Ted Simons: A new rocky mountain poll by the Phoenix-based behavior research center shows Sheriff Joe Arpaio with the lowest positive approval rating since the poll began tracking Arpaio back in 1996. James Haynes of the behavior research center is here to help crunch the numbers. Good to see you again.
Jim Haynes: Always a pleasure.
Ted Simons: What was the poll looking at? What question was asked?
Jim Haynes: The question was asked do you rate the job performance of sheriff Joe Arpaio as excellent, good, fair, poor, or very poor? And then we just looked at excellent and good versus poor and very poor. Like we always have. And it's the first time since we've been tracking those numbers that his numbers have been in the negative.
Ted Simons: Indeed. 37% approved of Arpaio. That's a historic low. So, what does approved mean?
Jim Haynes: It well, loosely it means that they think he's doing a good job. An excellent or good job in the job to which he was elected. Conversely, 42% now say he's doing a poor, very poor job.
Ted Simons: Who was asked? And when were they asked?
Jim Haynes: The survey was conducted in July. It was 701 heads of households in Arizona. This was not a voter poll. We'll make that clear. This is not a straw poll on whether he can get reelected or not. This is how the residents of Maricopa county feel.
Ted Simons: Was there a reason that you didn't go with registered voters, just heads of households? Reasoning to that?
Jim Haynes: On these job approval polls, we always do them on just regular heads of household. When we do likelihood of voting for candidate A versus candidate B, obviously we just go to voters.
Ted Simons: How much difference between republicans and democrats here? I would imagine quite a bit. But you tell me.
Jim Haynes: Yeah, it definitely breaks along party lines. It breaks where republicans are still on balance favorable to the sheriff. Older people are more favorable. Younger people are negative. Democrats and independents are negative, and clearly he gets clobbered in the minority community, especially Hispanics. His net in the Hispanic community is minus 62%.
Ted Simons: A year and a half ago his approval rating was 49% Now it is 37%. A year and a half 32% disapproved now it’s up to 42% are those significant changes?
Jim Haynes: I think they're significant. But going to the core question of does it have -- is it any kind of indicator of whether the sheriff can be reelected if he runs for election again, I don't think it is an indicator.
Ted Simons: Do you think that the change in demographics of Arizona, you know, minorities, young adults, I mean, how does that play into all of this?
Jim Haynes: That I think it has some effect. The other effect, I think, that comes into play is that the man has been in office for a very long time. There is -- you know, we see this in the last two years of an eight-year run of a president. Eight-year run of a governor. People get tired sometimes. He's had a very long run. Much more than, you know, those that are limited to two terms. You know, I don't think it would be fair for people to look at this at these numbers and say this casts -- it just means that the more you do, every time you do something, you're going to pick up some enemies. Or some people that disagree with you. Enemies may be too strong of a term.
Ted Simons: Yeah, people who disapprove of you. Did I read this right? You also had a poll regarding the president. And it sounded like President Obama's ratings in Arizona were higher than Sheriff Joe Arpaio's ratings in Maricopa County? Is that true or am I reading that wrong?
Jim Haynes: Honestly I can't remember that. But it sounds right. Actually, this year, this wave we asked about the sheriff statewide, because we wanted to see what people outside of Maricopa county thought. In previous tracking studies, we've -- and when we have -- when we talked about those numbers earlier, we're talking about only the Maricopa county numbers.
Ted Simons: Indeed.
Jim Haynes: But we looked at it statewide. He is more popular in rural Arizona than he is in Maricopa county. So, you know, I think it is possible that the president would have been more popular in Arizona than Arpaio is here.
Ted Simons: We have about 30 seconds left. We had numbers regarding Senator John McCain, not very good for him. A little bounce back I understand.
Jim Haynes: A bounce back of about 18 points.
Ted Simons: My goodness. An increase in positive ratings of 8%, and a decrease in negatives of 10%. I think it goes straight to his leadership and gang of eight.
Ted Simons: You think so. Is immigration reform is making a difference?
Jim Haynes: People in Arizona support that and they like his leadership.
Ted Simons: So, we had last time with McCain, those numbers have bounced back. We'll see what happens as far as the sheriff is concerned. Good to see you.
Jim Haynes: Good to see you.