POLL: AZ-08 GOP Special Election Now a Two-Person Race as Early Voting Begins

 

OH Predictive

Lesko and Montenegro tied, Stump falls to 4th

PHOENIX (February 1, 2018) – A new poll of the heavily GOP Congressional District 8 shows it is a two-candidate race between Debbie Lesko and Steve Montenegro.

The two leaders are tied with 21 percent apiece in the latest OH Predictive Insights poll conducted via IVR survey of 400 likely 2018 GOP Special Election voters comprised of Republicans, Independents and Party Non-Declared in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. Sample is based on voter history and qualified as a likely voter for the GOP Special Election in this survey with a +/-4.89% MOE.

Phil Lovas is now in third place with 12 percent. And Bob Stump, the former front runner, has dropped to fourth as he has taken hits from his opponents and the media about whether he is taking advantage of his name change to that of a former congressman in the West Valley.

“Former state senators Debbie Lesko and Steve Montenegro are the clear front runners in the GOP primary,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company. “Lesko has the highest favorables at 54 percent amidst her campaign’s decision to begin TV ads on Fox News. Montenegro has gained 20 points from early December after garnering endorsements from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Senator Ted Cruz.”

Here is how everyone stacks up in the horse race question if the election were held today.

“There is a large field of candidates however it is now a two-person race between Lesko and Montenegro – may the best man or woman win,” said Noble.

Here is how the top candidates stack up and the changes since our last poll conducted on December 11th, 2017.

A key indicator of a winning a campaign is not just being known, but being known AND liked so OHPI ranked the list by the people with the highest net favorable name identification to lowest positive name ID.

Bob Stump’s unfavorable numbers jumped 17 points since the last poll conducted on December 11th, 2017 due to the recent controversy over his name.
Here is the State of the Race in AZ-08 summarized in 40 Seconds

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on February 1st, 2018, from a likely 2018 GOP Special Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation and gender however age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondent’s due to it being automated. The sample size was 400 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4.89%.

The previous poll was an automated survey which was completed by OH Predictive Insights on December 11th, 2017, from a likely 2018 GOP Special Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation and gender however age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondent’s due to it being automated. The sample size was 400 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4.89%.

Ugenti-Rita: Arizona Small Businesses Will Benefit from Tax Bill

Michelle Ugenti-RitaA little over a month ago, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, and Americans are already feeling better than ever about the state of our economy. In a recent poll from Quinnipiac University, 66 percent of Americans rated the nation’s economy as either “excellent” or “good”—a three percentage point jump since last month.

It’s difficult to not be excited about the impact the tax bill is having on Arizona and its small businesses. The relief could not have come sooner.

Arizona is home to nearly 500,000 small businesses that employ approximately one million people. For too long these entities have struggled under a burdensome tax code that has prevented growth. With the previous federal tax rate approaching 40 percent, small businesses saw much of their hard-earned revenue disappear into the pockets of Uncle Sam.

Fortunately, measures included in the new tax relief package will reduce this burden. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a 20 percent standard deduction that applies to roughly 95 percent of small businesses and eliminates high tax brackets in favor of new, lower ones.

To put the standard deduction in layman’s terms, with the help of the new tax legislation, small businesses earning $200,000 a year are able to shield their first $40,000 of income from taxation. That extra cash can now be funneled into employee bonuses, wage increases, job creation, and business expansion. These measures will further bolster Arizona’s pro-business, pro-growth reputation.

According to a report by BMO Financial Group, Arizona’s business environment is already strong. While most state economies are expected to grow by an average of 2.2 percent, Arizona anticipates 2.8 percent growth in 2018. The tax cuts package will only accelerate that advancement.

In fact, we are already seeing some positive results in the state. Arizona-based YAM Worldwide announced it will be giving out $1.3 million in bonuses to its employees. Furthermore, over 1,000 JPMorgan Chase employees in Arizona will receive wage hikes or bonuses as part of the companies nationwide $20 billion, five-year plan to invest back into the country.

In addition, a report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found the bill will create almost 6,500 jobs in the state.

These must be the “crumbs” Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats scoffed at while trying to explain away the benefits resulting from tax relief. For some, these “crumbs” represent eased rent worries, the ability to afford childcare or help with the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

The examples chronicled above are only a small piece of the benefits the tax bill has induced. Imagine the impacts Arizona will feel a year from now.

Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R) is the Chair of the Arizona House Ways and Means Committee and represents the 23rd House District

Speaker Mesnard, Rep Shooter Release Statements on Sexual Harassment

Javan D. Mesnard

Speaker Javan Mesnard

First, this by Speaker of the Arizona House JD Mesnard:

Speaker Mesnard Releases Sexual Harassment Report and Announces Remedial Action

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today released the investigative report on sexual harassment allegations against Representatives Don Shooter (R-13) and Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-23). Speaker Mesnard also announced several actions in response to the report and scheduled a press conference for 4:00 p.m. to discuss those actions.

The report, which is attached, concluded that there is credible evidence that Representative Shooter violated the House of Representative’s policy against sexual harassment. The report did not find credible evidence that Representative Ugenti-Rita violated House policy.

Speaker Mesnard reacted to the report by outlining several remedial actions:

  • Speaker Mesnard is permanently removing Representative Shooter from all committee assignments effective immediately.
  • Speaker Mesnard will furthermore introduce a resolution on the House Floor censuring Representative Shooter for his behavior.
  • Speaker Mesnard will propose augmenting the House rules, which carry the force of law, to require a formal anti-harassment policy by which all Members must abide.
  • Speaker Mesnard will also propose adding a House rule requiring a formal behavioral code of conduct for all Members.
  • Speaker Mesnard will establish a bipartisan panel of Members to fully and transparently develop the behavioral code of conduct for House members.
  • Speaker Mesnard, in his capacity as Speaker, will develop a code of conduct that will apply to all House staff.
  • Speaker Mesnard will formalize a Human Resources Department for the House.
  • Speaker Mesnard will prohibit the consumption of alcohol on House premises.

Speaker Mesnard will hold a press conference this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in House Hearing Room 1 to discuss the remedial actions he has taken.

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Don Shooter

Don Shooter

Then this announcement by Representative Don Shooter:

Representative Don Shooter Releases Statement on Investigative Report

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Don Shooter (R-13) today released the following statement:

“I am reviewing the report released by Speaker Mesnard today in connection with the investigation I requested.  Although I have not finished reading it, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience and professionalism during this process.”

 “I also want to thank the investigators, Craig Morgan and Lindsay Hesketh from the law firm Sherman & Howard.  With so much at stake for so many, their task was no doubt challenging.  I appreciate the seriousness with which they approached their assignment.”

 “This has been a humbling and eye-opening experience for me.  I look forward to working to repair relationships and serving my constituents and our great State.”

 “I will have no further comment.  Thank you.”

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Democrats weigh in on Representative Shooter:

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And the video:

 

POLL: Arpaio Shakes Up AZ Senate Race

McSally leapfrogs Ward for the lead, Arpaio close second

Steve Bannon’s endorsement is the kiss of death for Kelli Ward

PHOENIX (January 10, 2018) – What happens when America’s former Toughest Sheriff joins the fray for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona? The race for the GOP nomination gets thrown into disarray.

A new poll conducted of 504 registered voters was conducted Tuesday by OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) shows U.S. Rep Martha McSally of Tucson is the new leader with 31 percent support. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who announced this week his intention to seek the nomination, follows closely at 29 percent. Former State Sen. Kelli Ward now trails with 25 percent.

Arizona’s OH Predictive Insights and ABC15-Phoenix (OHPI/ABC-PHOENIX) teamed up to find out how the entrance of Arpaio changes the dynamics of the Senate election contest.

OHPI conducted an IVR survey of 504 likely 2018 GOP Primary Election voters comprised of Republicans, Independents and Party Non-Declared statewide here in Arizona. The sample is based on voter history and qualified as a likely voter for the 2018 GOP Primary Election in this survey with a +/-4.36% margin of error.

“Sheriff Joe makes a splash wherever he goes and his surprise entrance into the U.S. Senate race shines a new light on this important race to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company.. “Everyone knows Joe. He has near-unanimous name recognition. But it doesn’t mean he is universally loved. It will be a challenge convincing voters he’s a new Joe.”

We first looked at where the candidates stack up in regards to their name ID, fav/unfav and net positive numbers.

