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.

POLL: McSally Maintains Lead Over Sinema

 

Turning Out Her Voters is a Key Factor

PHOENIX (Nov. 1, 2018) – The latest poll from OH Predictive Insights and ABC15 Arizona (ABC15/OHPI), conducted October 22 to 23, shows that Martha McSally, Arizona’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has kept her lead over Democratic nominee Kyrsten Sinema, as undecideds break between the candidates.

Since our last poll, McSally has increased to a seven-point lead over Sinema, with 52% of the vote. Sinema holds 45% of the vote, with only 2% left undecided and 1% for Green candidate Angela Green.

“With the hottest race in the country coming to an end, McSally is solidifying her lead over Sinema,” says Chief Pollster and Managing Partner Mike Noble. “The game-changer comes from Independent voters, who have swung from Sinema to McSally since our last poll. We’ll know come Election Night whether they stick with McSally or swing back to Sinema.”

When looking at favorability, McSally is more highly favored with 54% of the vote, again putting her seven points above Sinema. Sinema is found unfavorable by 50% of voters, compared to McSally’s 44%.

Among age groups, McSally is dominating the older voters. With Republicans over 55 years old, McSally is leading by a wide, 88-point margin of 92%, compared to Sinema’s 4%. However, McSally is losing almost a quarter of younger Republicans, with only a 49-point lead.


Among Independents over 55 years old, Sinema leads by seven points, with 53% compared to McSally’s 46%. Younger Independents are breaking more for McSally, giving her a 38-point lead of 68%, compared to Sinema’s 30%.

Throughout the state, voters have higher levels of support for McSally. In Maricopa County, containing the largest amount of voters in the state, McSally and Sinema are tied with 49% each. McSally leads in both Pima County and rural areas, with 53% and 59% respectively. Sinema trails with 46% in Pima County and 35% in rural areas.

“Considering the historic amount of money spent on this contest, which has been primarily in Pima and Maricopa County, it is ironic that rural Arizonans have tipped the scale in McSally’s direction,” says Data Analyst Noah Rudnick.

OHPI also broke down voting trends, being so close to Election Day. Among those who have already voted, Sinema and McSally are tied at 49% each. For those with an absentee ballot that they have not yet returned, McSally is winning at 52%, with Sinema at 44%. For those who plan to vote at the polls on Election Day, McSally has a commanding 64-29% lead. With Democrats recently looking to narrow the early voting gap of enthusiastic supporters, it is on McSally to turn out her supporters and see her lead maintained by voters who show up on the last day.

“We have been tracking this race for almost a year and are eager to see how it ends up,” says Noble. “Our polls show Arizona voters siding with McSally, and that’s exactly what we expect to see next week.”

Methodology: This 42% cell phone and 58% landline poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on October 22, 2018 and October 23, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. The partisan advantage was set at +11% GOP, based on returns when finalizing last week. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

Guest Opinion: McSally Will Continue The Fight For Your Personal Freedoms

Last month the U.S Food and Drug Administration launched a crackdown on the sale of e-cigarette vaping devices and is ratcheting up pressure on e-cigarette makers. The industry is now facing new challenges as the federal, state, and local governments take new measures to put it under control.

According to the CDC, smoking causes more than 500,000 deaths annually and leads to a plethora of preventable diseases. Since e-cigarettes provide users the ability to control their nicotine consumption, it helps traditional cigarette smokers to gradually kick their nicotine addiction. E-liquids come in varying levels of nicotine, including zero. This can be particularly helpful for long-time smokers who wish to use vapor products to reduce their dependence and transition away from nicotine entirely. These products are specifically designed for adult smokers who wish to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting cigarettes.

Vapor products do not burn tobacco and do not produce smoke, tar, or ash. They only emit vapor. As most e-liquids contain nicotine, they are considered ‘tobacco products’ and regulated as such but these products do not contain any tobacco. E-liquids are only regulated by the FDA because they contain nicotine, which is itself derived from the tobacco plant. These regulations include company registration, product registration, detailed ingredient listings, labeling restrictions, marketing restrictions, and listings of harmful and potentially harmful constituents.

Federal bureaucrats and critics of e-cigarettes are using the myth of a youth vaping “epidemic” to suggest that flavors need to be banned. The truth is, the vaping industry is already working to make sure there are penalties in place for selling vapor products to minors – just like there are for cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets.

