Latest Poll Shows Doug Ducey Leading Pack by 11 Points

Reposted from Conservative Leadership for Arizona:

PHOENIX, AZ – This week Conservative Leadership for Arizona and Harper Polling conducted a poll of likely Republican primary voters in Arizona.  Results revealed that Arizona Treasurer and entrepreneur Doug Ducey leads the pack with 26%.  Christine Jones and Scott Smith are tied for second with 15%

Below is a comparison of the ballot test in all five polls Conservative Leadership for Arizona has commissioned:

April 10*   May 15*    June 5*    July 11*    July 30*

Bennett   15%        13%          12%        11%          12%

Ducey      9%          27%         28%         26%          26%

Jones      14%        12%          12%         22%         15%

Smith       6%          12%          16%         14%         15%

Thomas   6%           6%            5%           6%           11%

Riggs       1%           1%            2%           2%            5%

Undecided 45%     28%           23%        19%          16%

CLA Chairman Sean Noble said, “Our latest poll shows that while some candidates experienced bumps in their numbers, they have only been temporary.  As the election gets closer and Arizonans learn more about the candidates, Ducey’s lead over Smith and Jones has grown.  While there has been some rearranging of the orchestra, the first chair has been occupied by Ducey.”

For more information on Conservative Leadership for Arizona and to view the full poll results, visit www.conservativeleadershipaz.com.

###

*Polls conducted by Magellan Strategies.

CLA AZ GOP Primary Topline Results — July 30, 2014

Quiz: Match the Music Video with the Gubernatorial Candidate Campaign

I’m poking a little fun at the Arizona gubernatorial candidates by matching music (or commercial) videos with my take on their campaigns. So here goes. Try to match the music video with the gubernatorial candidate:

Which gubernatorial candidate is playing a high stakes game of political wannabe using her best poser face?

One particular gubernatorial candidate could take a lesson from this rock icon. (And I bet he can even perform as well!)

This gubernatorial candidate hails from the place where this commercial originates and says to speak the language of the fans. 

This song is the theme for which former mayor’s gubernatorial candidate’s campaign? Hint: A tale of two cities.

This gubernatorial candidate is so “hot” no one wants to stand near him!

Finally, this gubernatorial candidate will be singing this on Tuesday night, August 26th.

 

Andrew Thomas Stood Up to the Gay Lobby – Spoof Ad

H/T to Ryan for bringing this to my attention.

Wouldn’t you know it. We live in an age when the internet rules and anyone can grab video and have fun with it.

Here’s to Arizona Commentator on the quick video edit posted on YouTube!

Most Recent Arizona Gubernatorial Ads

Here are the most recent gubernatorial ads for your review and comment. Note, production and airing for these ads is being paid for by money raised from donors, money from the candidate’s own pocket or from Arizona taxpayers through the Clean Elections system. Can you tell which?

Andrew Thomas – July 17, 2014

Ken Bennett – July 16, 2014
http://youtu.be/-0x6b3jL1eI

Christine Jones – July 15, 2014

Scott Smith – July 15, 2014

Frank Riggs – July 15, 2014

Doug Ducey – July 8, 2014

Fred DuVal – April 17, 2014

Let us know what you think!

Handicapping the Arizona Governor’s Race

Arizona PBS’s Horizon just featured a segment featuring ASU pollster Bruce Merrill discussing the current lineup and prospects seeking the office of Governor in 2014. For the most part I agree with Merrill’s assessment on the candidates but I think I’d like to point out some factors that the respected pollster may have overlooked.

First, here’s the interview with Ted Simon:

If I were to break out the GOP gubernatorial race into three tiers, this is what it would look like. (For the purpose of full disclosure, I do not have any of these candidates as clients.)

