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Cronkite- Eight Poll

Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at (480) 965-7051
EMBARGOED UNTIL April 24, 2007, at 7 p.m.





TEMPE, Ariz. – According to a new statewide Cronkite/Eight Poll, Arizona voters support including a timetable for troop withdrawal as part of future funding for the war in Iraq. The poll, which was conducted April 19 – 22, 2007, found that 51 percent of all registered voters believe a timetable should be included, 42 percent were opposed and 7 percent had no opinion. Not unexpectedly, Democrats (66 percent) and Independents (57 percent) are more supportive of a timetable than Republicans (33 percent).

The poll also found that President George W. Bush’s approval rating, which has been around 40 percent for the past year, is at an all time low in Arizona at 36 percent. When asked how they think Bush will be remembered compared with other U.S. presidents, more than half of Arizona voters think he will be considered as below average (22 percent) or as one of the worst presidents in history (31 percent). Only 17 percent believe he will be remembered as among the best (3 percent) or above average (14 percent).

Support for Sen. John McCain’s candidacy in the Republican presidential primary race declined from 44 percent in February to 32 percent in the most recent poll. According to Cronkite-Eight Poll director Bruce Merrill, some of the decline may be attributable to including former Sen. Fred Thompson in the current poll as a possible presidential candidate. “Also, the attention former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has received over his successful fundraising efforts appears to have nearly doubled his support among Arizona Republicans, from 6 percent in February to 11 percent in this poll,” Merrill added. Of the registered Republicans interviewed in this month’s poll, 32 percent would vote for McCain and 27 percent would vote for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Thompson received 6 percent of the vote and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich received 9 percent. Fifteen percent said they were undecided.

Among registered Democrats in Arizona, Sen. Hillary Clinton (25 percent) and Sen. Barack Obama (20 percent) were leading among possible candidates for the Democratic presidential primary, with former Sen. John Edwards receiving 18 percent of the vote and former Vice President Al Gore receiving 17 percent. Twenty percent were undecided.

The poll also found public opinion sharply divided on recent issues in the news––the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortions and the firing of shock jock Don Imus. Forty-four percent indicated they support the Supreme Court decision, 46 percent disagree and 10 percent were undecided or had no opinion. Opinions about the Supreme Court decision were highly partisan. Sixty-two percent of Republicans agreed with the decision while 62 percent of Democrats disagreed. Thirty-five percent of the Independents surveyed agreed with the Court’s decision; 53 percent disagreed.

Opinions about the CBS Radio decision to fire shock-jock Don Imus also were evenly divided in Arizona. Thirty-nine percent agreed with the decision to fire Imus, 43 percent disagreed and 18 percent were undecided. Women (45 percent) and Democrats (45 percent) were most supportive of his firing; men (33 percent) and Republicans (33 percent) were least supportive.

The Cronkite-Eight poll also asked two questions about illegal immigration. The first asked voters to voice in their own words what they think should be done to address the problem of illegal immigration in Arizona. Nearly 30 percent said that more needs to be done to stop illegal aliens from coming across the border. Other frequent responses included creating a guest worker program (17 percent), doing more to enforce existing laws (15 percent) and holding employers responsible for hiring illegal aliens (9 percent). Creating an amnesty program, deporting all illegal immigrants and building a fence or wall at the border each received 5 percent.

When asked specifically about a measure that may be on the ballot in the next election that would charge employers with felonies for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, 63 percent said they would vote for the law, 30 percent were opposed and 7 percent said they were undecided or had no opinion.

The statewide telephone poll of 827 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 3.4 percent. Fifty-nine percent of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 18 percent in Pima County and 23 percent in the less populated counties. The sample was 39 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat and 26 percent Independents. Forty-eight percent of the voters interviewed were men and 52 percent women.

Question wording

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

approve 36%
disapprove 60%
don't know/no opinion 4%

2. Compared with other U.S. presidents, do you think our current president will go down in history as:

one of our best presidents 3%
above average 14%
average 28%
below average 22%
one of our worst presidents 31%
don't know/no opinion 2%

Now, I’m going to ask how you feel about a few issues that are complicated and many people may not have enough information about them to have an opinion. If you feel that you don’t have enough information to have an opinion, just tell me and I’ll go on to the next question.

3. Do you believe future funding for the war in Iraq should or should not include a timetable for the withdrawl of our troops from Iraq?

should 51%
should not 42%
don't know/no opinion 7%

4. A few days ago the Supreme Court upheld the ban on partial birth abortions. Partial birth abortions are brought about by removing the fetus from a womans body before the fetus is terminated. There are no exceptions for situations in which a woman's health or life is in danger. Do you agree or disagree with the decision to ban partial birth abortions?

agree 44%
disagree 46%

don't know/no opinion


5. Do you think that talk-show host Don Imus should or should not have been fired by CBS radio for comments he made about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team?

should have been fired 39%
should not have been fired 43%
don't know/no opinion 18%

6. Turning to issues in Arizona, what’s the one thing you would like to see done to address the problem of illegal immigration in Arizona?

Stronger border enforcement/stop them at the border 29%
Have a temporary worker program 17%
Stronger enforcement of current laws 15%
Penalize employers who hire illegal aliens 9%
Offer immigrants a chance for citizenship 5%
Send all illegal aliens back to where they came from 5%
Build a wall or fence 5%
Other 15%


7. There may be a bill on the ballot in the next election that would require employers to sign an affidavit certifying that they do not knowingly employ illegal aliens. If they are caught employing illegal aliens they could be charged with a felony and lose their license to do business. Would you support or oppose this bill?

support 63%
oppose 30%
don't know/no opinion 7%

8. If the Republican primary for president in Arizona comes down to a choice between former Sen. Fred Thompson, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or Sen. John McCain, who would you probably vote for?

McCain 32%
Giuliani 27%
Romney 11%
Gingrich 9%
Thompson 6%
don't know/no opinion 15%

9. If the Democratic primary for president in Arizona comes down to a choice between Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, former Vice President Al Gore or former Sen. John Edwards, who would you probably vote for?

Clinton 25%
Obama 20%
Edwards 18%
Gore 17%
don't know/no opinion 20%