Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 29, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Cronkite-Eight Poll


  • Who do Arizona voters favor in the upcoming presidential election? Also, find out what they feel about the job President Bush is doing in the latest Cronkite/ Eight Poll. Poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill and assistant poll director Dr. Tara Blanc will analyze the results. Read the complete results.
Guests:
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Dr. Tara Blanc - Associate Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
Category: Cronkite-Eight Poll

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Tonight on "Horizon," who are Arizonans likely to vote for in the presidential election? Find out, as we release the results of the latest Cronkite/Eight poll.

Ted Simons:
Plus, we continue our series on Arizona's child protective services, with a look at problems of the system. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight members of your Arizona PBS station, thank you.

Ted Simons:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons.

Ted Simons:
Before we get to those stories, we have some special guests in the studio next door tonight. It is "phone-a-lawyer" night here at eight. You can call the number on your screen and get free legal advice by telephone. Attorneys from the Maricopa county bar association are taking your calls until 9:00 tonight. That number is 480-965-1998.

Ted Simons:
Senator John McCain gets more support than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in Arizona, and unlike our last poll, voters think he can win it all in November. Those questioned in the latest Cronkite eight poll give president Bush bad marks for his job performance, but like the job that governor Napolitano and some county officials are doing. The poll was conducted April 24th through the 27th by KAET Eight TV and the Walter Cronkite school of journalism and mass communication at Arizona state university. 577 registered Arizona voters were interviewed and the overall margin of error is 4\%. It's 5.3\% for questions asked just of Maricopa county voters and 6.9 for questions aimed just at Democrats. Here are the results´┐Ż

Mike Sauceda:
Just of Maricopa county voters and 6.9\% for questions aimed just at democrats. Here are the results. In a head to head competition 47\% selected John McCain and 38\% Obama. We asked why. 22\% don't want Obama to be president. 20\% support republican and 15\% likes John McCain's experience. Voters who supported Obama were asked why pick him over Obama. 37\% said he's a democrat, 16\% said mess of hope, 14\% dislike or distrust John McCain and 13\% said because he's liberal. The poll respondents thought John McCain would win against Obama 44\% to 34\%. In a head to head with Senator McCain and Senator Hillary Clinton 53\% and 37\% Clinton. Senator Barack Obama 37\% Clinton and 53\% said 53. 31\% who would vote for Clinton picked her other John McCain because he's a democrat and would vote her because she would change Bush's policy. We asked who would win against the democratic nominee in November. 53\% said John McCain and 37\% said Clinton. As nominee 45\% said Obama and 39\% said Clinton. 55\% who picked Obama said they would vote for Clinton if she was picked. 10\% will definitely vote for John McCain. 51\% of Clinton supporters said they would definitely vote for her. 51\% who picked Clinton said they would vote for Obama if he was picked, 11\% would probably vote for him and 9\% would probably vote for John McCain.

Mike Sauceda:
8\% would vote for John McCain. 34\% said president Bush was doing an excellent job, 31\% said he was doing a good job, 29\% said very poor. 27\% of those surveyed thought Arizona governor janet napolitano is doing an excellent job, 49\% said good, 13\% said poor and 4\% very poor. 40\% said Maricopa county attorney is doing an excellent job, 14\% thinks he's doing a poor job. 14\% said very poor and 43\% had no opinion. Maricopa county sheriff Joe Arpaio 59\% approved while he got a 31\% poor rating and 36\% said very poor. 36\% said Phil Gordon is doing good job and 36\% had no opinion.

Ted Simons:
Here to discuss the Cronkite-Eight poll is its director, Dr. Bruce Merrill. And associate director of the poll Dr. Tara Blanc. Congratulations on that doctor, doctor. You need three initials don't you? We'll start with you. Obama stronger challenger to McCain in Arizona, is their a surprise their?

Tara Blanc:
Not really. We found in February after Super Tuesday although Clinton won Arizona that Obama would be a stronger candidate against John McCain than Clinton would. They found that Obama support against John McCain has dropped. He was the stronger of the two candidates.

