Bruce Merrill, Ph.D., Director
March 17, 2016
CONTACT: Dr. Tara Blanc, Merrill Poll Co-director 602-524-6392
Presidential and Senate races are tight in Arizona Arizona governor has positive approval rating
(Editor’s note: News releases are published as submitted, with no editing unless they contain factual errors.)
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona voters are evenly divided on who they would vote for in this fall’s presidential and Senate races, according to a new Merrill Poll. The poll found that Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are in a dead heat with 38 percent of the vote each, while 9 percent said they would vote for neither candidate and 15 percent were undecided. A head-to-head matchup between Clinton and Ted Cruz also resulted in a statiscal dead heat, with 41 percent for Cruz and 35 percent for Clinton. In that matchup, 10 percent said neither and 14 percent were undecided.
Arizona voters also are split on their choice if the election were to be between Trump and Bernie Sanders. Trump received 36 percent and Sanders 39 percent of the vote, which is another statistical dead heat. Seven percent said they would choose neither candidate and 18 percent are undecided.
In a matchup between Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona voters also are split. McCain draws 41 percent while Kirkpatrick draws 40 percent, with 3 percent saying neither and 16 percent undecided.
Clinton’s draws support from Hispanics overall and also had a slightly higher percentage of Republicans who “crossed over” to support her versus Trump. She also tends to draw more support from social moderates while Sanders’ support tends to come from social liberals.
Trump tends to draw more support from voters who are somewhat conservative to moderate, while Cruz’s supporters tend to be very conservative.
The race between McCain and Kirkpatrick is competetive across all demographic groups, with the exception of social conservatism/liberalism. The more conservative voters are, the more likely they are to support McCain.
Dr. Tara Blanc, co-director of the Merrill Poll, said that Clinton’s support among Hispanic voters and the cross-over advantage she received from Republicans against Trump largely explain why she is competitive in Arizona. “One thing to note, however, is that contrary to what we found in the primary election, the percentage of voters who are undecided is relatively low across these matchups, so there’s less room for change.”
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The poll also asked voters whether they approve of the job that Doug Ducey is doing as governor of Arizona. Overall, 52 percent (5 percent strongly approve and 47 percent approve) give the governor a positive rating while 34 percent (22 percent disapprove and 12 percent strongly disapprove) are dissatisfied and 14 percent have no opinion. Among those with an opinion, the governor receives 60 percent approval.
“For being just halfway through his first term as governor, that’s a solid rating,” says poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill.
The Merrill Poll was conducted March 7-11, 2016. The statewide sample of 701 Arizona voters who are most likely to vote was weighted based on party registration to reflect the population and included 45 percent Republicans, 33 percent Democrats and 22 percent Independents. Fifty-nine percent of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 16 percent in Pima county, and 25 percent in Arizona’s other counties. Forty-eight percent were women and 52 pecent were men. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.7 percent.
The Merrill Poll is an independent public opinion poll conducted by Dr. Bruce Merrill, a professor emeritus at Arizona State University who is nationally recognized for his work in survey research.
The data were collected via telephone phone interviews by Westgroup Research of Phoenix.
Please tell me how you would vote in the election for president in November based on who the candidates might be. If you are undecided just tell me and I’ll go on to the next race.
If the election is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who would you probably vote for? 1. Clinton or 2. Trump? 3. neither 4. undecided
Clinton 38% Trump 38% Neither 9% Undecided 15%
If the election is between Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, who would you probably vote for? 1. Clinton or 2. Cruz? 3. neither 4. undecided
Clinton 35% Cruz 41% Neither 10% Undecided 14%
And if the election is between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, would you probably vote for 1. Trump or 2. Sanders? 3. neither 4. undecided
Sanders 39% Neither 7% Undecided 18%
There also will be a Senate race in Arizona this year. If the election for the Senate in Arizona is between Senator John McCain and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, would you probably vote for 1. McCain or 2. Kirkpatrick? 3. neither 4. undecided
McCain 41% Kirkpatrick 40% Neither 3% Undecided 16%
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is halfway through his first term. We would like to know what you think about the job that Governor Ducey is doing. Do you 1. strongly approve, 2. approve, 3. disapprove or 4. strongly disapprove of the job he is doing as governor? 5. don’t know/no opinion
Strongly approve 5% Approve 47% Disapprove 22% Strongly disapprove 12% Don’t know/no opinion 14%