October 31, 2018
NBC News/Marist Poll Results & Analysis of Arizona
While the Democrats have a modest enthusiasm advantage over the Republicans going into next week’s midterm elections, Arizona voters divide about the party they want to control Congress. They also divide on the generic congressional ballot question.
The divisions in the Arizona electorate are reflected in the very competitive contest for U.S. Senate between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally. However, Republican Governor Doug Ducey is well positioned in his reelection bid against Democrat David Garcia.
Three in four registered voters in Arizona (75%) consider this year’s midterm elections to be very important. While both Democrats (89% up from 84% in September) and Republicans (81% up from 77%) have grown increasingly energized, the Democrats have an 8-point enthusiasm advantage over the GOP. Independents (63% down from 68% previously) perceive the elections to be very important.
However, the electorate divides about their hopes for the next Congress. 47% of voters want the Republicans in control while 45% prefer to see the Democrats in power. In early September, the Democrats had a +4-point edge over the Republicans on this question. Independents favor a Congress with the Democrats in control (45% to 39%), a decline from 15 points previously. On this question of congressional control a gender gap exists, but it has narrowed to 18 points from 29 points.
Voters continue to divide on the generic congressional ballot question. 48% support the Democrat in their district compared with 46% who favor the Republican. Previously, 46% of Arizona voters supported the Republican while 45% backed the Democrat. A 26-point gender gap, identical to last month, remains in play.
More than two-thirds of Arizona voters (68%) say President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court matters to their vote. This includes 35% who report they are more likely to cast their ballot for a candidate who opposed the nomination and 33% who say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the nomination. 29% assert it makes no difference to their vote.
In the race for U.S. Senate in Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema (47%) and Republican Martha McSally (44%) are competitive among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who have voted already. Green Party candidate Angela Green receives 6% of the vote. Three percent are undecided. 44% of these voters indicate they have already cast their ballot. Sinema receives the support of 51% of early voters to 47% for McSally. One percent indicate they have voted for Green. 10% of likely voters in this contest are persuadable, that is, they are either undecided or indicate they may vote differently on Election Day. Sinema has a net +34 points over McSally (up from a net +12) among Latino voters likely to participate. McSally has a net +7-point advantage among white voters up from a net +1 in September.
When the NBC News/Marist Poll last surveyed the contest in September, Sinema (45%) and McSally (43%) were similarly matched among Arizona likely voters. Six percent supported Green. Six percent were undecided.
Among Arizona registered voters, Sinema receives 45% to 43% for McSally. Seven percent back Green, and 5% are undecided. Previously, 44% supported Sinema, 41% were for McSally, and 6% backed Green. Eight percent of registered voters were undecided.
Six in ten likely voters with a candidate preference (60%) say they strongly support their choice. 65% of McSally’s supporters and 61% of Sinema’s backers report they are firmly committed to their candidate.
In a head-to-head matchup among likely voters, Sinema has 50% to 44% for McSally. Four percent are undecided. In the previous NBC News/Marist Poll of Arizona Sinema received 48% to 45% for McSally when matched head-to-head without the Green Party candidate. Seven percent were undecided.
“Arizona may play a pivotal role in determining the makeup of the next Senate,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Right now, the contest is very competitive with the proportion of voters still persuadable more than three times the margin separating the candidates.”
Sinema has become better known to Arizona’s likely electorate but not necessarily for the better. 48% have a favorable opinion of her, little changed from the 46% who previously had this opinion of Sinema. 42%, up from 33%, have an unfavorable impression. 10% have either never heard of Sinema or are unsure how to rate her, down from 21%.
Likely voters divide about McSally. 43% perceive her favorably, 45% have a negative opinion of her, and 12% have either never heard of McSally or are unsure how to rate her. When this question was last reported, 40% of likely voters thought well of McSally, 42% had an unfavorable view of her, and 18% had yet to form an opinion of McSally.
Turning to the gubernatorial contest in Arizona, Republican incumbent Doug Ducey (54%) has added to his double-digit lead against his Democratic challenger David Garcia (40%) among likely voters including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate or who already voted. Green Party candidate Angel Torres has 5%. Among these voters who indicate they have already cast their ballot, 56% voted for Ducey and 42% supported Garcia. Torres received 2%. Only 6% of likely voters in the gubernatorial contest are persuadable. Ducey (49%) was previously ahead of Garcia (39%) by 10 points among the Arizona likely electorate. Torres received 6% of the vote.
Among Arizona registered voters, Ducey (54%) leads Garcia (38%) by 16 points, an increase from the 11-point advantage he had in September. Five percent of registered voters support Torres.
More than six in ten likely voters with a candidate preference for governor (61%) report they strongly support their choice. 65% of Ducey’s supporters, compared with 61% of Garcia’s backers, say they are firmly committed to their candidate.
In a head-to-head matchup, Ducey (55%) leads Garcia (42%) by 13 points among likely voters in the state. Ducey (51%) was ahead of Garcia (43%) by 8 points when this question was last reported. The candidates’ support is comparable among registered voters. 55% of registered voters are for Ducey, and 41% back Garcia. Ducey (51%) had a 9-point lead over Garcia (42%) among registered voters in September.
“All indications point to a Ducey victory,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Even if a blue wave reaches the Senate race in Arizona, it is likely to stop short of the governor’s contest.”
Likely voters continue to hold Ducey in high esteem. A majority of likely voters (52%) have a favorable impression of Ducey. 40% have an unfavorable view of him, and 8% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate Ducey. The governor’s favorable rating has moved little since last reported.
Likely voters divide about Garcia. 40% have a favorable view of the candidate, and 41% have an unfavorable one. 18% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate Garcia. Garcia’s negative rating has increased. In September, Garcia’s favorable rating was 42%. His unfavorable one was 35%, and 24% had either never heard of him or were unsure how to rate him.
President Trump’s approval rating among Arizona residents is 41%, including 44% of likely voters. 49% of Arizonans disapprove, and 10% are unsure. When the president’s job approval rating was last reported in September, 39% approved, 50% disapproved, and 10% were unsure.
The proportion of residents who strongly disapprove of how the president is doing continues to overpower the proportion who strongly approve. 28% strongly approve, up from 24% in September. 38% strongly disapprove. This compares with 41% who previously had this opinion.