Latest Poll Shows Martha McSally Narrowly Leads in US Senate Race

Democratic Surge in Early Ballots has Tightened the Race

PHOENIX (Nov. 5, 2018) – The latest poll from OH Predictive Insights and ABC15 Arizona (ABC15/OHPI) shows that Martha McSally, Arizona’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has a one-point lead over Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, with 49 percent of the vote. Green candidate Angela Green receives zero percent of the vote, down from one percent since our last poll. Since dropping out, Green no longer has the Election Day Independent voters, who we saw her take more of in a previous OHPI poll(8%).


The survey was conducted November 2 to November 3, 2018 with a sample of 631 respondents qualified as likely voters. All live-callers were used to collect the sample, yielding a +/-3.9% MOE.

“Arizona is seeing a historic midterm election turnout and Democratic voters are defying past historic early voting trends,” said Mike Noble, Chief Pollster and Managing Partner of Phoenix-based research company OH Predictive Insights. “The race has tightened and it’s fitting that the winner will be decided based on who can best turn out out their voters on Election Day.”

Since our last poll, conducted on October 22, the largest change has been the late return of a surge of Democratic ballots in Pima County. This is done by a bloc of Democratic voters who we were unsure would turn out in the general election: Steve Farley Democrats. This group is considered new primary voters who voted for Farley and not David Garcia in the Arizona primary election: OHPI analyzed them in September.

Farley Democrats started returning their ballots en masse within the last two days of early voting, especially standing out in Pima County with a ten-point Democratic advantage of 43 percent. In Maricopa County, the largest county in the state with 60 percent of the electorate, Republicans also have a ten-point lead with 43 percent. This indicates a lagging Hispanic turnout with engaged white Democrats, which is a trend OHPI was looking for and did not see materialize until recently.

The key comes down to Sinema’s voters being more energized, while Republicans need to turn out their voters on Election Day. OHPI found that 88 percent of Sinema’s voters have already turned in their ballots, while only 70 percent of McSally’s voters have done the same. This is ultimately a breakdown by region, where 86 percent of Pima County’s voters have already voted. Only 74 percent of those in the rural areas have done so, with more being Democrats.

A Republican turnout operation will be crucial to combat Democratic excitement. While many more of the votes for Sinema are already cast and guaranteed, McSally needs to pin her votes down and solidify them.

Methodology: This all live-caller survey was conducted via 50% cell and 50% landline poll. The poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on November 2, 2018 and November 3, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 631 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 3.9%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

Data Orbital: Arizona Early Voting Reveals Four Major Trends

Phoenix, AZ (October 31, 2018) With only 6 days remaining until Election Day, over 1.2 million ballots have already been cast in Arizona. Shattering past midterm election turnout figures for the state, these early ballot returns reveal major trends that will continue to play out through Election Day.

The major takeaways for current ballot returns are:

  1. Republican ballot advantage far ahead of 2016: On this same day in 2016 – a Presidential election year – 1,228,936 ballots had been returned, with the Republican Ballot Advantage being +6.4% percentage points, with a margin of 79,180 ballots. With a larger ballot advantage of +9.4% this cycle and a margin of 114,512 ballots, the statewide ballot advantage is likely to see only minor shifts, barring any unprecedented Democratic return numbers in the final week.
  2. Democratic voters holding their ballots longer than 2016: Democratic voters are holding onto their ballots longer than in 2016, averaging 12.44 days compared to 11.36 days in 2016, but shorter than their 13.26 day average in 2014. Meanwhile, Republican voters aren’t holding onto their ballots as long, sitting at an average of 11.76 days compared with 11.97 days in 2016 and 13.48 in 2014.
  3. Older voters far outnumber young and middle-aged voters: Voter ages 55+ outnumber those under 55 by a 2:1 margin.
  4. New voters spilt among parties: Republicans hold a 34.04% share of the 88,700 new voters who have cast a ballot, compared to 34.31% Democrats and 29.75% Independents.

Massive Turnout

According to analysis of AZ-08 special election results, new Arizona voter registration figures, and various pundits, 2018 was projected to be a “blue wave” year.  However, as Arizona has historically cast almost two-thirds of its ballots early, a blue wave scenario is looking increasingly unlikely.  Gaming out the remainder of early ballot returns, any potential downward shift in the Republican ballot advantage will be offset by their 100,000+ ballot advantage.

Looking at the number of ballots requested, Democrats have seen a higher request rate from their registered voters at 78.9% compared to 77.4% of registered Republicans. This two-point spread is up 1.1 percentage points from the 2016 cycle. However, as we saw in 2016, this disparity is minimized by Arizona having more registered Republicans than Democrats. Turning to returned ballots, Republicans currently hold a statewide turnout percentage of 36.7% compared to 32.0% of registered Democratic voters.

