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Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at (480) 965-7051
EMBARGOED UNTIL Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.

Napolitano's victory due to strong support from Republicans and Independents

Democratic crossover vote fuels Kyl's win

Voters viewed Proposition 107 as unfair, overstepping government bounds

Arizonans will spend about the same this year for holidays as last year

TEMPE , Ariz. – A new statewide Cronkite-Eight Poll of 962 registered voters who indicated that they cast a ballot in the general election Nov. 7 found that Gov. Janet Napolitano's overwhelming victory was in part the result of strong support from social conservatives. Sixty percent of those who said they regularly attend church supported Napolitano, as did 53 percent of those who described themselves as pro-life and 40 percent of those who consider themselves political conservatives. These are typical indices of Republican support. Overall, 40 percent of Arizona Republicans and 80 percent of the state's independent voters said they voted for Napolitano.

“The governor's strong win was the result of three main factors,” according to poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill. “First, voters who are angry about the war and recent Republican scandals supported Democratic candidates. Second, voters in Arizona overwhelmingly felt that the governor has done an excellent job for the state of Arizona . Third, partially because he was running as a Clean Elections candidate, Len Munsil had neither the financial resources nor the time he needed in order to become a well-known candidate.”

Despite the strong sentiment against Republicans across the country on Election Day, incumbent Sen. Jon Kyl was able to withstand the “winds of change” by running a campaign that appealed to both his Republican base as well as Democrats. While challenger Jim Pederson received a majority of the votes cast by political independents and political moderates, those votes were not enough to overcome the large number of Democrats who crossed over and supported Kyl. Twenty-one percent of Democrats supported Kyl, while only 10 percent of Republicans supported Pederson. In a state with approximately 160,000 more Republicans than Democrats, Pederson would have had to minimize crossover support for Kyl in order to win.

Issues played only a small role in how people voted in the Senate race. Just 11 percent of those who voted for Kyl and 15 percent of those voting for Pederson said they did so because of the candidates' position on a particular issue, including border issues. When asked why they voted for Kyl, 36 percent mentioned his record and experience as an incumbent senator, 19 percent said it was because he was the Republican candidate and 16 percent cited his integrity and socially conservative values. In addition, 11 percent of those voting for Kyl said they were voting against Pederson.

The reasons people gave for supporting Pederson reflected the strong anti-Republican sentiment in the general election. A majority of those who supported Pederson (55 percent) said they were voting against Kyl, the war, recent scandals involving Republicans or the Bush administration. Another 29 percent voted for him because he was the Democratic Party candidate.

According to Merrill, “Kyl won because he was successful in appealing to traditional Republican and socially conservative voters. He was effective in convincing voters that he has done a good job for Arizona . We also found that those who made up their minds the last week of the campaign or on Election Day voted disproportionately for Kyl. It appears that Pederson's campaign was not effective in telling Arizona voters why they should vote for him rather than against Kyl.”

The Cronkite-Eight Poll also asked voters why they voted for or against Proposition 107, which would have banned same-sex marriage and denied benefits for unmarried partners. A majority of those who voted for the amendment (54 percent) said they felt marriage should only be between one man and one woman. Thirty-nine percent said they voted for Proposition 107 for religious or personal reasons. A majority of those voting against Proposition 107 (60 percent) said they felt the measure was unfair because it violated individual rights or dealt with an area in which the government had no business being involved. Another 30 percent said they voted against 107 because it was not fair to deny benefits to unmarried couples. Only 8 percent said they voted against the measure because they supported same-sex marriage.

Looking toward the upcoming holiday season, 57 percent of those interviewed said that they would spend about the same on Christmas this year as they did last year. Fourteen percent said they would spend more, 22 percent said less and 7 percent said they weren't sure how much they would spend. Interestingly, it appears that Republicans have had a better year than Democrats as 18 percent of the Republicans said they would spend more compared to 11 percent of Democrats.

The statewide telephone poll of 962 registered voters who indicated that they voted in the general election on Nov. 7 was conducted Nov. 16 to19 by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and Eight/KAET-TV. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Fifty-nine percent of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County , 17 percent in Pima County and 24 percent in the less populated counties. The sample was 40 percent Republican, 34 percent Democrat and 26 percent Libertarian or independent. Forty-nine percent of voters interviewed were males and 51 percent females.

Question wording:

1. Would you mind sharing with us who you voted for in the Governor's race between:

Napolitano 69%
Munsil 30
Hess 1

2. Would you mind sharing with us who you voted for in the U.S. Senate race between:

Kyl 54%
Pederson 44
Mack 2

3. When did you make up your mind about who you were going to vote for in the Senate race:

Knew all along 52%
Middle 19
Toward end 21
Day of election 4
Don't remember 4

4. What was the single most important reason you ended up voting for Kyl:

His record, job performance, experience 36%
He was the Republican candidate 19
Values, conservative, religious 12
Against Pederson 11
Position on issues 11
Integrity, honesty 4

5. What was the single most important reason you ended up voting for Pederson?

Against Kyl, the war, scandals, Bush 55%
Democratic Party candidate 29
Position on issues 15

6. Would you mind sharing with us how you voted on Proposition 107 which would have banned same-sex marriage and denied benefits to unmarried domestic partners?

For 40%
Against 60


7. Why did you vote for proposition 107?

Marriage should be between one man and one woman 54%
For personal or religious reasons 39


8. Why did you vote against proposition 107?

Unfair, violated individual rights, government involvement 60%
Against provision denying benefits to domestic partners 30
Support same-sex marriage 8


9. Thinking about how much you spent on holiday gifts last year, this year will you probably spend:

More 14%
Less 22
About the same as a year ago 57
Not sure 7