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Cronkite-Eight Poll

FOR INFORMATION:
Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at (480) 965-7051
EMBARGOED UNTIL June 26, 2007, at 7 p.m.

CRONKITE-EIGHT POLL
ARIZONA HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION – U.S. IN WRONG DIRECTION

VOTERS SEE PARTISANSHIP AND LOSS OF CONFIDENCE IN ELECTED LEADERS AS MAJOR PROBLEMS FACING AMERICA AND ARIZONA

ARIZONANS PESSIMISTIC ABOUT ABILITY OF THE SENATE TO PASS MEANINGFUL IMMIGRATION REFORM LEGISLATION

VOTERS SUPPORT GUEST WORKER PROGRAM AND ALLOWING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO BECOME CITIZENS UNDER CERTAIN CRITERIA

TEMPE, Ariz. – Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of Arizona voters believe that things in the United States have gotten seriously “off track,” according to a new statewide Cronkite/Eight Poll. Asked to describe in their own words why they think things are off track, 34 percent cited the war in Iraq and 17 percent mentioned politics, partisan infighting and members of Congress who don’t seem interested in representing their constituents. Sixteen percent said President George W. Bush and his administration were responsible and 8 percent mentioned problems of illegal immigration. Among Arizona voters, only 26 percent said they think that things at the federal level are going in the right direction.

The poll, conducted June 18-20, 2007, also found that 54 percent of Arizona voters are satisfied with the way the state is headed, while 30 percent had concerns and 16 percent had no opinion. Those who are worried about the direction in which Arizona is headed mainly expressed concerns about problems of illegal immigration (47 percent), lack of competent political state leadership (12 percent) and problems associated with rapid growth (12 percent). The need for better public education (4 percent) and more freeways (3 percent) also were mentioned.

When the same question was asked by the Cronkite/Eight Poll in November 2005, 37 percent of Arizona voters were satisfied with the direction the U.S. was headed and 62 percent liked the way Arizona was headed.

Asked specifically about their perception of the level of partisanship in Washington since the Democrats took over the House and Senate in 2006, 51 percent said they things were about the same, 45 percent said partisanship was more of a problem and 4 percent said there was less partisanship.

The poll also found that 71 percent of Arizona voters are not very confident the U.S. Senate will come up with a meaningful immigration reform bill this session. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all were pessimistic about immigration reform. Strong support was found for a guest worker program (65 percent) and for provisions that would allow illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a number of years to be placed on a path to become citizens if they do not have a criminal record, learn to speak English and agree to register, pay a fine and be fingerprinted (68 percent).

Public opinion was divided about whether the “don’t ask – don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals serving in the military should be abandoned in favor of allowing gays to serve openly. Forty-nine percent supported gays serving openly in the military, 35 percent were opposed and 16 percent had no opinion.

The statewide telephone poll of 386 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 5 percentage points. 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 42 percent Republican, 33 percent Democrat and 25 percent Independents. Forty-eight percent of the voters interviewed were men and 52 percent women.

Question wording

1. In general, does it seem to you that things in Arizona are going in the right direction or are they seriously off track?

right direction 54%
seriously off track 30%
don't know/no opinion 16%

 

2. IF OFF TRACK: Why do you feel things are headed in the wrong direction?
MOST FREQUENT RESPONSES:

Problems of illegal immigration, border enforcement 47%
Politics, partisanship, in-fighting, lack of faith in elected leaders 12%
Growth, too many people, lack of planning 12%
Poor public education, need for teachers to be paid more 4%
More and better freeways 3%

 

3. How about at the national level. Does it seem to you that things in America are headed in the right direction or are they seriously off track?

right direction 26%
seriously off track 60%
don't know/no opinion 14%

 

4. IF OFF TRACK: Why do you feel things are headed in the wrong direction? MOST FREQUENT RESPONSES:

War in Iraq, need to get troops out, the way Bush has conducted war 34%
Politics, partisanship, in-fighting, lack of faith in elected leaders 17%
President Bush, the Bush administration 16%
Problems of illegal immigration, border enforcement 8%

 

5. The United States Senate is trying to come up with a bill to reform our immigration policies. How confident are you that the Senate will be able to create legislation that will stop or significantly reduce illegal immigration into this country? Are you:

very confident 5%
somewhat confident 21%
not very confident 71%
don't know/no opinion 3%

 

6. How confident are you that the Senate will come up with a bill that will resolve the problems related to the 12 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for a number of years? Are you:

very confident 4%
somewhat confident 19%
not very confident 73%
don't know/no opinion 4%

 

7. As part of the reform bill, would you support or oppose a proposal that would allow undocumented immigrants who have been living in the United States for a number of years and who do not have criminal records to be placed on a path to becoming citizens if, among other things, they register and pay a fine for being in the country illegally, agree to be fingerprinted and learn to speak English?

support 68%
oppose 26%
don't know/no opinion 6%

 

8. As part of the reform bill, would you support or oppose a proposal that would create a guest worker program giving temporary visas to noncitizens who want to work legally in the United States?

support 65%
oppose 28%
don't know/no opinion 7%

 

9. Over the past few months, does it seem to you that partisanship in Washington has become less of a problem, more of a problem or is it about the same as it’s always been?

less of a problem 4%
more of a problem 45%
about the same as it's always been 51%

 

10. The current policy toward homosexuals serving in the military is “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Would you favor or oppose changing the policy to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military?

favor 49%
oppose 35%
don't know/no opinion 16%

 

Data collection for this poll was provided by the Summit Group of Phoenix.