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, of Tucson, leads the pack, however, all three are within the margin of error. She also is the least damaged of the group given she only has a 17% total unfavorable number, although, a third of voters don’t know who she is. Arpaio clocked in at an astounding 97% name ID and by almost a 2-1 margin he holds a positive view from likely GOP primary voters. A key indicator of a winning a campaign is not just being known, but being known AND liked so we ranked the list by the people with the highest net favorable name identification to lowest positive name ID.

 

Now, let’s see how everyone stacks up in the horse race question if the election were held today.

Back in November, OH Predictive Insights polled the horse race with just McSally and Ward.  Ward was in first place with 42% and McSally trailed by 8 points at 34% with 24% undecided. With Arpaio entering the race McSally goes from second to first and Ward goes from first to last place with only 15% of voters remaining undecided.

Where did the votes go? McSally only dropped 3 points from the previous poll, which is within the margin of error. Arpaio’s entrance did not affect her. Ward on the other hand lost 17 points, which migrated over to Arpaio. Arpaio also pulled 9points of the undecideds off the board, which now leaves just 15% of voter’s undecided in this contest.

Now, we will take a look at how a Trump, Bannon or McConnell endorsement would impact GOP voters for this race.

A Trump endorsement makes a huge difference, with 73% of voters saying his endorsement is a significant influencer in their decision. And by more than 2-1, Trump moved voters in a positive direction. McConnell only moves 57% although in the wrong direction by 8 points.  Steve Bannon’s endorsement on the other hand moves 70% of voters and that direction is straight into the ground.

 

Finally, we wanted to try the horse race question again, but this time inject the primary backers of each candidate. Ward has been endorsed by Bannon.  Trump pardoned Arpaio and he was his first major endorsement in the GOP presidential primary. McSally is one of Mitch McConnell’s top recruits for Senate.

“Joe Arpaio’s decision to enter the senate race spells doom for the wobbly Ward campaign,” Noble said. “Ward’s support seemed to be a half mile wide and just a half inch deep. One day of Joe Arpaio in the race ruins more than a year of work Ward has done to capture the GOP nomination. Martha McSally and Joe Arpaio are headed for a Tombstone-style showdown in August with the winner having to take on a rested and loaded for bear Kyrsten Sinema.”

Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on January 9th, 2018, from a likely 2018 GOP Primary Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, geographic location, and gender, however, age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondent’s due to the survey medium. The margin of error is of ± 4.36%.  Note: Average age of those who voted a Republican ballot in the 2014 election in Arizona was 65.

Frosty’s Fake News Amplifies More Lies

By Calamity June

This morning, Frosty Taylor, the author of the FakeNews “Republican Briefs,” defended the campaign of lies that she has been amplifying on behalf of La Paz County Chairman Russell Sias. For weeks, Sias has been denigrating the hard work being done at the Arizona GOP, attacking the year-long Bylaws process, and hurling personal insults at anyone who does not subscribe to his hateful tactics.

Russell Sias

To dispense with the latest Sias-fueled fever dream: the bylaws revision process has been transparent and fair, with every corner of the state represented. Any suggestion to the contrary is without merit; all bylaw changes will be given an up or down vote at next month’s Mandatory Meeting.

But beyond that, Frosty resurrected the absurd narrative, also being pushed by Sias and others, that there has been a “cleansing” of “conservative worker-bee” PCs over the last 5 or 6 years.

Last we checked, there were plenty of hard working conservative PCs who continue to form the backbone of the Arizona GOP.

Workers like Kim Owens and Lisa James, who run the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service program…hundreds of women from across Arizona have learned the nuts and bolts of campaigning and governing, and several have gone on to elective office, including Senator Kelli Ward, AZ GOP Secretary Gabby Mercer, and Lisa Askey, the Chairwoman of the Chandler GOP Women. And the list goes on and on.

Another victim of Frosty’s smears is Lisa Gray, a dedicated conservative and hard working PC who VOLUNTEERS her time as the Executive Director of the Maricopa County Republicans. And yet, Frosty has focused her bile at Gray, resorting to name calling and personal bile at every opportunity.