As Americans, it is imperative we have the freedom to choose what is best for us and our family. Too often Washington, DC tells us what we can and can’t do. When Congresswoman McSally is elected to the U.S. Senate, she should continue to fight for Arizonans’ personal freedoms, especially for the thousands of adults across our state who need this innovative new technology to live a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking.

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Poll: Jan Brewer and Grant Woods

POLL: Former Governor Jan Brewer leads former Attorney General Grant Woods in latest 2020 US Senate Poll


“These two are both ones to watch as jockeying starts for the Arizona Senate race. Whether or not these two run, one thing is for certain – we will not be lacking people lining up on either side of the aisle.” – Chief Pollster and Managing Partner, OHPI

Jan Brewer favored by 9 points.
Of likely Arizona voters, 47% favor Brewer, while 38% find her unfavorable. Arizona’s former governor also has 85% name identification.

Grant Woods not well-known by Arizonans.

Woods is still not well-known, with almost half of people saying they have no opinion of him, at 48%. Of those who have an opinion, he is above water almost two to one.

Brewer is favored most among Republican women.
Among Republican women, Brewer is favored by +62 points. This is much higher than Republican men, at +49 points, providing a possible edge in a Republican primary.

28-point​ split among Democrats on Woods’ name recognition.
Among Democrats’ likely base, voters 54 years old or younger have a 27% favorable rating of Woods. Older Democrats have a 55% positive opinion, which is a 28-point gap. Woods also performs well with older Independents, at 43%.

Methodology: This 42% cell phone and 58% landline poll was completed by OH Predictive Insights on October 22, 2018 and October 23, 2018, from a likely 2018 General Election voter sample. The sample demographics accurately reflected party affiliation, gender, region, and age. The sample size was 600 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 4%. Numbers may not total 100%, due to rounding. Poll report for the General Election poll can be viewed here.

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.

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.

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%.

Activists and Former Campaign Staff Apologize for Propping Up Kelli Ward

This from two staffers with the Kelli Ward for Senate campaign.

As Ward “kicks off” her campaign in Scottsdale, her campaign’s former Chief Strategist Dustin Stockton and Press Secretary Jennifer Lawrence speak out.

Two prominent grassroots activists issued an apology to America First activists and the people of Arizona for helping legitimize the candidacy of Kelli Ward. The two former Breitbart reporters ran Dr. Ward’s campaign from May until September in 2017 serving as Chief Strategist and Press Secretary.

“Dustin and I began helping Kelli when she ran against John McCain in 2016. Over the years we advocated for her with grassroots groups, activists, and media from around the country. After running her campaign, we’ve realized that our successful efforts to legitimize her campaign was a mistake. We are sorry to the #MAGA activists and the people of Arizona because they deserve better candidates”

Kelli Ward is hosting a “campaign kickoff” in Scottsdale Arizona tonight featuring Laura Ingraham and J.D. Hayworth, despite the fact that she formally launched her campaign against Senator Flake before the 2016 general election had even concluded. Before Stockton and Lawrence took over her campaign, Ward was regularly described as a fringe candidate in the media and with conservative political groups and donors. Ward was generally seen as a weaker candidate than both AZ State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt and former AZ Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham.

“We hadn’t anticipated taking over Kelli’s campaign when we visited Arizona around Easter,” Stockton said. “Her campaign was such a disaster that we saw an opportunity to prove how much we can help struggling campaigns and we did just that. Unfortunately, she showed that she isn’t up to the task of standing up to the pressure that causes so many candidates to betray voters when they get to Washington.”

“Even Jeff Flake was a solid conservative as a member of the House before he betrayed his base in pursuit of his ambition in the Senate,” Lawrence finished. “We have a responsibility to our fellow America First activists to prevent another heartbreak at the hands of a politician’s blind ambition. We’re going to make sure that Arizona gets Senators that will make America First activists proud. Stay tuned.”

Poll: Jeff Flake in Double Jeopardy

High Ground

US Senator Jeff Flake in Double Electoral Jeopardy Twelve Months Away from Primary Election

Republican Party Divided – Provides Opening for Democrats

PHOENIX (August 22, 2017) — A statewide Arizona survey of 400 likely Arizona 2018 General Election voters shows Republican incumbent Senator Jeff Flake twelve points behind his primary Republican opponent Kelli Ward and eight points behind prospective Democratic opponent U.S. Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ-9).

