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Embargoed until 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 25
Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill (480) 965-7051

BUSH'S JOB APPROVAL HURT BY WAR IN IRAQ, PERCEIVED LACK OF COMPETENCE

VOTERS WOULD GIVE GOVERNOR SECOND TERM; GOVERNOR LEADS REPUBLICAN CHALLENGERS

KYL HAS EARLY LEAD OVER PEDERSON

ARIZONANS SKEPTICAL ABOUT SUPREME COURT NOMINEE; WORRIED THAT APPOINTMENT WOULD ENDANGER ROE vs. WADE

ARIZONANS FEEL U.S. IS UNPREPARED FOR BIRD FLU EPIDEMIC

A new statewide telephone poll of 385 registered voters conducted by KAET-TV/Channel 8 and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University Oct. 20 –23, 2005 found that a majority (51 percent) of registered voters disapproved of the job President Bush is doing, 45 percent approved and 4 percent had no opinion. Republicans and social conservatives approve of the job Bush is doing; Democrats and social moderates disapprove of his performance in office.

When asked what they perceived as the main reason for the recent decline in Bush's approval rating, Arizona voters most often cited the president's decision to go to war in Iraq or the way the war is going (50 percent), a perceived lack of competence on Bush's part (13 percent) and the way relief efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were handled (8 percent).

On another subject, 60 percent of registered voters in Arizona believe that Gov. Janet Napolitano has done well enough during her first term that they would give her a second term in office. Twenty-three percent would not vote for her again and 17 percent were undecided. Seventy-nine percent of the Democrats, 39 percent of the Republicans and 67 percent of political independents support another term for the governor.

When paired against the only two Republicans who have announced their candidacy, Napolitano leads Don Goldwater 54 percent to 22 percent with 24 percent undecided. She leads John Greene 58 percent to 16 percent with 26 percent undecided. Dr. Bruce Merrill, the study director, points out that, “It is a year before the election and about all we can say at this time is that Gov. Napolitano is seen as doing well enough to merit a second term in office. The 15-to-20 percent of the vote garnered by John Greene and Don Goldwater should be considered the ‘core' Republican or anti-Napolitano vote. Since Arizona has more registered Republicans than Democrats and because one-in-four registered voters are undecided, the governor's race will undoubtedly tighten as the election nears in 2006.”

The survey also found that Sen. Jon Kyl has an early two-to-one lead (50 percent to 28 percent with 22 percent undecided) over former Democratic state chairman Jim Pederson. Kyl's lead comes largely from strong support among the conservative wing of the Republican Party and the fact that one-in-five (21 percent) Democrats are crossing over to support Kyl. Merrill points out that, “ Both of these candidates will be well financed and will run aggressive campaigns. The challenge for Pederson will be to give voters a reason to desert a strong social conservative who is high in the Senate's Republican leadership.”

A plurality (37 percent) of the Arizona voters surveyed opposed President Bush's nominee, Harriet E. Miers, to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Thirty-one percent supported Miers' appointment and 32 percent were undecided. One reason that voters in Arizona may not support her appointment appears to be a perception that her confirmation would increase the probability that Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. Thirty-two percent said Miers' confirmation would increase the probability of overturning Roe vs. Wade, 2 percent said her appointment would actually reduce the probability of overturning the decision that made abortion legal and 44 percent said her appointment probably would not affect Roe vs. Wade. Social conservatives tend to support her appointment, while social moderates are likely to be opposed.

Finally, only 4 percent of the state's registered voters believe that the United States is very well prepared to handle a bird flu epidemic. Another 29 percent feel the U.S. is somewhat prepared. Fifty-eight percent feel the U.S. either is not very well prepared (38 percent) or not at all prepared (20 percent). The survey also found that other than being unprepared to handle the bird flu, 70 percent of those interviewed said they are very well (24 percent) or somewhat prepared (46 percent) if a disaster strikes Arizona. Sixty-percent believe that state and local governments are very well (10 percent) or somewhat prepared (50 percent) to handle a disaster.

The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percent. 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 was 40 percent Republican, 36 percent Democrat and 24 percent independent or other. Fifty-one percent of voters interviewed were female and 49 percent were male.

Question wording:

1. First, as you may know, next year Governor Janet Napolitano will be up for re-election. Based on the job she has done so far, would you vote to give her another four years in office?

   
   
   
   


yes 60%

no 23%

d.k./n.o. 17%

2. Two Republicans have announced they will run against Napolitano next year. If the election ends up being between former State Senate President John Greene and Governor Napolitano, would you vote for Greene or Napolitano?

   
   
   
   

 

Greene 16%

Napolitano? 58%

d.k./n.o. 26%

3. If the election ends up being between Republican Don Goldwater and Governor Napolitano, would you vote for Goldwater or Napolitano

   
   
   
   

 

Goldwater 22%

Napolitano? 54%

d.k./n.o. 24%

4. And as you probably known, Republican U.S. Senator Jon Kyl will be up for re-election and will most likely run against former state Democratic chairman Jim Pederson. In that race will you probably vote for Kyl or Pederson?

   
   
   
   

 

Kyl 50%

Pederson? 28%

d.k./n.o. 22%

5. Next, I'd like to ask if, overall, you approve or disapprove of the job George Bush is doing as president of the United States?

   
   
   
   

 

approve 45%

disapprove 51%

d.k./n.o. 4%

6. As you may have heard, President Bush's job performance rating has been declining and is now the lowest it has been in his presidency. What reason, more than any other, do you think is responsible for President Bush's declining job performance ratings? (only one and be specific)

   
   
   
   

 

War in Iraq 50%

Lack of competence 13%

Katrina/disaster response 8%

Media 7%

Economy 4%

Lack of leadership 4%

Other 14%

7. Do you support or oppose President Bush's decision to appoint Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court?

   
   
   
   

 

support 31%

oppose 37%

d.k./n.o. 32%

8. If Harriet Miers is confirmed to the Supreme Court, do you think the possibility of the Court overturning Roe vs Wade, the ruling which legalized aborton, will

   
   
   
   

 

increase, 32%

decrease or 2%

remain about the same? 44%

d.k./n.o. 22%

9. How well prepared do you feel that state and local government is to respond to a disaster in Arizona?

   
   
   
   

 

very well prepared, 10%

somewhat prepared, 50%

not very well prepared or 22%

not at all prepared? 9%

d.k./n.o. 9%

10. How well prepared do you feel the United States is to respond to a possible bird flu epidemic?

   
   
   
   

 

very well prepared, 4%

somewhat prepared, 29%

not very well prepared or 38%

not at all prepared? 20%

d.k./n.o. 9%

11. How well prepared would you say you and your family are to respond to a disaster if it should occur here in Arizona?

   
   
   
   

 

very well prepared, 24%

somewhat prepared, 46%

not very well prepared or 22%

not at all prepared? 7%

d.k./n.o. 1%



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