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Cronkite-Eight Poll

FOR INFORMATION:
Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill at 602-618-1320
EMBARGOED UNTIL 7 P.M. Feb. 26, 2008

MCCAIN BEATS OBAMA AND CLINTON AMONG ARIZONA VOTERS, BUT THEY BELIEVE OBAMA MAY WIN

MAJORITY SAY THEY DO NOT BELIEVE ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST MCCAIN BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

VOTERS SUPPORT HAVING PHOENIX POLICE OFFICERS ASK ABOUT LEGAL STATUS

VOTERS OPPOSE ALLOWING PEOPLE WITH CONCEALED WEAPON PERMITS TO BRING GUNS ONTO CAMPUSES

VOTERS NARROWLY SUPPORT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO DEFINE MARRIAGE AS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN

Although Arizonans say they will vote for Arizona Sen. John McCain over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama they believe Obama likely will beat McCain in November, according to a new Cronkite/Eight poll. Forty-nine percent of those interviewed said they will vote for McCain while 38 percent said they will support Obama and 13 percent are undecided. However, when asked who they thought would win in a McCain – Obama contest, 38 percent said McCain, 44 percent said Obama and 18 percent were unsure. The poll also showed that one traditional source of McCain’s strength, independents, divided evenly between McCain and Obama.

Hillary Clinton does not fare as well against McCain in this poll. The Arizona senator beats Clinton 57 percent to 33 percent with only 10 percent undecided. Those surveyed also felt McCain would easily defeat Clinton in November (59 percent to 26 percent, with 15 percent undecided).

According to Dr. Bruce Merrill, who conducted the survey, “This survey shows what the national polls show––that Barack Obama would be a much tougher opponent for John McCain than Hillary Clinton. In Arizona, the difference primarily is among independent voters, who split nearly evenly for McCain and Obama, but who break 15 points higher for McCain than for Clinton.”

The Cronkite/Eight poll, conducted Feb. 21-24, also found that 90 percent of all registered voters were aware of the allegations made against Senator McCain by the New York Times and, among those who were aware of the allegations, a majority (59 percent) said the charges were not believable. Another third (33 percent) said they were either somewhat or very believable.

The poll also found strong support for having Phoenix police officers ask for proof of legal status when called to the scene of potential crimes. Seventy-nine percent supported the change in police policy. Interestingly, strong support also was found for establishing a guest worker program in Arizona; 75 percent of Arizona voters said they support such a program.

Opinions about two other controversial proposals were measured. Registered voters strongly rejected the idea of allowing people who have concealed weapon carry permits to bring weapons onto school campuses. Seventy-three percent opposed the proposal, 20 percent supported it and 7 percent were undecided.

Finally, the poll also asked people how they felt about an amendment to the Arizona constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. Forty-nine percent favored the amendment, 40 percent opposed it and 11 percent said they were unsure how they felt. Explaining that this proposal would not limit governmental agencies from providing domestic benefits to gay partnerships did not seem to influence how people felt about the measure.
           
The telephone poll of 552 Arizona 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 4.1 percent. The sample was 39 percent Republican, 33 percent Democrat and 28 percent Independents. Fifty-six percent of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 16 percent in Pima County and 28 percent in the less populated counties. Forty-nine percent of the voters interviewed were men and 51 percent women.

Question wording and results:

First, we would like your opinion about a couple of possible match-ups in the upcoming presidential race.

1. If John McCain runs against Barack Obama, would you probably vote for McCain or Obama?

McCain  49%
Obama 38%
undecided/not sure  13%

2. Who do you think would win a McCain - Obama race? 

McCain  38%
Obama 44%
undecided/not sure 18%

3. If McCain runs against Hillary Clinton, would you probably vote for McCain or Clinton?
McCain 57%
Clinton 33%
undecided/not sure 10%

4. Who do you think would win a McCain – Clinton race?   

McCain 59%
Clinton 26%
undecided/not sure 15%

5. Are you aware of the allegations against Senator McCain reported by the New York Times?  

yes 90%
no  10%

6. How believable do you think these allegations are?

very believable   6%
somewhat believable 27%
not at all believable 59%
undecided/not sure 8%

Now, I would like to ask you about a few local issues.

7. Would you vote for or against an amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. (It would not affect the domestic benefits unmarried heterosexual or homosexual partners receive if they work for a governmental entity?)

for  49%
against 40%
undecided/not sure 11%

8. The state Legislature is considering a bill that would allow people to bring handguns onto public school and university campuses if they have a legal concealed weapon permit? Would you support or oppose this bill?     

support 20%
oppose 73%
undecided/not sure 7%

9. The city of Phoenix has announced that when city police officers stop people suspected of committing crimes, either felonies or misdemeanors, the suspects will be asked to provide proof they are in the country legally. Do you support or oppose that law?

support   79%
oppose 13%
undecided/not sure 8%

10. A bill has been introduced in the state Legislature to create a “guest worker” program that would allow Arizona employers to recruit temporary workers only from Mexico.  Employers would have to demonstrate there is a shortage of local labor to fill the jobs and the workers would have to pass a criminal background check and be limited to a two-year stay in Arizona. Would you support or oppose this bill?

support   75%
oppose    18%
undecided/not sure 7%