New Poll Shows Competitive Republican Primary Race, Approvals


Susquehanna Polling & Research Poll Finds Bennett in the Lead

Phoenix, AZ, DEC. 10, 2013—Current Secretary of State and former Senate president Ken Bennett is the early favorite in the upcoming Republican primary for governor, according to the latest poll from Susquehanna Polling & Research. He leads with 20% of the vote in a potential 6-way primary against State Treasurer Doug Ducey (8%) and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith (6%), who is still an undeclared candidate. Both Christine Jones, former GoDaddy attorney and Andrew Thomas, former Maricopa County attorney, have 4% of the vote each. Al Melvin, a current state senator from Tucson is last at 2%, while 53% remain undecided.

The following points include key findings from the poll, which was conducted from November 27th to December 4, 2013:

  • “Given the high undecided, it’s still way too early to predict a victory for anyone,” Jim Lee, President of Susquehanna Polling & Research said. However, because Bennett is the favorite with the Latter Day Saint (LDS) community and the tea party, his support will be harder to crack than other business and establishment type candidates. On the other hand, both Ducey and Jones are expected to raise millions of dollars to increase their statewide name ID (not including IE’s), while Bennett is relying on public funds. To their advantage, both Ducey and Bennett have experience running a statewide race. However, there is also a chance they will split the conservative vote, opening the door for Jones. “In a six-way race with at least four of the six considered formidable, whichever candidate gets 25% to 35% of the vote could be the winner in a low turnout type election typical of primaries,” Lee said.
  • Regardless of who wins the primary, two potential matchups of GOP candidates against presumptive Democratic nominee Fred DuVal shows both Bennett and Ducey with small leads over their Democrat opponent. Bennett leads DuVal 38-33, while Ducey leads DuVal 36-33. Both Bennett and Ducey do equally well against DuVal with Republicans, at 64-10 and 60-9, respectively. One of DuVal’s advantages could be the absence of a contested primary and the ability to harness resources, while a competitive and hotly contested GOP field could produce a damaged GOP nominee. “Nonetheless, the closeness of both races show that the governor’s race next November could be very competitive regardless of whom the nominees are,” Leslie Kelly, Regional Director of Business Development said.
  • Another question that may give insights into the race is the poll’s right direction/wrong track question. Currently, 49% say Arizona is headed in the wrong direction, while 39% say the state is on the right track. This negative result could suggest a sentiment for change, or some discontent with the status quo which potentially benefits DuVal and/or the Democrats if they campaign as agents of change with a new direction for the state. Republicans say the state is going in the right direction by a 51-36 margin, while Democrats lean “wrong” track by a 66:20 or better than a 3:1 margin. Independents are nearly divided (42-49 in favor of wrong track).

Methodology

This poll was conducted by Voter Survey Service, a division of Susquehanna Polling and Research in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Completed interviews were conducted November 27-December 4, 2013 with 600 registered voters, all of whom have vote history in past general elections (i.e., G2012, G2010 and/or G2008). Calls are made from a voter registration list purchased from our telephone list vendor, Labels & Lists, specializing in updated voter registration records for the state of Arizona. The sample frame was a landline telephone sample, with mixed modality including interviews conducted via live telephone agents using our professionally-trained survey research staff from our telephone call center in Harrisburg, as well as interviews conducted with automated polling software. Interviews are conducted randomly using probability-based sampling designs and closely monitored to ensure a representative sample of Arizona’s electorate is achieved based on geography, gender, age, party affiliation and other demographics; results are sometimes statistically weighted to account for either non-response or coverage bias. This poll was not paid for by any political party, candidate for public office or other group and was conducted mainly for public
dissemination and internal analysis.

The margin of error for a sample size of 600 interviews is +/-4.00% at the 95% confidence level.

© Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc. is a nationally known survey research and polling firm for both candidates for public office (GOP only) as well as various corporations, association clients and media outlets. Voter Survey Service (VSS) is a division of SP&R and conducts surveys in more than a dozen states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, West Virginia and others. SP&R recently served as the pollster for Mayor-elect Don Guardian in his historic upset victory in the 11/5 mayoral election in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
More information about our firm can be found at www.susquehannapolling.com.

SPR121013


Comments

  1. I wish that when they ask if the state is going in the wrong direction they do sub-areas of where with a need to do more/need to do less response. Example: Do you think the state is going in the right or wrong direction? Wrong. Do you think the state going in the wrong direction because of economic issues, immigration issues, sprawl issues, housing issues, property tax issues? Economic issues – yes. Do you think the state should offer special tax discounts to companies to bring in more jobs? No. Do you think the minimum wage needs to be raised? Yes The current minimum wage was raised Jan 2014 to $7.90. What range would have have the minimum range be? $8-$9/hour $9.25 to $10? Higher than $10/hour? Immigration issue: Do you think that lack of federal support for border security causes immigration problems? No. Do you think companies should be able to hire immigrants w/no interference from authorities? No. Do you think immigration has led to crime against women in certain communities? Yes. Do you support law enforcement going in and finding human traffickers to stop them from hurting women and children? Yes. Do you support allowing tax payer money that already subsidizes every student in Arizona’s three colleges except those that pay out of state rates to be used for immigrant children in-state tuition? Do you want to allow immigrant children to be allowed, once they turn 18 to be allowed a drivers license so they must get insurance? Answers are for theoretical discussion only – does/does not reflect my own personal beliefs.

    Its these add-on questions that tell more about HOW people perceive the state is going in the wrong direction. Right now the majority think its going in the wrong direction. Anyone dig deeper and ask specifically why so it can be quantitatively studied?

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