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Cronkite-Eight Poll

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Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at (480) 965-7051
EMBARGOED UNTIL Sept. 26, 2006 at 7 p.m.

Republicans lead races for the U.S. Senate, Arizona Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction

Democrats leading in races for Governor and Attorney General

TEMPE , Ariz. – With little more than a month to go before the November elections, a new statewide Cronkite-Eight Poll found that U.S. Senator Jon Kyl is leading Democratic challenger Jim Pederson 49 percent to 38 percent. Libertarian Richard Mack received 2 percent of the vote while11 percent of Arizona voters were undecided. The statewide poll of 882 registered voters identified as “most likely to vote” was conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and Eight/KAET TV Sept. 21-24. A Cronkite-Eight Poll in August of registered voters also showed Kyl leading Pederson by 11 percentage points.

According to poll director Dr. Bruce Merrill, “There are three reasons Kyl is maintaining his lead over Pederson. First, he is winning the party crossover battle. While 19 percent of registered Democrats are supporting Kyl, only 10 percent of the Republicans are defecting to Pederson. Second, Pederson is only splitting the vote with Kyl in heavily Democratic Pima County and third, the poll found men are supporting Kyl over Pederson 55 percent to 35 percent while women are splitting their vote evenly between the two candidates.”

The Cronkite-Eight Poll also found that Gov. Janet Napolitano leads her Republican challenger Len Munsil 64 percent to 28 percent. Libertarian Barry Hess received two percent of the vote. Only six percent of those interviewed were undecided.

According to Merrill, “Governor Napolitano is leading because she is winning the party crossover battle, with 37 percent of the Republicans saying they will vote for Napolitano while only 4 percent of the Democrats are supporting Munsil. Also, she has almost as much support in Maricopa County at 62 percent as she does in heavily Democratic Pima County with 67 percent. Finally she is leading among both male (58 percent to 32 percent) and female (70 percent to 24 percent) voters.

“Republicans tend to come back to their party's nominee as the election nears so I expect the race to tighten over the next month,” Merrill adds. “However, the question for Munsil will be whether he has the time and money to overtake Napolitano's big lead.”

The poll also found that incumbent Secretary of State Jan Brewer has a strong lead (46 percent) over her Democratic opponent Israel Torres (22 percent) and Libertarian Ernie Hancock (4 percent). Twenty-eight percent of Arizona voters still were undecided.

In addition, the survey found that incumbent Attorney General Terry Goddard has a two-to-one lead (58 percent) over his Republican challenger Bill Montgomery (29 percent). Thirteen percent were undecided.

In other statewide races, incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne had a narrow lead (42 percent to 34 percent) over Democrat Jason Williams. Twenty-four percent were undecided in that race. Finally, in the state treasurer's race, Republican Dean Martin led Democrat Rano Singh 40 percent to 26 percent. Thirty-four percent were undecided.

The statewide telephone poll of 882 voters who are “most likely to vote” was conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and Eight/KAET-TV Sept. 21 - 24, 2006, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percent. 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 independent. Forty-eight percent of voters interviewed were males and 52 percent females.

Question wording:

1. Republican U.S. Senator Jon Kyl is running for re-election this fall against former Democratic state chairman Jim Pederson and Libertarian Richard Mack. If the election were being held today, would you probably vote for:

Kyl 49%
Pederson 38
Mack 2
don't know 11


2. Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano is running for re-election against Republican Len Munsil and Libertarian Barry Hess. If the election were being held today, will you probably vote for:

Napolitano 64%
Munsil 28
Hess 2
don't know 6


3. In the race for Secretary of State, Republican Jan Brewer will face Democrat Israel Torres and Libertarian Ernie Hancock. If the election were being held today, would you probably vote for:

Brewer 46%
Torres 22
Hancock 4
don't know 28


4. In the race for Attorney General, will you probably vote for Democrat Terry Goddard or Republican Bill Montgomery?

Goddard 58%
Montgomery 29
don't know 13


4. In the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, will you probably vote for Republican Tom Horne or Democrat Jason Williams?

Horne 42%
Williams 34
don't know 24


5. For State Treasurer, will you probably vote for Republican Dean Martin or Democrat Rano Singh?

Martin 40%
Singh 26
don't know 34

Eight/KAET-TV is a part of Arizona State University .