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Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at (480) 965-7051
Can be used after 7 p.m., Tuesday, September 28, 2004




A new statewide poll of 553 registered voters conducted by KAET-TV/Channel 8 and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University September 23-26, 2004, found that President George Bush has taken a clear lead over Senator John Kerry in Arizona. Forty-nine percent of all registered voters said they would vote for Bush, 38 percent support Kerry, 1 percent favor Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and 12 percent were undecided. When undecided voters who were "leaning toward" Bush or Kerry were added to those who had already made up their minds, Bush led Kerry 52 percent to 42 percent with Badnarik receiving 1 percent, and 5 percent undecided. Among those most likely to vote on election day, Bush led Kerry 53 percent to 38 percent with 1 percent for Badnarik and 8 percent undecided.*

The race for president in Arizona remains highly polarized. Ninety-three percent of Bush's supporters and 86 percent of Kerry's supporters said they are firm in their commitment and are unlikely to change their minds between now and the election in November.

The poll suggests that Bush's increasing support is largely coming from Democrats "crossing over" to vote for Bush. While 7 percent of Republicans polled said they would vote for Kerry, 15 percent of Democrats said they would choose Bush. Independents, who have tended to favor Kerry slightly in recent polls, were evenly split between the two candidates in this survey. Religion continues to be a key predictor of who people will support. The survey found that people who regularly attend religious services are much more supportive of Bush than Kerry (62 percent to 26 percent). Those who rarely or seldom attend religious services favor Kerry 50 percent to 36 percent. No "gender gap" was found in this poll.

Fifty-one percent of those interviewed approved of the job Bush is doing as president, 46 percent disapproved and 3 percent had no opinion. A majority (54 percent) approved of how Bush is handling terrorism, 46 percent approved of the way he is handling the economy and 47 percent approved of the way he is handling the war in Iraq.

The survey found considerable support for Proposition 200, which would deny certain state and local benefits to illegal immigrants and require proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Sixty-three percent of all registered voters said they would support the proposition, 23 percent were opposed and 14 percent were undecided. Republicans (84 percent) and independents (75 percent) were more supportive of the proposition than Democrats (63 percent). The only other demographic that was related to the vote was education. The more formal education a voter possessed, the more likely he or she was to vote against the measure. The sample of Hispanics was not large enough to analyze how they might vote.

There also is support for Propositions 101 and 102 among Arizona voters. Proposition 101, which deals with funding sources for initiatives, was supported by 49 percent of the voters, 15 percent were opposed and 36 percent were undecided. Fifty-two percent of registered voters support Proposition 102, which addresses ownership issues in university technology transfers to private enterprises. Twenty-four percent were opposed and 24 percent were undecided.

According to the survey, Arizona voters do not support Proposition 300, which would increase state legislators' salaries. Thirty-six percent said they will vote for the increase, while 47 percent will vote against it and 17 percent are undecided.

The statewide poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percent. Forty-eight percent of those interviewed were male; 52 percent were female. Fifty-eight percent of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 18 percent in Pima County, and 24 percent in the less populated counties. The sample consisted of 41 percent Republicans, 36 percent Democrats and 23 percent independents or other.

*A high-efficacy voter scale was developed based on how people responded to the following items: the strength of their support for their chosen candidate; how important the outcome of the election is to them; how closely they follow politics; whether or not they read a newspaper on a daily basis; whether or not they watch a newscast on a daily basis; their age; their level of education; the strength of their political ideology; how often they report voting in the past; and whether they believe they have a "say" in what the government does.


1. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the job George Bush is doing as president of the United States?

approve 51%
disapprove 46%
don't know/no opinion 3%

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the U.S. economy?

approve 46%
disapprove 48%
don't know/no opinion 6%


3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the war against terrorism?

approve 54%
disapprove 44%
don't know/no opinion 2%

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the war in Iraq?

approve 47%
disapprove 50%
don't know/no opinion 3%


5. In the upcoming presidential election, will you probably vote for:

Republican George Bush 49%
Democrat John Kerry 38%
Libertarian Michael Badnarik 1%
don't know/no opinion 12%


6. ASK ONLY IF VOTING FOR BUSH OR KERRY: Would you say you are pretty firm in your support for (candidate chosen) or is there a possibility you might change your mind before election day?

  Kerry Bush
firm in support 86% 93%
might change mind 14% 7%


7. Proposition 101 will require any initiative or referendum that involves the expenditure of state funds to include a source of funding to cover the costs if the measure passes. Will you probably vote for or against this measure?

vote for 49%
vote against 15%
don't know/no opinion 36%


8. The Arizona Constitution currently prohibits the state government from owning interests in private businesses. Proposition 102 will allow universities to own interests in private companies when the businesses are based on technologies developed by the universities. Will you probably vote for or against this proposition?

vote for 52%
vote against 24%
don't know/no opinion 24%


9. Proposition 200 will require individuals in Arizona to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote and show identification when voting. In addition, it will require state and local governments to verify the identity of people when they apply for non-federally mandated state and local benefits and would require state government workers to report people who they suspect of being in the country illegally. It would be a misdemeanor to fail to report such individuals. Will you vote for or against this initiative?

vote for 63%
vote against 23%
don't know/no opinion 14%


10. Proposition 300 would increase the salaries of state legislators from twenty-four thousand to thirty-six thousand dollars per year. Will you probably vote for or against this initiative?

vote for 36%
vote against 47%
don't know/no opinion 17%


KAET-TV is a part of Arizona State University