And let’s not forget Jonathan Lines, a true product of the grassroots movement and a champion of conservative causes dating back to Ronald Reagan’s election. Frosty, Sias, and their ilk have waged a near-constant effort to destroy Lines, all in the name of power and control. And yet Lines, while running multiple businesses and raising a family of 11 kids, has sacrificed countless hours to promote the Republican Party and President Trump.

The Arizona GOP is governed by strong, conservative and active precinct committeemen. And just this week, saw the fruits of their labor when Congress, finally, voted for real tax reform! This came about in no small part because Chairman Lines and the AZ GOP rallied their PCs to insist that Congress keep its promise to Arizona taxpayers. Every single Republican in the Arizona delegation supported the President’s tax reform bill. Sounds like real conservative results to us!

Frosty Taylor, Russell Sias and the rest of the “dead end caucus” do not stand for conservative results. They don’t believe in party unity. They thrive on chaos, disunity, and lies. The truth is, there is no conspiracy to “cleanse” the party of conservatives…there is no “secret” process to reform the bylaws. There are only conservative, hard-working PCs, doing their best, every day, to grow the party, elect Republicans, and Make America Great Again.

Frosty Taylor represents none of this. She’s the mouthpiece of dysfunction and lies. And more and more true Republicans are finally taking notice.

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As always, the aforementioned parties are welcome to submit a counterpoint response to Sonoran Alliance.

Bob Stump Tweets Candidacy for Congress in CD-8

Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner and State Senator Bob Stump tweeted Thursday evening that he will be a candidate for Congress in Arizona’s 8th congressional district.

“Given his impending resignation from Congress, I have decided that I will be a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 8. More to come!”

Congressman Trent Franks announced his resignation last night (see statement below) leaving the seat vacant at the end of January, 2018. Governor Doug Ducey will need to call for a special election that will certainly spur several Republican candidates in what is expected to be a competitive Primary contest. The district is heavily Republican.

You can follow Bob Stump on Twitter here.

Statement from Chairman Herring on the Resignation of Congressman Franks

Maricopa County Republicans

Phoenix, AZ – Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring released the following statement regarding the resignation of Congressman Trent Franks.

“We thank Congressman Trent Franks for his service to Arizona and Congressional District 8,” said County Chairman Chris Herring. “Congressman Franks was my representative since I moved to Arizona and I respect his decision.”

“We expect a healthy field of Republicans to contend for the seat. We look forward to the voters of District 8 deciding on their new representation.”

Rep Trent Franks’ Resignation Statement

I have always tried to create a very warm and supportive atmosphere for every last person who has ever worked in my congressional office. It is my deepest conviction that there are many staffers, former and present, who would readily volunteer to substantiate this fact.

Trent FranksGiven the nature of numerous allegations and reports across America in recent weeks, I want to first make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.

However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable. And so, I want to shed light on how those conversations came about.

My wife and I have long struggled with infertility. We experienced three miscarriages.

We pursued adoption on more than one occasion only to have the adoptive mothers in each case change their mind prior to giving birth.

A wonderful and loving lady, to whom we will be forever grateful, acted as a gestational surrogate for our twins and was able to carry them successfully to live birth. The process by which they were conceived was a pro-life approach that did not discard or throw away any embryos.

My son and daughter are unspeakable gifts of God that have brought us our greatest earthly happiness in the 37 years we have been married.

When our twins were approximately 3 years old, we made a second attempt with a second surrogate who was also not genetically related to the child. Sadly, that pregnancy also resulted in miscarriage.

We continued to have a desire to have at least one additional sibling, for which our children had made repeated requests.

Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.

I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable. I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.

We are in an unusual moment in history – there is collective focus on a very important problem of justice and sexual impropriety. It is so important that we get this right for everyone, especially for victims.

But in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation. Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of January 31st, 2018. It is with the greatest sadness, that for the sake of the causes I deeply love, I must now step back from the battle I have spent over three decades fighting. I hope my resignation will remain distinct from the great gains we have made. My time in Congress serving my constituents, America and the Constitution is and will remain one of God’s greatest gift to me in life.

Navajo County Republican PC’s to Slaton: You’re Fired!

By Calamity June

On Saturday morning in Navajo County, 15 of the 17 duly elected Precinct Committeemen convened at a Special Meeting and voted, unanimously, to remove Steven Slaton as Navajo County Chairman. Longtime activist Jim Vance was elected as the new chairman, effective immediately.

