Clinton Close to Most Republicans in Arizona

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s new Arizona poll finds the state has the potential to be a swing state next year, although early head to heads between Hillary Clinton and the Republican field still lean more towards the GOP.

Clinton is within 3 points in match ups with 7 out of 9 of the Republicans we tested. She actually leads Rick Perry 44/41 and she is tied with Jeb Bush (at 41%), and Ben Carson (at 42%). She is down by 1 point each to Ted Cruz and Scott Walker (44/43), by 2 points to Marco Rubio (43/41), and by 3 points to Mike Huckabee (44/41). The only Republicans with more robust leads are Rand Paul who’s ahead by 5 points at 45/40 and Chris Christie who’s up by 7 points at 46/39. Clinton’s deficit in every match up is smaller than the amount Barack Obama lost the state by in 2008 and 2012.

We also tested Walker against all of the other potential Democratic candidates, and he leads them by wide margins. He’s up 15 on both Lincoln Chafee (41/26) and Bernie Sanders (43/28), and 18 on both Martin O’Malley (43/25) and Jim Webb (44/26). Those large deficits are largely a function of the candidates’ name recognition- because it’s so low, only 53-58% of Democrats even commit to voting for those folks against Walker in a general election. But at any rate Clinton is by far and away the strongest candidate for the general in the Democratic field.

The Republican primary field in Arizona is a jumbled mess, as it is most places, with 5 different candidates polling in double digits but none of them getting more than 16%. Scott Walker leads the way with that 16% followed by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio at 14%, Rand Paul and Ben Carson at 11%, Ted Cruz at 9%, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee at 5%, and Rick Perry at 2%.

Walker leads the field thanks to his strong support from voters who identify themselves as ‘very conservative.’ He gets 32% with Carson, Cruz, and Paul all tying for second back at 11%. Walker is only third with ‘somewhat conservative’ voters and 8th with moderates, but the strong support on the right gives him the slight overall lead.

Even though Walker’s in first place by a negligible amount this poll might be most encouraging for Rubio. His 61% favorability rating is the best in the field by a large margin- Huckabee at 52% has the next best rating. Rubio is also the most frequently named second choice among Republicans in the state- overall 32% of GOP voters say he’s their first or second choice with Walker at 29% and Bush at 24%.

The Arizona Republican numbers also continue several other trends we’ve seen in our recent polling. Chris Christie is extremely unpopular with GOP primary voters- only 22% have a favorable opinion of him to 42% with a negative one. And Jeb Bush continues to struggle with voters identifying themselves as ‘very conservative’- he’s in 6th place with them for the nomination and has only a 39/38 favorability rating.

Hillary Clinton is dominating the Democratic field in Arizona with 58% to 16% for Bernie Sanders, 5% each for Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb, and 4% for Martin O’Malley. There are several positives for Sanders in this poll, at least relative to the non-Clinton candidates. Following his announcement last week he has 57% name recognition (and a 44/13 favorability rating) compared to 32% for O’Malley, 30% for Webb, and 29% for Chafee. And he is the most common second choice among Democratic voters- a total of 35% say he is their first or second choice with none of the others adding up to more than 10% on those two questions. Clinton’s dominance still makes Sanders decidedly second tier, but he’s at least at the top of that second tier.

Clinton has more than 50% support from liberals, men, women, whites, Latinos, African Americans, and voters in every age group. The only meaningful group of voters we track that she’s under 50% with is moderates- and with them she gets 49%. She continues to be the dominant favorite of Democratic voters.

Full results here

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