Election 2010: GOP’s Martin, Mills Lead Goddard, AG tops Governor

Rasmussen Reports – Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Likely Democratic candidate Terry Goddard now trails two potential Republican opponents in the latest look at Arizona’s gubernatorial contest.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds State Treasurer Dean Martin leading Goddard 43% to 38%. Just six percent (6%) favor some other candidate in this match-up, while 13% are undecided. In January, Martin led Goddard by nine points.

Political newcomer Buz Mills, who has begun introducing himself to the state through a series of TV ads, now leads Goddard 43% to 37%. Seven percent (7%) prefer another candidate in this match-up, while 13% are not sure.

But incumbent Republican Governor Jan Brewer, embroiled in the state’s budget crisis, now trails Goddard 45% to 36% in her bid for reelection. Twelve percent (12%) of voters like another candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided. In January, Brewer and Goddard were in a virtual tie after the Democrat held a nine-point lead in November.

Against former state GOP Chairman John Munger, Goddard holds a 42% to 36% advantage. Thirteen percent (13%) of voters pick some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

In the state’s Republican Primary race for governor, Mills’ entrance has created a virtual three-way tie with Martin and Brewer. Longtime incumbent John McCain now leads conservative challenger J.D. Hayworth by just seven points in Arizona’s hotly contested Republican Senate Primary race. State Republicans will pick their Senate and gubernatorial nominees in an August 24 primary. Goddard, the state’s current attorney general, is expected to be the Democrats’ nominee for governor.

Male voters prefer Martin and Mills to Goddard among male voters but move into the Democrat’s column when Brewer or Munger is the Republican in the race. Female voters lean toward the Democrat unless Martin’s on the ballot.

Similarly, voters not affiliated with either party prefer Goddard over Brewer or Munger. But unaffiliateds give a slight edge to Martin and Mills over Goddard in those match-ups.

Fifteen percent (15%) of Arizona voters have a very favorable opinion of Goddard, while 13% view the Democrat very unfavorably.

Martin is viewed very favorably by 11% and very unfavorably by seven percent (7%).

Ten percent (10%) of voters have a very favorably impression of Mills, while only nine percent (9%) view him very unfavorably. Thirty-nine percent (39%) have no opinion of him.

Fewer than 10% of voters have a strong favorable or unfavorable opinion of Munger, while 40% of voters don’t know enough about him to venture any opinion at all.

Seven percent (7%) of Arizona voters view Brewer very favorably, but 24% view the governor very unfavorably.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Just 41% approve of the job Brewer is doing in office, while 55% disapprove. This includes eight percent (8%) who Strongly Approve and 22% who Strongly Disapprove.

Brewer, as Arizona’s secretary of state, became governor last January when Janet Napolitano moved to Washington to serve as secretary of Homeland Security. But battles over the state budget have taken a toll on her popularity and prompted challenges within her own party. Brewer is currently pushing a three-year temporary one percent increase in the state’s 5.6 percent sales tax to help close the state’s huge budget deficit. Voters will decide on that proposal in a May 18 referendum.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters in the state now favor the temporary sales tax increase, but 36% oppose it. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

Thirty-five percent (35%) say the economy will be stronger a year from now, but 44% think it will be weaker. Thirteen percent (13%) expect it to stay about the same.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of Arizona voters are at least somewhat concerned about drug-related violence in Mexico spilling over into the United States, with 60% who are very concerned. Given Arizona’s location, it comes as no surprise that its voters are more concerned about this outcome than voters on the national level.

However, Arizona voters are split on the question of what concerns them more: 45% say illegal immigration is a greater concern, while 43% name Mexican drug violence.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Arizona voters believe the U.S. military should be used along the Mexican border if violence continues to escalate there. Just 12% disagree. These results are similar to those found nationwide.

Only 36% of voters in Arizona favor the health care reform plan passed by President Obama and Congress, while 60% disapprove. Voters in Arizona are more opposed to the plan than voters on the national level.