Ted Simons:
Stronger of the two candidates and saying John McCain can win it all.

Tara Blanc:
They are saying that and it's interesting and probably about the fussing with the two candidates and Reverend Wright and Obama. We have seen a turn around instead of Obama beating John McCain and John McCain beat Clinton but now they think it's either one.

Ted Simons:
Talk about independence here.

Tara Blanc:
They are more a factor for Obama because he draws the independent voters. He split those with John McCain which accounts for the higher support for Obama in Arizona than Clinton.

Ted Simons:
if it's higher support for Obama, then Clinton or Obama better perhaps or John McCain with independence Iraq war big factor for independence?

Tara Blanc:
That seems to be what people are looking at is independence.

Ted Simons:
Bruce, John McCain numbers are they positive for John McCain and voters saying I don't like the other guys?

Bruce Merrill:
It depends on who he is running against. When he runs against Obama, the numbers are basically positive for John McCain that he's had experience, particularly a military hero. His tax policies. But when he--when we ran him against Hillary Clinton, it was fascinating. 55\% of those that we talked to actually said they were voting for John McCain because they couldn't stand Hillary Clinton or they didn't want another Clinton in the white house. The negative numbers on her in Arizona are really astounding.

Ted Simons:
Is there a way to for anybody to figure out why the numbers are staggering?

Bruce Merrill:
The primary voters, when you have a primary, the person that does best is the party candidate. Hillary Clinton is clearing more of the democratic party candidates than Obama who is more of a media candidate than anything. I don't think we know but we know from national polls that she has the highest negatives of any person that's ever run for the presidency.

Ted Simons:
As far as Clinton supporters, okay, what do you see different between them and Obama supporters?

Bruce Merrill:
Well, there's really some big differences. As I said Hillary Clinton is the older establishment and working class candidate. Obama--in the long run it may be positive for the democratic party--his support is among the affluent and better educated people and mostly importantly very young college students and young professionals, young tradition voters and people who haven't participated before.

Ted Simons:
The Jeremiah Wright situation the former pastor, current pastor, we're not sure as far as Obama's concerned. Much in terms of trending.

Tara Blanc:
It could be. We didn't have much mentioned about why they would vote for one candidate or another. What we have seen from all of the things going on. I think there is an impact in terms of Obama and whether they would support him based on how closely he is aligned with the views of Reverend Wright or what he might subscribe to or not.

Ted Simons:
In the history from the past can a Reverend Wright situation fester?

Bruce Merrill:
Sure it can. It's particular in the two states it's coming up in North Carolina and Indiana. These are the states that where Obama makes inroads with the white, working class, blue collar kind of guy. That's the guy that doesn't like what he's hearing from Reverend Wright. I think the two states next Tuesday will be very pivotal in this race.

Ted Simons:
The governor's numbers statewide trending higher?

Tara Blanc:
We haven't asked the question in a long time. I know they are in excess of 60\% approval rating. She is a very popular governor. People like what she does. People like what she says and--I don't believe she's had a bad period with Arizona voters since she's been elected.

Ted Simons:
The numbers in terms of Maricopa county, the sheriff, the county attorney, the mayor of phoenix and they are pretty high up and folks on different ends of the spectrum as far as immigration is concerned.

Tara Blanc:
Absolutely. Honestly we were surprised with the approval rating among those with an opinion was evenly spread very close one or two samplings. One difference we found is as you would expect people in Arizona are more familiar with Joe Arpaio or Andrew Thomas or Phil Gordon. He's a more recognized name. He's been in the media a lot more. He's certainly more controversial and gotten more attention. They are more familiar with Joe Arpaio and others.

Ted Simons:
A lot of folks don't know who the others are.

Bruce Merrill:
Keep in mind, Joe's in the media an awful lot and been in office a long time. Neither the mayor and Andrew Thomas has been in very long. Sheriff Joe's identity is largely based on his anti-immigration policies. Frankly, in general, most people in Arizona and Maricopa county support him.

Ted Simons:
Thank you for joining us on Horizon.

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