%) view her Very Unfavorably.
At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
Longtime Senator John McCain continues to lead Arizona’s Republican Primary by double digits but remains in the same narrow range of support he’s drawn since January.
Arizona Democrats won’t pick their Senate nominee until August 24, which is just as well since 46% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters in the state are undecided at this point.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of all Arizona voters support offshore drilling, and a plurality (49%) favor deepwater drilling as well. Both findings echo voter sentiments nationally.
Seventy-five percent (75%), however, think the ongoing oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico will have a significant long-term impact on the environment. Seventy-five percent (75%) also think the oil companies responsible for the leak should pay all the cleanup costs, but 21% say the government should chip in and help pay some of those costs.
In 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected nationally that Barack Obama would defeat McCain in the presidential contest by a 52% to 46% margin. Obama won 53% to 46%. Four years earlier, Rasmussen Reports projected the national vote totals for both George W. Bush and John Kerry within half-a-percentage-point.
In Arizona during the 2008 campaign, Rasmussen Reports polling showed McCain winning the state by a 51% to 45% margin. He defeated Obama 54% to 45%.
In the 2006 Arizona governor’s race, Rasmussen polling showed Napolitano defeating Len Munsil 58% to 37%. Napolitano won 63% to 35%. In the 2006 race for U.S. Senate, Rasmussen polling showed Jon Kyl leading Jim Pederson by nine, 51% to 42%. Kyl won by nine, 53% to 44%.