First Tier:
Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey
Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

Second Tier:
Secretary of State Ken Bennett
Christine Jones
Former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman

Third Tier:
State Senator Al Melvin
Former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas

Assessing the first tier of candidates, both Ducey and Smith are extremely formidable candidates with perhaps the best consulting firms/teams in Arizona running their campaigns. I like to refer to this race as a battle between the House of Noble and the House of Coughlin.

DC London is run by former Chief of Staff to Congressman John Shadegg, Sean Noble – one of the most disciplined, organized and well-connected consultants in the business. House of Coughlin is run by Governor Brewer’s closest advisor and strategist, Chuck Coughlin who founded and oversees Arizona’s HighGround firm. As noted, Noble and Coughlin are two of the best Republican consultants in the state of Arizona. Both their firms are ready to lock horns in the governor’s race with teams that will make the Republican primary battle very exciting to watch.

Both Doug Ducey and Scott Smith are also strong leaders in their respective arenas. They know how to campaign effectively and are very good with audiences. They also have the capacity to bring a lot of money to the table for their teams. On the GOP spectrum, Ducey draws out support from the grassroots while Smith tends to identify with the establishment.

At the present, Ducey’s assertiveness for this race has been a little below the radar while Smith’s team has been actively taking advantage of opportunities to boost the mayor’s profile. We saw this recently in Smith’s election as President of the US Conference of Mayors. This makes sense from Smith’s perspective since his profile is highest in the east valley and Ducey has already obtained statewide name recognition.

This race will be very tight as money, leadership style, likability and their respective teams are evenly matched.

Looking at the second tier, I would have to place Secretary of State Ken Bennett at the top of this tier, although he has the chance to bounce into the first tier given an effective campaign team. Bennett has run for statewide office before although he really didn’t have any competition. Anyone who knows Ken Bennett knows him as one of the nicest elected officials they’ve ever met. But his chivalrous soft-spoken demeanor is often seen as a lack of assertiveness. To jump into the first tier, he will need ditch some of the nice-guy persona and get a little more assertive.

Christine Jones’ biggest challenge is that no one knows who she is. Whoever she hires as her team will need to do a lot of catching up making the rounds. If she is counting on raising money from the political establishment, this will be tough because most of the cash is flowing to the upper tier. She will have to put a lot of her own money into the race to boost her profile and prove credibility as a candidate. When I first heard her name mentioned for a statewide office, my suggestion was to see her run for Attorney General because a Christine Jones vs. Felecia Rotellini matchup would keep that seat in the hands of Republicans.

Hugh Hallman also remains in the second tier primarily because of the challenges of statewide name identification and the challenge of fundraising in a crowded field. Hallman is one of the smartest policy guys and that may come off as being too wonky, geeky and not strong enough leadership. He is well liked but running for Governor is not like running for the 8th most populous city in Arizona,

Jumping to the third tier, it’s accurate to say that both Senator Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas have no path to victory whatsoever.

Senator Melvin is one of the nicest men you will ever meet but his time in the Arizona Legislature has branded him with the image of the grandfatherly citizen legislator. He has never run for statewide office and the money, energy and team it requires to mount such a campaign is out of reach.

Finally (and this is difficult to write), Andrew Thomas has no chance of winning the nomination short of the entire Arizona judiciary system being indicted for corruption. If Thomas had only remained in the office of County Attorney and successfully beat the judiciary system, he might be invincible. Unfortunately he now has one of the highest political radioactivity levels when it comes to former elected officials. This will doom his campaign.

Having managed a statewide campaign, I will tell you that it is a tremendous amount of work that requires millions of dollars. Money does make the difference in races and candidates who assert themselves early through money, endorsements and profile take the advantage. Watch for this race to be far more exciting than it was in 2010!

 

Shane Wikfors is the creator and editor of Sonoran Alliance and President of Red Mountain Consulting & Development. He has been active in Arizona campaigns, grassroots politics and non-profit issue advocacy for over 23 years. You can read more about him at ShaneWikfors.com.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidates: Who Do You Like?