Sunday, November 4, 2012

Romney, Flake Hold Similar Leads In PPP Arizona Poll; Romney Just Outside MOE, Flake Within MOE; Carmona's Unfavorability Rating Shoots Up

Public Policy Polling ("PPP") released its final Arizona poll this morning, showing Republicans Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake leading their Democratic opponents 53%-46% and 51%-46%, respectively.  The margin of error is +/- 3%, meaning that President Barack Obama's deficit is outside the margin, and Richard Carmona's is within the margin of error.

The automated telephone poll was conducted on Friday and Saturday, and polled 1,080 Arizona "likely voters." (The news release does not describe how the definition of "likely" was arrived at.)

Carmona had led the previous PPP poll, 45%-43%.  Since then, Flake and outside groups have attacked Carmona's personality and driven his favorability rating from a net positive of 8 points (35% favorable, 27% unfavorable) to a net negative of 3 (40%-43%)  - a hefty swing of 11 points.  In the same time, Rep. Flake's swung 3 points in the favorable direction (40%-41% ---> 45%-43%).  (Flake has been running positive ads during the past week.)

(The President gained 6 points in his approve/disapprove, and Romney lost one point in his net favorable during the same period.)

The numbers have closed two points for the President since the previous poll, while Flake went from two points down to five up.  Interestingly, the number of people identifying themselves as liberal ("very" or "somewhat") vs. conservative moved towards the conservative end of the spectrum.  In October, the split was 27%-43% (29% moderate); this weekend, it was 25%-45% (29% moderate).

This would appear to be reconciled by noting that self-described moderates have swung heavily in Obama's favor during the past month.  One month ago, the President held a 55%-41% lead among this group, and opened it up to 65%-34% in the new poll.

All that analysis laid out, we will note that an automated telephone poll is obviously not as reliable as a poll that conducts live surveys.  Also noted is that we do not know how they determined who is "likely" to vote, and we do not know whether any cell phones were included in the survey.

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