Poll: Arizona Republican candidates endorsed by former president have advantage
By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX -- A new poll suggests it's now Donald Trump's Arizona Republican Party.
The survey done this past Wednesday by OH Predictive Insights finds that the Trump-backed GOP candidates for the three highest state offices have opened commanding leads in their races ahead of Tuesday's election.
Ditto the five-way contest for U.S. Senate.
And while Trump made no endorsements in the race for state treasurer, the poll shows the leading candidate is incumbent Kimberly Yee, who very publicly sought to cozy up to the former president when she announced her reelection bid.
Less clear, however, is the fate of a Trump-backed ticket in November in a state which not only went narrowly for Joe Biden two years ago but also elected Democrat Mark Kelly to the U.S. Senate over Trump-backed Martha McSally.
Trump's big influence is at the top of the ticket.
At the beginning of the month, former TV host Kari Lake was leading businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson by a margin of 39-31%, with 21% undecided and the balance split among Matt Salmon, Scott Neely and Paola Tulliani-Zen.
Now, after a rally for Lake and other Trump-backed candidates in Prescott Valley, the undecided are down to just 12%. And Lake is polling at 51% compared with 33% for Robson.
And this comes even after Salmon quit the race, endorsing Robson with the request that his supporters back Robson to prevent Lake from grabbing the nomination.
The Trump factor cannot be ignored.
Noble noted that Lake captured 75% of those who self-identified as a "supporter of Donald Trump.'' By contrast, Robson picked up the backing of those who said they are a "supporter of the Republican Party.''
There were some who said they fell into both camps. But Noble said that's not enough.
"The problem for Robson is that the Trump supporters are a larger group than the Republican Party supporters,'' he said. And he said Lake is backed by a 2-1 margin among self-identified conservatives.
Noble also found that Lake's support was pretty universal across the state, with virtually identical numbers among Maricopa, Pima and rural Republicans. And the highest margin came among those in the 18-54 age group.
Noble is not alone in his conclusions. A separate survey Friday by Alloy Analytics found Lake with a 10-point lead over Robson and just 15% undecided.
In the race for secretary of state, 41% of Republicans told OH Predictive Insights they have not yet made a decision.
But state Rep. Mark Finchem has more than doubled his backing in the past month and is now the pick of 32% of those polled. His closest competitor, businessman Beau Lane, is at 9%, with lower numbers for state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Ria and Rep. Shawnna Bolick.
The last month also has crystallized the views of Arizona voters in the race for attorney general.
At the beginning of the month, two thirds said they had no idea who they were backing, with Abe Hamadeh leading with just 6%. Now the Trump-endorsed candidate is the choice of 31% of Republicans in the race, nearly double those who say they back Rodney Glassman.
That leaves Andy Gould, Dawn Grover, Tiffany Shedd and Lacy Cooper in single digits.
And Trump backed Blake Masters, hoping to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, is now polling at 36% compared with 21% for Jim Lamon -- and 12% for Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Michael McGuire and Justin Olson fill out the field.
Among the two races in which Trump did not make endorsements, Yee is leading state Rep. Jeff Weninger by 33-12%, with Bob Lettieri in third position. But Yee made it clear she considers herself in the Trump camp.
"President Trump's America First agenda had our economy booming like never before,'' she said in her campaign kickoff video. And she echoed other Trump themes like "the corrupt press, reckless corporate leaders and politicians who put socialist ideals over people.''
In the race for superintendent of public instruction, Shiry Sapir saw a strong increase in her support in the past month, from 7% to 21%. That puts her in a tie with Tom Horne, who used to have the job, with state Rep. Michelle Udall at 14%.
But 44% of those questioned said they had still not made up their minds.
As to what this means in November, Noble said the best indication has been recent history, and not just the fact that Biden bested Trump in 2020, albeit by a slim margin.
Consider, he said, McSally.
The former member of Congress had the Senate seat formerly occupied by John McCain handed to her by Gov. Doug Ducey. But McSally, who not only got Trump's endorsement but campaigned with him, was ousted by Kelly in the 2020 general election.
The survey of 502 likely Republican voters was conducted with both live calls and peer-to-peer text where a live person is manually sending out a text message to phones for the survey. OH Preditive Insight staffers say that helps with getting results from younger residents. The total survey has a margin of error of 4.4%.
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