New and Frequent Voters

With every election cycle, there is a push to get new voters* to mail in ballots and show up on Election Day.  So far, new voters are only making up 7.15% of total returned ballots. With just fewer than 20% of these 88,700 voters being under the age of 24, a wave of freshly registered young voters does not appear to be returning ballots. Across Arizona’s Congressional Districts, the top concentration of these new voters is in AZ-08 and AZ-05, at 14.93% and 14.54% of the 88,700 voters. At the other end of the spectrum, voters who have voted in all of the past four general elections are a staggering 584,100 of returned ballots and are mostly Republican, with the GOP having a 48.57% share.

*New voters are voters who have not voted in any of the last four general elections.

Election Day Voters

With today being the last day for voters to turn in early ballots and the last major early ballot reports coming out by the end of the week, the focus is turning to Election Day voters. Registered voters who have not requested an early ballot total about 1.2 million. Republicans still hold the advantage here with 27.27% of these voters being registered Republicans. If we look specifically at voters who are likely to turn out based on their general election voting history, the Republican advantage grows to +23.5 percentage points as they have a 50.88% share of these 122,637 voters who have voted in all of the previous four elections. The highest concentration of these voters is in Arizona’s Congressional Districts 02 and 04, with just over 11,000 of these highly likely voters being registered Republicans.

The possibility of early ballots being returned at polling places on November 6th also presents yet another large group of potential voters, totaling just above 1.4 million. These remaining ballots have a slight Democratic advantage, with Democrats holding a 32.95% share compared to a Republican 32.04% share. Looking just at highly likely voters who have voted in three or four of the past four general elections, this advantage flips with the Republican advantage growing to 11.85 points at a 43.96% share of 436,670 ballots.

George Khalaf, President of Data Orbital, issued the following statement: “We started this year anticipating a blue wave scenario with pundits predicting Republicans would have a 4-5% ballot advantage.  But now, as we look at early voting, it’s very clear that this blue wave scenario just isn’t happening.  Total turnout numbers are only slightly below 2016, which is even more instructive than the current Republican ballot advantage.  The record turnout is causing the total raw Republican ballot advantage to be much higher than both 2016 and 2014, giving Republicans a strong advantage going into election day.  Since they make up a little more than 50% of likely Election Day voters, it is going to be very difficult for Democrats to turn that advantage around.”

Overall, we are looking at a record-turnout election where both Republicans and Democrats are energized to vote.  Over the next six days, we will continue to track returns and trends to better predict election day results.  Follow the daily updates at dataorbital.com.

Breaking: Senate Dead Heat and Dominant Ducey

 

High Ground

McSally ahead by 1-point while Ducey cruising by 19 points in HighGround’s latest statewide survey

PHOENIX (October 29, 2018) – With only a few days left until the recommended deadline to mail in ballots, the top two candidates in the race for the United States Senate are locked in a dead heat with only one point separating them.  The latest survey from HighGround Public Affairs shows Congresswoman Martha McSally with a slight lead over Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema.

Q. If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Martha McSally, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Green Candidate Angela Green?

46.5% Martha McSally
45.3% Kyrsten Sinema
3.5% Angela Green
4.8% Don’t know, Refused

The N=400 survey was conducted among likely voters 10/26 through 10/28.  It was a statewide live caller survey calling both landlines and cell phones.  The margin of error is ±4.9%.  The partisan advantage was set at +10% GOP based on the current trend in ballot returns.  As of today, GOP advantage in Early Ballot returns is 10.6% with 986k ballots returned according to Garrett Archer from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

McSally held a strong lead among Republican respondents with 88.4% of the vote.  She also held strong leads among very conservatives (94.0%), somewhat conservative (65.6%) and voters 65+ (57.0%) who are overperforming in the current ballot returns.  For the moment, immigration has surpassed education as the top issue facing the state which has likely bolstered McSally’s performance based on her strongly articulated positions on border security.

On the other hand, Sinema held strong leads among Democrats with 88.6% of the vote and very liberal (94.7%) and somewhat liberal (85.3%).  She also has a strong lead with younger voters 29 and under (55.0%) – though their turnout so far has been lower than expected.

The race now appears hinged on who can make a final successful push among Females and Independent and unaffiliated voters.  The two candidates have split support among the two audiences.  Sinema has a 6-point lead among all female voters right now.  McSally and Sinema are virtually split among Independent and unaffiliated males (43.6% to 40.0% respectively).  However, McSally trails Sinema significantly among independent and unaffiliated females (12.2% to 61.0% respectively).

