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Cronkite-Eight Poll

EMBARGOED UNTIL 7 P.M. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009

FOR INFORMATION:
Dr. Bruce Merrill at 602-618-1320

• Few in Arizona want to see Sarah Palin become president

• Goddard ahead of Brewer in potential gubernatorial match next year

• McCain would easily beat Napolitano if she came back to run for the U.S. Senate

• Arizonans divided on Obama’s performance as president, sending troops to Afghanistan

• Most voters believe their economic situation will improve next year

TEMPE, Ariz. –– Although the release of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s new book dominates media coverage, few voters in Arizona would like to see her become president in the future, according to a new Cronkite/Eight poll. The poll, conducted Nov. 19-22, found that 20 percent of those interviewed would like to see her run for president sometime in the future while 63 percent would not want to see her run and 17 percent had no opinion. Forty-three percent of the Republicans would like her to run compared to 10 percent of the Democrats and 20 percent of the Independents.

In addition, while the 2010 Arizona governor’s race is still a year away, if the race ends up being between Attorney General Terry Goddard and incumbent Gov. Jan Brewer, Goddard would start the campaign with a significant lead over Brewer. Forty-seven percent of registered voters in the statewide poll said they would vote for Goddard, 28 percent would vote for Brewer, 4 percent said they would vote for neither and 21 percent said it was too early to have an opinion.

The poll also asked voters how they would vote for the U.S. Senate seat that will be up for bid next year if Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano comes back to Arizona to run against incumbent Sen. John McCain. Among Arizona voters, McCain has a 9-percentage-point lead over Napolitano (50 percent to 41 percent) with 4 percent saying they wouldn’t support either candidate and 5 percent were undecided.

The poll also found that Arizona’s voters are evenly divided on the job President Barack Obama is doing and whether the president should send additional troops to Afghanistan. Forty-eight percent of those interviewed strongly (14 percent) or generally (34 percent) approved of his job performance while 48 percent strongly (28 percent) or generally (20 percent) disapproved and 4 percent were undecided. When asked if whether the president should send additional troops to Afghanistan, 45 percent would approve of sending more troops, 40 percent were opposed and 15 percent had no opinion. Republicans were more critical of the president and were more supportive of sending troops to Afghanistan. Independents were evenly divided when answering both questions.

Finally, Arizona voters appear to be optimistic about their economic future. When asked to speculate on their own economic situation a year from now, 54 percent said they felt their economic situation would be significantly (6 percent) or somewhat (48 percent) improved, 26 percent felt they would be either worse off (18 percent) or significantly worse off (8 percent) next year at this time. Eight percent felt their economic situation probably wouldn’t change and 12 percent said they didn’t know what the future would bring.
             
The poll was conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and Eight/KAET. The statewide sample of 862 registered voters was 36 percent Republican, 34 percent Democrat and 30 percent Independent. Fifty-nine percent of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 17 percent in Pima County and 24 percent in Arizona’s other counties. Forty-seven percent of the voters interviewed were men and 53 percent were women. The sampling error for the statewide sample survey is plus or minus 3.3 percent. 

Question wording:

If the governor’s race next year is between Republican Jan Brewer and Democrat Terry Goddard, would you vote for Brewer or  Goddard?
Brewer                       28%
Goddard                     47
neither                         4
no opinion                   21
 
If former governor Janet Napolitano should return to Arizona and run for the U.S. Senate against John McCain, would you vote for Napolitano or McCain?
Napolitano                 41%
McCain                       50
neither                        4
no opinion                   5

Now, thinking about the job Barack Obama is doing as president, overall do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of the job he is doing:
      strongly approve         14%
      approve                       34
      disapprove or              20
      strongly disapprove     28
      no opinion                     4

President Obama will soon make a decision on whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan. In general, do you think he should send or not send more troops to Afghanistan?
      send or                        45%
      not send                      40
      no opinion                   15

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin just released a new book about her experiences running for vice-president with John McCain. If Palin runs for president in the future, would you like to see her become president or would you be opposed to her becoming president?
            like to see her become president      20%
            opposed to her becoming president 63                   
            no opinion                                         17

Now, thinking about your own economic situation, do you think that a year from now it will be significantly better than it is now, somewhat better, somewhat worse or significantly worse?
      significantly better than it is now     6%
      somewhat better                           48                                                       
      somewhat worse or                       18                                           
      significantly worse?                          8
      stay same                                         8                                           
      no opinion                                       12