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Cronkite-Eight Poll

FOR INFORMATION:
Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at 480-965-7051
EMBARGOED UNTIL 7 P.M. NOV. 20, 2007

• Voters say illegal immigration is the number-one problem facing Maricopa County; stopping illegal aliens at the border and enforcing existing laws are best ways to control the problem

• Voters say expanding mass transit in Maricopa County with more and better bus routes is the best way to deal with transportation problems

• Most voters in Maricopa County say Phoenix New Times executives should not have been arrested for violating grand-jury secrecy

• Voters give County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio favorable ratings; do not support recalling either official

• Democrats much more enthusiastic than Republicans about their presidential candidates

• Republican voters in Maricopa County favor McCain; Democrats favor Clinton

• The Grinch may be headed to the Valley for the holiday shopping season

TEMPE, Ariz. –– Voters believe that illegal immigration is the most serious problem facing Maricopa County, according to a new Cronkite/Eight Poll. The poll, which was conducted among registered voters in Maricopa County Nov. 15-18, found that 27 percent said that illegal immigration is the most serious problem, followed by concerns about access to affordable health care and health insurance, traffic congestion, air quality and other problems related to transportation. The poll also found that most voters feel the best way to deal with illegal immigration is to stop aliens at the border and to enforce existing laws.

Voters were asked what they thought should be done about problems associated with transportation. The most frequent responses were to create more and better bus routes (31 percent), extend light rail (19 percent), build more and better freeways (13 percent) and improve existing roads and freeways (7 percent).

The Cronkite/Eight Poll also found that, despite the recent launch of an effort to recall both Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, both officials receive favorable ratings from county voters and little support for the recall. Sixty-one percent had a very positive (32 percent) or generally positive (29 percent) opinion of Sheriff Arpaio. 35 percent had a somewhat negative (18 percent) or very negative (17 percent) opinion of the sheriff. Four percent did not know enough about the sheriff to rate him. Forty percent had a very positive (6 percent) or generally positive (34 percent) opinion of Thomas. Thirty-five percent did not know enough about Thomas to rate him. Among those with an opinion, 65 percent said they had very positive (35 percent) or positive (30 percent) opinions of Arpaio, while 62 percent had very positive (10 percent) or generally positive (52 percent) opinions of Thomas. Both Arpaio and Thomas received more favorable ratings from social conservatives, older voters and Republicans than social liberals, younger voters and Democrats and Independents.
 
The survey also found that 71 percent of those interviewed were aware of the arrests of two executives of the Phoenix New Times newspaper for allegedly violating grand jury secrecy rules. Among those who were aware of the issue, 49 percent felt the executives should not have been arrested, 34 percent said they should have been arrested and 17 percent did not voice an opinion.

Turning to the presidential race, the poll found that Democrats in Maricopa County are almost twice as likely as Republicans to be enthused about their party’s slate of presidential candidates. While only 34 percent of the Republicans interviewed were either very excited (7 percent) or excited (27 percent), 59 percent of the Democrats were either very excited (25 percent) or excited (34 percent). Sen. John McCain was the favorite candidate for Republicans with 32 percent of the vote. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani received 22 percent of the Republican vote, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 14 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 9 percent, former Sen. Fred Thompson with 7 percent and Congressman Ron Paul with 4 percent.

Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton (41 percent) appears to be maintaining a sizeable lead over Sen. Barack Obama (23 percent). Former Sen. John Edwards and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson followed with 14 percent and 9 percent of the vote respectively.

Finally, the poll found that holiday spending in Maricopa County could be considerably lower this season than last. About one third (31 percent) of those interviewed said they will spend less this year, 11 percent said more and 54 percent said they would probably be spending about the same amount as last year.
           
The telephone poll of 697 Maricopa County registered voters was conducted 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 3.7 percentage points. The sampling error when generalizing to the sub-sample of Republicans is plus or minus 5.8 percentage points. The sampling error for the sub-sample of Democrats is plus or minus 6.8 percentage points. The sample was 43 percent Republican, 30 percent Democrat and 27 percent Independents. Forty-eight percent of the voters interviewed were men and 52 percent women.

Question wording and results:

1. First, what do you think is the biggest problem or concern that needs to be addressed to improve the quality of life for people living in Maricopa County?

% responses  response
27 Illegal immigration
10 Better health care/more access to health insurance
10 Air quality
9 Traffic congestion/torn up roads
7 Transporation/need for more and better mass transit
6 Improved educational system
5 Improve the economy/jobs
4 Lack of water
3 Growth and overpopulation
7 Other mentions
12 No answer

2. Some people think that transportation is a big problem in Maricopa County. What is the single most important thing you think should be done to help solve the transportation problem?