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

The Republican Primary Election sample was of 273 high efficacy Republican and PND/Independent voters and has a margin of error of ±5.93%.  The General Election sample of 400 high efficacy general election voters has a margin of error of ±4.88%.

Jeff Flake

Senator Jeff Flake

“While Election Day may still be more than a year away, Senator Jeff Flake’s campaign has a lot of work to do to persuade Republican primary voters that his form of principled Republican conservatism can trump the nativist populism that is fueling Republican voters’ antipathy towards Washington insiders.  These same Republicans still give the President a 74% approval rating in Arizona,” said Chuck Coughlin, President & CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which conducted the poll.

“The good news for Senator Flake’s campaign is that the election is still a year away and his campaign has the financial support to more clearly articulate his own views and define his opponent’s positions.  Additionally, efforts to pass tax reform, infrastructure investment and other major policy initiatives could substantially change the electoral environment in Arizona,” said Coughlin.

The survey showed that Congresswoman Sinema is not known by 45% of the electorate in Arizona while Ward was beaten by nearly 100,000 votes in her primary election against Senator John McCain in 2016.

Coughlin continued, “Kelli Ward may not be well-known in light of her campaign against Senator McCain in 2016.  But even tacit support from the President, with subsequent staffing and financial resources, would be a huge boost for her chances.”

Additionally, General Election turnout in off-Presidential Cycle races in Arizona shows that Republicans historically have a twelve-point turnout advantage, which steepens the climb for any Democratic contender.

“The data clearly shows that a contentious primary fight would certainly strengthen the chances of the Democrats to pick up the seat in November of next year.  There is an opportunity for Congresswoman Sinema to take advantage of the uncertainty on the Republican side by jumping into the Senate race,” Coughlin remarked. “The question for the General Election comes down to if Congresswoman Sinema will be able to define herself first to an electorate that is largely unfamiliar with her, or if Republican third-party groups can define her in ways unacceptable to Arizona’s General Electorate.”

The survey showed that Sinema enjoys a 51% approval rating among voters in her Congressional district which is largely within the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, which are more progressive, urban areas of the State.

Although a 14-point margin is a sizeable gap for Senator Flake, Arizona is known for its volatility when it comes to statewide races. Politicos such as Governors Fife Symington and Jan Brewer have been able to successfully rally from greater margins in shorter periods of time.

Coughlin stated, “It may look dire now, but we must remember a poll is a snapshot in time.”

“Even today, the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) began to remind voters that Kelli Ward is not a serious thinker when it comes to the issues confronting our country.  I would expect third-party groups like the SLF and dark money groups like Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth to come to the Senator’s aid and tout his conservative credentials,” concluded Coughlin. “The Senator is in for the fight of his life and things will only get more difficult if the President Trump continues to pick intraparty fights.”

The audience tested in the statewide live caller survey was set to reflect the 2018 General Election in Arizona.

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.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona 2018 General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +12%.

Next, please tell me if you approve or disapprove of the job the following persons or groups are doing:

Q.        If the primary election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kelli Ward?
[N = 273]

28.2%  Jeff Flake
42.5%  Kelli Ward
5.1%    Some other candidate
24.2%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Jeff Flake or Kyrsten Sinema?

32.5%  Jeff Flake
40.5%  Kyrsten Sinema
27.0%  Don’t know, Refused

Q.        If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate] Kelli Ward or Kyrsten Sinema?

30.5%  Kelli Ward
31.8%  Kyrsten Sinema
37.8%  Don’t know, Refused

The survey was conducted on August 18-19th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  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. Last year, HighGround “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona, Restoring Arizona, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience.

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

10.8%    20 to 29
15.3%    30 to 39
19.7%    40 to 49
29.5%    50 to 64
24.7%    65 Plus

Sex:

48.0%    Male
52.0%    Female

Party:

44.2%    Republican
31.8%    Democrat
15.0%    PND
9.0%      Independent/Other

Congressional District:

11.0%    CD1
14.3%    CD2
7.0%      CD3
11.0%    CD4
12.3%    CD5
13.7%    CD6
6.0%      CD7
13.0%    CD8
11.7%    CD9