By a 62% to 29% margin, Arizona voters prefer passing smaller plans that address individual problems in the health care system than one large comprehensive plan.

A solid plurality of the state’s voters (48%) says their local representative does not deserve to be reelected to Congress, and 71% believe it would be better for the country if most incumbents up for reelection this November were defeated.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Arizona voters describe themselves as part of the Tea Party movement.

In the 2008 election, Obama lost to favorite son McCain 54% to 45%. Forty-two percent (42%) now approve of Obama’s performance as president, with 29% who Strongly Approve. Fifty-six percent (56%) disapprove, including 51% who Strongly Disapprove. This is roughly comparable to Obama’s job approval ratings nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

In 2008, Rasmussen Reports projected nationally that Obama would defeat John McCain by a 52% to 46% margin. Obama won 53% to 46%. Four years earlier, Rasmussen Reports projected the national vote totals for both George W. Bush and John Kerry within half-a-percentage-point.

In Arizona during the 2008 campaign, Rasmussen Reports polling showed McCain winning the state by a 51% to 45% margin. McCain defeated Obama 54% to 45%. In the 2006 Arizona governor’s race, Rasmussen polling showed Janet Napolitano defeating Len Munsil 58% to 37%. Napolitano won 63% to 35%. In the 2006 race for U.S. Senate, Rasmussen polling showed Jon Kyl leading Jim Pederson by nine, 51% to 42%. Kyl won by nine, 53% to 44%.


  1. Cactus Jack says

    Wow, bad news for Brewer and Goddard. Even Martin seems to be hurt by the anti-incumbent mood among the voters.

    Buz spend a lot of dough for each and ever one of those percentage points. Munger has almost identical favorable/unfavorable and no opinion numbers, but he has yet to go on TV.

    All in all, it’s great for Munger, good for Mills, fair for Martin and bad for Brewer.

  2. Jefferson Smith says

    Dang… Martin +5% over Goddard, Mills +6% over Goddard and Goddard +9% over Brewer.

    Arizona Republicans must see the 14%-15% swing between Martin/Mills and Brewer against their likely Democratic foe as irrefutable evidence that they can’t nominate the Governor as their standard-bearer.

    Spin away about making the rough and tough decisions… blah, blah, blah. But Brewer will lose to Goddard this fall and apparently lose big.

    Like Dean Martin and/or Buz Mills or not, one of them will have to be the Republican nominee unless GOPers want to return to the Napolitano days. Primary voters have to reject this governor.

    A real leader would decide to exit the stage on her own instead of insisting on hanging on to the detriment of her party’s chances at holding the office.

    Governor Brewer, thank you for your service. Now just go.

  3. Pragmatic Conservative says

    It’s a little early for the numbers to be meaningful but it does prove how powerful the right TV message can be. I think the next 30 days will prove whether Buzz is a viable candidate or not. If he capitalizes on his TV spots and keeps the momentum going it will be a hell of a race. If he can show us his vision for Arizona and how he will take us there he can win this race.

  4. Cola drinker says

    Weird that so many people disapprove of Brewer but still favor the sales tax. That’s a glaring contradiction in the survey results. Brewer’s name was in a lot of questions, and she’s behind in all of them. When people find out the sales tax will do almost nothing to solve the deficit they’ll bounce it.

    Mills I thought would be very tough to poll since he’s new to politics and he’s up against people like Brewer whom some of us have known for decades. Same for Martin (ok, just one decade for him). That Buz Mills could successfully show his value with a 30 second tv ad says more about Brewer and Martin’s lack of appeal than anything else. Game over.

  5. Michael Steele says

    If Sheriff Joe, Andy Thomas and Sam Crump are supporting these guys, then count me in. And as for getting rid of Pamela Gorman from the Senate, and getting Sam Crump elected to Congress—that’s what I call a Two-Fer!

  6. I am not sure why people are exicted about martins numbers… He was ahead of goddard by 9 now its 5… So his lead was almost cut in half and goddard hasn’t start campaigning yet because he has no challenger. Not sure how that’s a good sign…

    All this poll definetley shows is brewer is weak.

