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).
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.