“Ultimately, the Senate race is well within the margin and likely won’t be decided on Tuesday night.  This election will come down to voter turnout and every ballot cast or dropped off on Election Day,” said Paul Bentz, Sr. Vice President of Research and Strategy at HighGround, Inc., “We have said all along that this race will be decided by female voters and Independent and unaffiliated voters.  Depending on who decides to show up, it will likely make the difference in this race.”

On the other hand, bolstered by an upward trend in the direction of the state and a faltering campaign by his opponent, Governor Ducey appears to be cruising to victory with a 19-point lead over Democratic Challenger David Garcia.

Q. If the election for Arizona Governor were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Doug Ducey, Democrat David Garcia, or Green Candidate Angel Torres?

54.8% Doug Ducey
35.3% David Garcia
3.5% Angel Torres
6.5% Don’t know, Refused

Ducey holds commanding leads among Republican voters 89.5% as well as garnering an 11.5% lead among Independent and unaffiliated voters.  His backing of Proposition 123 and his 20% teacher raise appeared to help him maintain credibility and deflect his opponent’s attacks on education.  Ducey holds leads among male voters (57.3% to 31.3%) as well as female voters (52.4% to 38.9%)  Garcia holds significant leads in Democrats with 75.0%, but still nearly 14 points lower than Sinema.  He also has garnered support from the Very Liberal (89.5%) and the Somewhat Liberal (73.5%) but has failed to gain as much the crossover appeal he experienced in his previous race for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Bentz concluded, “The Garcia and Sinema races are posed to go down as the textbook ‘good idea/bad idea’ examples for how a Democrat should run a statewide election in the State of Arizona.  It was impossible for Garcia to survive his swing to the far left to try to motivate a higher progressive turnout.  Meanwhile, Sinema has masterfully crafted a shift in her persona (without having to articulate very many positions) that heretofore has put her in a position to win.  She has come under attack the past few weeks for that very lack of substance, but she still has a shot – depending on turnout.  The Garcia campaign, on the other hand, has very little hope with just a week left before Election Day.”

About the Survey

The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  The partisan advantage was set at +10% GOP based on the current trend in ballot returns.  The margin of error is ±4.9%.

Q. In general, would you say that the State of Arizona is heading in the right direction, or the wrong direction? [Right/Wrong]

21.0% Definitely right direction
29.8% Probably right direction
13.0% Probably wrong direction
14.3% Definitely wrong direction
22.0% Don’t Know, Refused

Q. What do you consider to be the top issue facing the State of Arizona today?  [Randomize]

38.3% Immigration and Border Issues
34.8% Education
9.0% Healthcare
6.5% Jobs and the Economy
3.0% State Budget
2.8% Other
2.5% Don’t Know, Refused
1.8% Taxes
1.5% Transportation

Q. If the election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Martha McSally, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Green Candidate Angela Green?

46.5% Martha McSally
45.3% Kyrsten Sinema
3.5% Angela Green
4.8% Don’t know, Refused

Q. If the election for Arizona Governor were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Republican Doug Ducey, Democrat David Garcia, or Green Candidate Angel Torres?

54.8% Doug Ducey
35.3% David Garcia
3.5% Angel Torres
6.5% Don’t know, Refused

The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years – our research has been featured on Nate Silver’s 538, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, and many other publications. HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

View this article on HighGround.

Republican Wendy Rogers Gives Speech at Wall Prototypes Ahead of President Trump Visit

Wendy RogersFlagstaff, AZ – Arizona 1st District Congressional candidate, Wendy Rogers, a conservative entrepreneur and retired Air Force pilot, who supported Donald Trump in the primaries, visited the border wall prototypes near the Mexican border this weekend just days ahead of President Trump’s expected visit. After inspecting the wall prototypes, Wendy Rogers gave a speech detailing her determination to build the wall, end chain migration, and fight for other key conservative immigration initiatives when elected.

President Trump is expected to visit the wall prototypes this week, where he is expected to highlight his immigration initiatives, mainly to fund and build the wall.

A video of the speech Wendy Rogers gave can be found on Rogers’ Facebook page.

The full text of Rogers’ speech is below:

“Good afternoon, I’m Wendy Rogers, Republican candidate for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.

I’m speaking to you from the prototypes of President Trump’s border wall, which he is fighting hard to get funded and built. Our nation’s sovereignty, security, and the rule of law should be top priority for any elected official in Washington DC.

Unfortunately, however, they are not. We don’t enforce our laws.  We allow immigrants to enter our nation illegally. We allow drugs, crime, and gang activity to run rampant, especially on our southern border.

We lose billions due to fraud, waste, and abuse stemming from our immigration programs and subsidies. Wages of American workers continually decline because of suppressed wages from illegal immigration.

