Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Arizona Poll Numbers: Romney Ahead Of Obama By Four, Giffords Seven Ahead Of Flake; Bad News For Sarah Palin, J.D. Hayworth

New poll numbers show Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8) ahead of fellow Rep. Jeff Flake (R-CD6) by 48%-41% for the soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat, and that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would inch out President Barack Obama for Arizona's electoral votes.  Public Policy Polling ("PPP") - an organization hired mainly by Democrats but which has been one of the most accurate and unbiased pollsters - released the numbers, which also contained bad news for Republicans Sarah Palin and J.D. Hayworth and Democrat Phil Gordon.

For the Senate seat, the automated voice response poll showed Giffords leading all possible Republican challengers.  If she is unwilling or unable to run for the office being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl, then Flake and former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) are the next strongest candidates.  Head to head, they are tied at 45% each.

The other candidates tested were Democrats (Phoenix Mayor) Phil Brown and (Rep.) Ed Pastor, and Republicans (Former AK Gov. and VP candidate) Sarah Palin and (Former Rep.) J.D. Hayworth.  Palin and Hayworth both trailed any Democrat they were matched up against, and showed high favorable/unfavorable marks (32-62 and 21-56, respectively).

On the Presidential side, Barack Obama has made up several points in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups with Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and has lengthened a lead against Palin.  Obama also handily leads celebrity Donald Trump.  The backbone for Obama's gains appear to be in picking up favor among independent voters.  His favorable/unfavorable ratings among independents in Arizona is now 49-45, and he leads Romney by 17 percentage points among them - a big change from a poll in January, when they were tied.  However, Romney still leads 48-44%, just outside the poll's margin of error.

The pollsters surveyed 623 Arizonans, had a 3.9% margin of error, and did not try to limit its automated poll to registered or likely voters.  Conventional wisdom is that such polls are more likely to lean towards Democratic candidates.  The poll was not paid for by any candidate or political organization. 

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