More Polls: AZ Prez Race Tight!

We saw the Obama campaign’s “Rear View,” a negative ad targeting John McCain, on KVOA, Channel 4, this evening, so it appears Barack Obama is not just running the positive ad “Something” in Arizona.

Meanwhile, a Mason-Dixon poll released today shows Obama trailing McCain by just four points.

You have to consider the source, but Daily Kos commissioned a poll that shows Obama within one point of McCain and ahead among early voters. That sounds a little optimistic to us, but we still think the close race helps Democrats in down-ballot races.

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com calls Obama’s big ad buy “irrational exuberance”:

I have to say that I’m not a big fan of this from standpoint of marginal electoral strategy. A slew of recent polls in Arizona show the state close, by margins ranging from 1 to 8 points. However, this is the time of year when “close” means something very different from “functionally tied”. A 3-to-5 point lead in a state, which is where the Arizona polls average out, is fairly significant at this stage of the contest. That lead still belongs to John McCain.

And needless to say, it is hard to elucidate a scenario in which Arizona serves as some sort of tipping point state. Obama will not perform better in Arizona than in Continue reading

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Cronkite-Eight Poll: Arizona Prez Race “A Toss-Up”

A fourth poll in Arizona shows a tight race between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.

The Cronkite-Eight Poll shows that 46 percent of voters surveyed said they were supporting McCain, while 44 percent said they were backing Obama.

Three other recent polls have shown McCain losing support among Arizona voters.

Poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill:

“The race in Arizona is very close. Supporters of both candidates are highly committed to their candidates, with 94 percent of Obama’s supporters and 93 percent of McCain’s supporters indicating that they are firmly committed and won’t change their mind before Election Day. In addition, the undecided vote is very low, which means that there are few people remaining to be persuaded during the last week of the campaign. Obama has been closing the gap by attracting independents and women to his campaign. McCain does well among conservative Democrats and evangelicals. Still, a week is a long time in a political campaign and anything can happen. Who wins will be determined by which candidate gets their supporters out to the polls on Election Day.”

Merrill notes that 62 percent of Arizonans believe that Obama will win on Election Day, while just 20 percent believe McCain will make a comeback.

The poll also shows that 51 percent of the voters surveyed opposed Prop 105, aka Majority Rules, while just 27 percent support it. If passed by voters, the proposition would require that future initiatives that raise taxes would require a majority of all registered voters, not just the ones who bother to vote in the election.

Three Polls: Obama Closes Gap With McCain in AZ

Three polls in the last few days show that Democrat Barack Obama is closing in on Republican John McCain right here in Arizona.

A Rasmussen Reports survey released today shows a five-percentage-point gap between the candidates, with 51 percent of voters supporting McCain and 46 percent Obama.

That’s a staggering drop from a Rasmussen poll released late last month, which showed McCain with a 21-percentage-point lead. In that survey, 59 percent of voters were supporting McCain and just 38 percent were supporting Obama.

The Rasmussen survey comes after the release of a poll commissioned by Project New West, which shows that 48 percent of voters are supporting McCain and 44 percent are supporting Obama.

The survey of 600 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minor 4 percent.

Finally, local pollster Carol Zimmerman has released a poll that shows that 43.5 percent of voters back McCain, while 41.5 percent support Obama.

The Zimmerman poll showed that Obama clobbering McCain by roughly 19 points in Pima County, 53.5 percent to 34.9 percent.

New AZ Polls: McCain Pulls Ahead While Lead Narrows

Two new polls released today give us completely opposite pictures of the presidential race between John McCain and Barack Obama in Arizona.

A Cronkite-Eight Poll says that Obama is closing in on our senior senator. There’s only a 7 percentage point gap between the candidates, according to pollster Bruce Merrill.

From the Cronkite-Eight press release:

Republican John McCain maintains a 7-percent lead (45 percent to 38 percent) over Democrat Barack Obama in Arisona, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll conducted Sept. 25-28. The statewide poll of 976 registered voters also found that Independent candidate Ralph Nader received 1 percent and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney each received less than 1 percent of the vote. Sixteen percent were undecided. Last month, the poll found that McCain led by 10 percent with 40 percent of the vote, while Obama drew 30 percent, Nader drew 2 percent, Barr had 1 percent and 27 percent undecided.