I served as an American Air Force officer. I know what security looks like. What we have now is a complete and utter mess. We are losing our sovereignty and our respect for the rule of law.

It’s time to do something about it.

You see . . . we still have politicians who give double-talk . . . they talk about fences instead of the wall.They talk about amnesty for millions of illegal aliens in order to give us even a fraction of the wall. No! This is not what we the people voted for!

We have serious problems. Our nation will not last unless we fix this, and fix it now. No more double-talk.

Build the wall. No amnesty – immigrants must enter legally or not at all. Crackdown on sanctuary cities. Arrest elected officials who undermine our sovereignty. End chain migration, which is a corrosive policy that endangers innocent Americans. It should’ve have ended long ago.

End the visa lottery, so we don’t have to worry about admitting terrorists. Keep the travel ban in place until countries can demonstrate they are civilized on the world stage. End foreign aid to countries who deplore us. Put E-verify in place to double-check workers who enter, so we can be sure they’re legitimate. Crackdown on MS-13. Enforce our laws! We veterans understand what security looks like. We know you don’t leave a section of your perimeter unprotected. We know there must be solid access control. And we know you need to remove bad actors. This is common sense!

America First. Arizona First. It is time to get this done. Col. Wendy Rogers – out.”

Wendy Rogers is a retired Air Force officer who attained the rank of Lt. Col., became one of the U.S. military’s first female pilots, is an entrepreneur and homeschool mom.

Free Firearms Training for Arizona School District Officials

Gunsite

Gunsite Academy Inc., the Nation’s oldest privately owned and operated civilian firearms training academy, is saddened and angered by the violence in our schools.

Our mission is “. . .  to provide good people with the skills by which they may conduct themselves as responsible citizens of a free Republic.”  We recognize that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.   Proper training is crucial to achieve the objective of keeping our young people safe in their schools.  It is crucial that we recognize that local leaders must be the impetus of changes in the safety and security policies in our local schools.

To further positive changes of the safety and security in our Republic’s schools, Gunsite will offer a free five (5) day 250 Pistol Course (tuition) at our northern Arizona training facility to School Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, and School Board Presidents.

Our hope is that we educate these policy makers and help them formulate programs within their schools to train and arm their teachers to better protect our youth.

Those wishing further information should contact Gunsite Chief Operating Officer Ken Campbell at (928)-636-4565 or Ken@gunsite.com.

Very Respectfully,

Ken Campbell

Sheriff Ken P. Campbell (Ret.)
Chief Operating Officer
Gunsite Academy, Inc.

View press release here.

Speaker JD Mesnard Announces New Committee Assignments

Javan D. Mesnard

Speaker Javan Mesnard

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-17) today announced several House committee assignment changes and additions.

Representative Tim Dunn (R-13) will take the place of Representative Mosley (R-5) on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and also serve on the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee; and the House Land, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.

Representative Dunn has expertise in agriculture and natural resource issues and represents a rural part of the state, so I know his extensive experience will have a positive impact on his committees,” said Speaker Mesnard.

Also, due to the assignment of Representative David Livingston (R-22) as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Speaker Mesnard announced that Majority Leader John Allen (R-15) will take the place of Representative Jeff Weninger (R-17) on the House Banking & Insurance Committee, and will also serve as chair of the committee for the remainder of the session.

Additionally, Representative Becky Nutt (R-14) and Representative Mark Finchem (R-11) will swap assignments on the House Land, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee and the House Federalism, Property Rights & Public Policy Committee, with Representative Nutt assuming Representative Finchem’s duties as vice-chair.

U.S. Rep. McSally Supports Landmark Increase in Defense Spending

Martha McSallyWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today released the following statement after voting in support of the Bipartisan Budget Act:

“Today I voted with President Trump and Secretary Mattis to halt sequestration and increase defense spending. My vote is for our men and women in uniform who are relying on this boost in defense resources to carry out their mission and to keep us safe. Eight years’ worth of anemic defense budgets and neglect under President Obama’s defense sequester have thrown our military into a full-blown readiness crisis—and Secretary Mattis has made it very clear that, unless we pass a budget and fund the troops they will not have the resources to maintain their operations and deter war. That’s why, from the outset, I demanded that this bill include $700 billion this year and $716 billion next year for our troops to fulfill our military’s request—and it does.

This bill also dismantles another pillar of Obamacare: The ‘Independent Payment Advisory Board’—also known as the Death Panels and tasked with rationing Medicare.

We cannot hold our military hostage while we tackle other long-term spending and move towards fiscal responsibility. This landmark increase in defense spending will finally start to give our troops what they need to keep us safe.”

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%.

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.

=======

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.