  7. nightcrawler says


    Brewer is weak because she is being slammed by the media AND members of her own party in blogs like this.

    I do support Martin, but feel Brewer was thrown under a big ole AZGOP bus. That is shameless and shameful at the same time.

  8. Cola drinker says

    If someone like Brewer singlehandedly overturns a lifetime of hard work, which she did by advocating the tax increase, then she threw herself under the bus.

    She’s weak because of her own actions, not anyone elses.

  9. Mike Kelton says

    Brewer seems to be in AZ where 0bama is nationally, and that’s not a good place. Still Dems have really messed things up for themselves in 2010 and don’t knock Brewer’s power of incumbency.

    If Brewer takes on healthcare nationally, that could lift her significantly in AZ.

    For Dean, its a matter of getting those $5 contributions by the end of May.

    For Buzz, will he really spend the money? A lot of millionaires claims they will, but don’t pull the trigger.

  10. Stephen Kohut says

    Brewer is toast with the conservative grassroots by holding the budget fixes hostage to a 1% sales tax ballot initiative, line item vetos that increased property taxes and undid spending cuts and a continued mantra of we need more taxes and can’t cut that much. Brewer will me just one of many RINO’s sent to retirement. The question is which conservative will take the primary.

  11. Delusional Bill says

    I just stumbled across the website and couldn’t help but add a comment regarding our current AG, Mr. Goddard. I had placed a call to the Tucson AG office on Monday inquiring about whether the AG would be filing suit against the Federal govt over the Health Care issue. They transferred me to a voice mail in Phoenix. The voice indicated that the Executive office for the AG was not available and I left a message asking about the AGs possible suit on the constitutional issue alone. I received a call back from their office yesterday. The woman said that she appreciated my concerns but that until the office had listened to those both ‘for and against’ Health Care, the office would not be making any decision. Needless to say I was a bit incensed at the notion that this was a political issue. I said to her that for me this is not a left/right or a dem/rep issue. This issue is solely about what is and is not in the constitution. I asked where in the constitution it states that the govt has the right to make any citizen purchase Health Insurance. She reiterated that the office would not make any decisions now. I further asked her when the last time she read the constitution. She hung up on me.

    If the highest law enforcement official or his representatives want to play politics with the basic law I truly fear for the future for all of us. If this woman’s attitude is indicative of the AG or others in the office I suppose we can all look forward to law enforcement by poll. We won’t decide on the guilt or innocence based on which side is more popular. If that attitude is more widely held by folks in the system, the firestorm that is now threatening on the distant horizon will be of biblical proportions.

  12. Delusional Bill,

    I feel like Goddard has always run a political AGs office this does not surprise me. If they were smart they would say the issue is not currently “ripe” because the mandated coverage aspects of the bill do not go into effect till 2014. So we will make a decision then.

    This would be what I think to be an accurate con law response and he obviously wont be AG then cuz he is term limited so he will be gone.

    He has an office of idiots over there.

  13. Delusional Bill says

    I guess the idiots are the citizens of Arizona. According to the afternoon news, Mr. Goddard will NOT be filing suit. He doesn’t believe the suit is winnable.

    I’m just curious about those more familiar with Mr. Goddard’s record. Is he a lawyer swearing an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution or just a fair weather soul blowing with the current winds of the day?

  14. It will be an interesting Governor’s race. We have 3 Republicans vying for the spot. Brewer should step down as she dosn’t have a clue about the budget. She wants to raise taxes. Just what we need with no one working. Buz is a relative unknown who hasn’t held any office, not necessarily a bad thing, but I will have to go with Dean Martin. He has a clear understanding of the budget and the border problems. Since the feds won’t do anything about the borders AZ will have to step up unless we are to be overun by illegals and terrorists. Dean is also pro 2’n ammendment though in all honesty I believe the other 2 candidates are also. Any of those 3 would be better then Goddard especially Dean.

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