But Rasmussen Reports released a poll today that shows McCain has opened up a 21-percentage-point lead over Obama here in Arizona:

John McCain, in his home state of Arizona, now has a 21-point lead over Barack Obama, the biggest gap yet in the race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds McCain leading 59% to 38%. In late July, the Arizona Republican had a 16-point lead and only led by nine a month earlier.

McCain has a dominating 59% to 40% lead among unaffiliated voters in Arizona. He also leads 63% to 36% among men and 55% to 41% among women.

They can’t both be right…

New KAET Poll: McCain Leads in Arizona

The latest Cronkite/Eight Poll shows that Arizona Sen. John McCain continues to lead in his home state, although the numbers are significantly lower than a Rasmussen poll taken at the end of July.

The survey shows that McCain has the support of 40 percent of those surveyed, Obama has the support of 30 percent, Ralph Nader has the support of 2 percent and Libertarian Bob Barr has the support of less than 1 percent. About 28 percent are undecided.

It appears that Obama’s supporters are more inclined to like their choice than McCain’s supporters are. (We call that the lesser-of-evils scale.) Pollster Bruce Merrill notes that 30 percent of McCain supporters say they’ll vote Republican because they don’t like Obama, while only 16 percent of Obama supporters say they’ll vote Democratic because they don’t like McCain.

Here’s the release on the poll:

TEMPE, Ariz. ––Republican Sen. John McCain continues to lead Democratic challenger Sen. Barack Obama by 10 percentage points in Arizona, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll conducted August 14-16. The statewide poll of 402 registered voters found that 40 percent support McCain, 30 percent favor Obama, 2 percent support independent candidate Ralph Nader and less than 1 percent will vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. Twenty-eight percent were undecided.

The undecided vote is surprisingly high for this late Continue reading

Rasmussen: McCain Widens Lead in AZ

Remember all those reports about Arizona being a swing state? Maybe not so much.

A new Rasmussen poll puts John McCain up by 16 points here in Arizona.

The Rasmussen survey that McCain has the support of 52 percent of voters, while Obama has the support of just 36 percent.

A June survey by Rasmussen showed a nine-point gap between the candidates.

The Rasmussen survey also showed that Arizonans are more optimistic about the economy than most of the country. Just under half—47 percent—give Gov. Janet Napolitano good or excellent marks, while 27 percent say she’s doing a poor job.

Here are details in a release from Rasmussen:

John McCain has now stretched his lead over Barack Obama to 16 points — 52% to 36% — in his home state of Arizona, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey.

Counting “leaners,” the gap is even wider, with McCain ahead 57% to 38%.

In late June, McCain led Obama 49% to 40%. That was the first Arizona survey since Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Republican presidential candidate has won Arizona in every election but one since 1952.

Nationally the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll continues to show a very close race for the White House. On Monday, McCain had a statistically insignificant single point edge, but it’s the first time McCain has enjoyed even a statistically insignificant advantage since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3.

McCain is now viewed favorably by 71% of Arizona voters, up from Continue reading

McCain’s Latino Problema

Arizona Sen. John McCain got some bad news last week: Despite having a big Cinco de Mayo party this year and putting up a Spanish-language Web site, he’s failing to win over the hearts and minds of Hispanic voters.

Latinos are breaking for Barack Obama in a big way. About two thirds say they favor Obama, while less than one in four likes McCain, according to a June survey by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Given that states with big Hispanic populations—such as New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Nevada—will be swing states in November, the failure to attract Latino support could pose big problems for McCain.

McCain’s problems reflect a larger problem for Republicans: Latino voters are embracing the Democratic Party. A growing number—65 percent—say they lean Democratic, while just 26 percent say they lean Republican.

“This 39 percentage point Democratic Party identification edge is larger than it has been at any time this decade; as recently as 2006, the partisan gap was just 21 percentage points,” the Pew study notes.

The growing spread comes despite efforts of Republican strategists to Continue reading