Steven Slaton

Steven Slaton

It is never a good thing when a party officer faces a recall, but in the case of the Navajo County Republican Committee, it was a long time coming. Slaton’s tenure has been marked by divisiveness, petty internal fights, and personal attacks on Republican elected officials. It was time for Mr. Slaton to go, as evidenced by the fact that 15 of the 16 PCs not named “Steve Slaton” voted to remove him from office.

With Slaton and one other PC choosing the boycott the meeting in protest, there was not one vote in favor of keeping him in office. Sadly, Steven Slaton had lost the confidence of his PCs, and as we head into the crucial election year of 2018, it is clear that new leadership was required in Navajo County.

More broadly, however, this is an important moment for Republicans throughout Arizona. For decades, bullying and harassment chased hundreds of good, conservative activists out of the party. Name calling and divisiveness ruled the day, with a select few elites deciding who was worthy of participation in their club.

No more.

Now, as Chairman Jonathan Lines follows through on his promise to build an inclusive and growing party, PCs from across the state are rejecting negativity and bullying, and rallying around the GOP as we look towards victory in 2018.

One would hope that Slaton’s unanimous removal from office will serve as a wakeup call to others in the party who choose division instead of addition. And if not, they’ll surely soon be joining Mr. Slaton among the ranks of former Chairmen.

Calamity June is a Republican activist who resides in the Phoenix area and writes primarily on Arizona Republican Party politics.

Poll: Dangerous Slopes Ahead for the GOP in Arizona

One year into Trump’s Presidency, it’s viewed as Unsuccessful

PHOENIX (November 15, 2017) – We have just passed the one-year mark since President Donald Trump was elected, and a lot has happened… One major event for Arizona was incumbent Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake dropping the bombshell that he will not be seeking re-election.

While we are still one year out from the 2018 General Election we wanted to see where Trump stands with likely voters and evaluate the state of the U.S. Senate race.

As we saw in Virginia, how voters feel about the President can have a huge effect on turnout, and results. In Arizona, the GOP faces some dangerous slopes.

We begin by looking at the top-line results of one particular question:

One of the most important factors in any mid-term election is the voters’ perceived performance of the president affecting down-ballot races.

Currently, more 2018 Arizona voters view Trump’s performance for the first year as unsuccessful.

We conducted a survey of six hundred likely 2018 General Election Democratic, Republican, Independent and Non-Declared voters across Arizona, based on likely 2018 turnout participated in this survey with a +/-4% MOE.

It is important to bear in mind that our likely General Election survey sample has a Republican +12-point advantage over Democrats. Despite the 12-point GOP advantage in the poll, the President’s first year is still viewed as unsuccessful.

Republicans and Democrats are polarized on this question (which is no surprise given the current political climate) however the all-important Independents view his first year as unsuccessful by a staggering 22-point margin.

Also, when it comes to gender, females were in the red by 10 points compared to males who were 3 points in the black.

When that data is graphed, it shows some dangerous slopes for the GOP.

As soon as the question reaches self-described moderates, the President’s numbers go negative and stay that way. That one chart spells a lot of trouble for the GOP – with a 22-point negative among Independents, and a majority of moderate voters viewing the President’s first year negatively, GOP candidates face hard choices: If they distance themselves from the president, they risk losing conservatives; but without moderates and without Independents, it’s hard to see a pathway to victory. Especially, when 40% of the overall sample self-identified as “moderates.”

Now, looking at the personal impact to Arizona voters that Trump’s first year in office and its effects we find a possibly better picture with a +3-point margin for respondents who thought they were better off compared to those who are worse off. But the question becomes, how long will the 28% that say things stayed the same be okay with that? We think it is inarguably true that what propelled Donald Trump into the White House was a desire for change… Yet in our polling, 61% of Arizona likely voters say things are the same or have gotten worse. Bad news if the GOP doesn’t change that perception.

We see similarities between this question and the previous performance question with gender. Males were +11 and females were -7 if they felt they were better off. On a positive note, respondents in rural Arizona are +12 when it comes to being better off although the Arizona rural counties demographically are almost always the most conservative-leaning compared to Pima and Maricopa County.