% responses responses
31 More and better mass transit/more and better mass transit
19 Extend the light rail system
13 More and improved freeways
7 Improve existing roads
4 Increase car pooling
5 Better planning
13 Other mentions
8 No opinoin

 

3. Other people are concerned about illegal immigration. What is the single most important thing you think should be done to help solve the illegal immigration problem?

% responses response
31 Stop illegal immigration at the border/protect our border
16 Enforce existing laws/send illegal aliens back across the border
14 Need a guest worker program/make it easier for workers to come to U.S.
9 Punish employers who hire illegals
4 Need some form of amnesty
4 Need better documentation
3 Help improve the economy in Mexico
11 Other mentions
8 No opinion

 

4. Now, we would like to know if your overall opinion about some local officials and news organizations. If you feel that you don’t know enough about the person or organization to rate them, just tell me and we’ll go on to the next person. Let’s start with Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Is your overall opinion of Andrew Thomas very positive, generally positive, somewhat negative or very negative?
very positive                              6%     (10)
generally positive                    34        (52)
somewhat negative                 15        (23)
very negative                           10        (15)
don’t know/no opinion           35

The numbers in parentheses in the tables represent those with an opinion.

5. What about your overall opinion of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Is your overall opinion of him very positive, generally positive, somewhat negative or very negative?
very positive                            32%     (35)
generally positive                    29        (30)
somewhat negative                 18        (18)
very negative                           17        (17)
don’t know/no opinion             4

6. Next, I’d like to ask about your overall opinion of The Arizona Republic newspaper. Is your overall opinion very positive, generally positive, somewhat negative or very negative?
very positive                            13%     (15)
generally positive                    40        (46)
somewhat negative                 22        (25)
very negative                           12        (14)
don’t know/no opinion           13

7. Finally, what about your overall opinion of the Phoenix New Times? Is your overall opinion very positive, generally positive, somewhat negative or very negative?
very positive                              6%     (13)
generally positive                    23        (50)
somewhat negative                 11        (24)
very negative                             6        (13)
don’t know/no opinion           54

Recently a group filed paperwork to begin an effort to recall both Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas from office for allegedly disobeying and violating the United States Constitution and abuse of power.

8. Would you support or oppose an effort to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio?

Support  25%     (28)
Oppose   63        (72)
don’t know/no opinion 12

9. Would you support or oppose an effort to recall County Attorney Andrew Thomas?

Support 18%  (28)
Oppose  46        (72)
don’t know/no opinion    36

10. A few weeks ago, a special prosecutor from the Maricopa County Attorney's office had Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies arrest two Phoenix New Times executives on charges of illegally revealing the contents of a grand jury subpoena by publishing a story about it. In the subpoena, the grand jury had asked for all Internet addresses of anyone who had visited the New Times’ Web site over a period of years. The investigation was being conducted because the New Times allegedly broke the law by publishing Sheriff Joe Arpaio's home address and telephone number on the Web. Do you remember hearing or seeing this story in the media? 
yes       71%

11. IF REMEMBER STORY ONLY: Do you think the publisher and editor of the New Times should or should not have been arrested for revealing the contents of a grand jury subpoena?

should have been arrested     34%    
should not have been arrested    49 
don’t know/no opinion 17

12. ASK REPUBLICANS ONLY: Would you say you are very excited, excited, not very excited or not at all excited about the Republican candidates running for president this next year?

very excited  7%
excited 27
not very excited   45
not at all excited 15
don’t know/no opinion   6

13. ASK REPUBLICANS ONLY: If the Republican primary for president in Arizona comes down to a choice between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Senator Fred Thompson, Congressman Ron Paul, Senator John McCain, or former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who will you probably vote for?

McCain   32%
Giuliani 22
Romney   14
Huckabee     9
Thompson 7
Paul    4
don’t know/no opinion  12
                                          

14. ASK DEMOCRATS ONLY: Would you say you are very excited, excited, not very excited or not at all excited about the Democratic candidates running for president this next year?

very excited  25%
excited   34
not very excited   29
not at all excited    8
don’t know/no opinion  4

15. ASK DEMOCRATS ONLY: If the Democratic primary for president in Arizona comes down to a choice between Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson or former Senator John Edwards, who would you probably vote for?

Clinton      41%
Obama    23
Edwards   14
Richardson 9
don’t know/no opinion 13

16. Finally, holiday shopping time is now upon us. Comparing this year with what you spent last year for holiday gifts, will you probably spend more this year than last year, less, or about the same amount as last year?

more this year  11%
less this year 31
same as last year  54
don’t know/no opinion    4