Arpaio’s and Thomas’s approval ratings in 70’s & 80’s near Napolitano’s

There was a great article in the Republic yesterday on a recent poll regarding approval ratings for Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Thomas –

Arpaio’s and Thomas’s approval ratings in 70’s & 80’s near Napolitano’s

BRC poll reveals Thomas’s positives increased to 83%; negatives are lower than governor’s

by Cliff Johnson

Even though the Phoenix New Times has launched an all out frontal attack against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas, their approval ratings are still soaring almost as high as Governor Napolitano, no doubt due to their no-nonsense approach to enforcing illegal immigration laws, widely considered the most important issue in Arizona. In a recent Maricopa County poll by the left-leaning Behavior Research Center, 83% of Maricopa County residents polled who had an opinion gave Thomas positive approval ratings. 86% gave Governor Napolitano positive approval ratings, and 77% gave Arpaio positive approval ratings.

Thomas’s positive approval ratings have increased overall from six months ago as reported in a previous poll by BRC. Those in Maricopa County who rated Thomas excellent or good have increased from March by 2%, and those rating him fair have increased by 9%. Only 11% rated him poorly. In contrast, 13% gave Napolitano a negative rating.

The BRC poll results aren’t necessarily indicative of how well Thomas and Arpaio will do in upcoming elections, because the poll surveyed residents, not likely voters. Generally, polls that survey “residents” tend to favor Democrats, and polls that survey “likely voters” tend to favor Republicans. In fact, “residents” can include illegal immigrants (around 10% of the population in the Valley) who are not eligible to vote. If these polls had surveyed likely voters instead of residents, Napolitano’s approval ratings would have probably come out lower and Arpaio’s and Thomas’s ratings would have come out higher – Thomas would have probably been higher than Napolitano.

The poll results were inaccurately reported both on the BRC website and in prior Republic articles because they failed to take into account the large percentage of voters (37%) who had no opinion or knowledge of Thomas; instead they lumped those voters in with his negatives.

Another problem with the reporting in the Arpaio and Thomas poll was that the “fair” results were labeled  “poor” on the BRC website instead of fair, when in actuality, the question asked was whether their record was “fair.” Most people if asked would consider a “fair” rating to be a net positive, not a net negative, as the BRC poll attempts to imply. The “fair” results were not labeled “poor” in the Napolitano poll however. And even if you consider “fair” to be a neutral position and take it out of the equation, Thomas’s and Arpaio’s approval ratings are still high and comparable to Napolitano’s; Thomas and Arpaio are both 73% and Napolitano is 82%.

Note: If you haven’t already figured it out by now, this wasn’t really an article in the Republic about the poll. The real article in the Republic was so biased it appeared that Thomas was polling poorly, instead of reflecting what the poll really found, which was that his approval ratings are not low and are in fact increasing, in spite of the New Times attacks. So this article is how the poll results should have been reported had the Republic left out the bias and just reported the facts. Fortunately, the Republic’s biased article will eventually disappear into their paid archives and so anyone doing a google search on Arpaio’s & Thomas’s approval ratings will pull up this article instead.


  1. Maricopa Conservative says

    If you’re going to fabricate evidence, don’t link to it!

    Thomas’ positives have remained totally stagnant (have you ever heard of a margin of error?) Two points is absolutely without meaning.

    Also, his negatives have doubled. Worst analysis of a poll I’ve ever seen.

  2. Hello Maricopa Conservative,

    How are the figures incorrect? I looked at the numbers on the Behavioural Research poll. 29% excellent/good rating plus 23% fair rating equals an 83% overall favorable rating if you factor in the 11% negative rating and exclude the 37% undeclared. Looks good to me! Glad to see someone disputing that biased polling company, whose job seems to be to keep Democrats in office.


  3. The reason the poll was newsworthy is that it comes on the heels of Arpaio’s least popular one-day event, that Thomas was also dragged into. People expected a dip, and there really wasn’t one. The poll shows either people don’t know, know and don’t care, or have ignored the case altogether. This is the New Times, right? The porno-peddlers. The foul-mouthed farcicists.

    Arpaio’s used as a benchmark by pollsters. They often throw in a question about Joe as his name recognition is quite high. Ask someone discussing local politics their opinion on Joe and if you get a blank stare…

    The poll shows Thomas has successfully inoculated himself. Tough on crime and all that but also the drug commercials, the immigration law hawkishness, the plea bargain elimination stuff…all from a pro-lifer, no less.

    The crime rate in this county is among the highest in the country. Subpoenas aside, the ACLU is going to make precious little progress here.

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