Moving on, before we get into the head-to-head matchups for the Arizona U.S. Senate Primary and General election, let’s see where the main contenders sit regarding name ID and favorability.

The key findings were among the two Republican challengers regarding party affiliation and geographic location.

·       Kelli Ward has 85% name ID among Republicans; with 59% favorable and 26% unfavorable.

·       Martha McSally has 60% name ID among Republicans; with 48% favorable and 13% unfavorable.

·       Among Independents Kelli Ward has 80% name ID; with 36% favorable and 44% unfavorable.

·       Martha McSally has 56% name ID among Independents with 29% favorable and 27% unfavorable.

Based on geographic location Martha McSally has 97% name ID in Pima County where much of her current congressional district covers although she is far less known in Maricopa county (57%) and rural Arizona (44%).

Arizona’s Maricopa county has almost 2/3rd’s of the 2018 General Election vote but that is also where Kelli Ward is underwater with a 34% favorable / 47% unfavorable rating. Although she performs much stronger in rural Arizona with 45% favorable / 31% unfavorable.

Continuing with the subject of Kelli Ward and Martha McSally, if the election were held today, who would likely Republican primary voters vote for? Don’t worry, we have the answer.

Currently, Ward has an advantage of +7-points over McSally where Ward’s most notable strength derives from males, high school or less education level, rural Arizona, and self-identified “very conservative” voters – basically, Trump’s base.  McSally’s strength lies in self-identified “somewhat conservative” and “moderate” voters and a +30-point advantage in Pima County.

And last, but not least – the U.S. Senate General Election matchups.

Republicans hold a +12 Republican likely voter advantage in the 2018 General Election, and that’s how we conducted this poll, with a +12 Republican advantage.  But in both matchups, the Democrat is winning by a very slim margin. McSally has the best chance being 1-point behind Sinema with Ward close by trailing by 3-points, but they’re both in the margin of error.

So, why is a Democrat leading when Republicans hold a +12 point advantage? The answer is slopes.

Whether it was Ward or McSally against Sinema, support based on political ideology was almost identical for either potential GOP nominee. This chart probably looks familiar because it basically mirrors Trump’s numbers in this lens.

 

Summary: As we start to move into the mid-term elections Trump’s support/approval among Independents is severely lacking; plus, some of his Republican base is still not fully onboard compared to the Democrats who are unified in their disapproval. The Republican primary fight between Congresswoman McSally and former State Senator Kelli Ward is currently in Ward’s favor, however, having campaigned state-wide for the past 3 years it appears she is well defined and may well have hit a ceiling among Arizona voters.

McSally has the advantage of being able to define herself and starts with far less of the negatives Ward currently brings to the table. We will be seeing a very competitive GOP primary and the exact opposite of the Democratic primary where Kyrsten Sinema faces little resistance. With Arizona having a late primary election date the Democrats hold the high ground.

“Republicans on the ticket in traditional ‘toss-up’ or ‘right-leaning’ races should prepare for the fight of their lives come 2018,” said Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, a Phoenix-based leading behavioral research polling company. “The factors to look at ahead will be whether the U.S. economy is positive or negative and if Trump/Republicans can score major legislative wins on taxes, border security, healthcare or education.”

“Grab your popcorn because the Arizona U.S. Senate will be the race to watch in 2018,” said Noble.

Among the other results:

There are many issues important to Arizona voters however the top 3 issues are education (28%), illegal immigration (27%) and healthcare (24%). These issues will be the driving forces in the 2018 elections due to Arizona’s proximity to the border, uncertainty in health care law and the consistent coverage on our education woes. The biggest takeaway when looking at the demographics of these results was education being the top issue for Independents (38%) and Democrats (41%). The top issue among Republican voters was illegal immigration at 44% while only 14% of Republicans said education was the most pressing issue facing Arizona.

 Methodology: This automated survey was completed by OH Predictive Insights on November 9th, 2017, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, geographic location and gender, however, age leaned heavily towards 55+ respondents due to it being automated. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%.

The Republican primary matchup question asked Republican/Independent respondents a qualifying question if they were going to vote in the 2018 Arizona Republican primary. 323 passed the qualifying question and we weighted the results for 90% Republican and 10% Independent, with a MoE of ± 5.45%.