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Dr. Bruce Merrill (480) 965-7051

Wednesday, May 24, 2000



A poll of 402 registered voters living in Arizona conducted by KAET-TV and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication at Arizona State University between May 18-21, 2000 found that Texas Governor George W. Bush leads Vice-President Al Gore 45 percent to 31 percent. Potential independent candidate Pat Buchanan received 4 percent of the vote and 20 percent of those surveyed were undecided. In late March, Bush and Gore were almost even (41% to 37%).

According to Dr. Bruce Merrill who directed the poll, "Bush leads in Arizona because he enjoys a significant 'cross-over' advantage from Democrats. While 17 percent of the Democrats are supporting Bush, only 6 percent of the Republicans are defecting to Gore. Interestingly, political independents, who are usually somewhat conservative and tend to vote Republican in Arizona, are splitting their vote between Bush with 28 percent of the vote and Gore with 24 percent." Gore does best with younger voters, Pima County residents, and Latinos. Bush does best with older voters and Maricopa County residents. There appears to be no "gender gap" between Bush and Gore although Buchanan does receive 6 percent of the male vote compared to 1 percent of the female vote.

The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.8 percent. Fifty-nine percent of the sample was from Maricopa County, 17 percent from Pima County, and 24 percent from other counties. Forty-seven percent (47%) of those interviewed were registered Republicans, 42 percent Democrats, and 10 percent "others". The sample was 50 percent male and 50 percent female.

The poll also found strong support for Governor Hull's proposal to raise the state sales tax six-tenths of one percent to improve education. Sixty-two percent (62%) favored Hull's proposal, 31 percent were opposed and 7 percent were undecided. Democrats (71 percent favorable, 23 percent opposed and 6 percent undecided) tended to be much more supportive than Republicans (54 percent supportive, 38 percent opposed, and 7 percent undecided). Sixty-four percent (64%) of the independents were supportive, 29 percent were opposed, and 7 percent were undecided. Voters under 45 (73%), Latinos (68%), and women (68%) were most supportive.

The poll also found that voters would support a plan being offered by the governor of California to exempt classroom teachers in grades K-12 from paying state income taxes. Fifty percent (50%) were supportive, 38 percent were opposed, and 12 percent were undecided. As expected, younger voters tended to be most supportive.

Q: If the election for president were held today, would you vote for Republican George W. Bush, Democrat Al Gore, or independent Pat Buchanan?

Bush 45%
Gore 31
Buchanan 4
Undecided 20

Q: We would like your opinion about Governor Hull's proposal to increase the sales tax six-tenths of one percent to improve education. Most of the money would be used in grades K thru 12 to repair schools, reduce class size and increase teachers' salaries. Some of the funds would also be used for research and technology in the state's universities, and some money would be used for job training programs in community colleges. In general, do you favor or oppose the sales tax increase for education?

Favor 62%
Oppose 31
Undecided 7

Q: In California, as part of their education reform package, the governor is proposing that classroom teachers in grades K-12 be exempted from paying state income taxes. The proposal would save the teachers an average of $500 to $600 per year. Would you favor or oppose exempting teachers in Arizona from paying state income taxes?

Favor 50%
Oppose 38
Undecided 12