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Dems Ahead For Prez, Senate

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

Support for legalizing marijuana has the edge

West Long Branch, NJ – Joe Biden leads Donald Trump among registered voters in Arizona, but the margin narrows under different turnout models. The Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll finds the Democrat with a large advantage among Latino voters and a small edge in all-important Maricopa County. In the race for U.S. Senate, Democrat Mark Kelly maintains his lead over incumbent Martha McSally. The poll also finds widespread voter support for a ballot measure to impose an income tax surcharge on high-earners and nominally more support than opposition for a proposition to legalize marijuana, although the latter vote could be close depending on turnout.

Among all registered voters in Arizona, the race for president stands at 48% for Biden and 44% for Trump. The contest stood at a similar 46% to 43% in a poll taken shortly before the state’s presidential primary in March. Another 4% currently support Jo Jorgensen and 3% are undecided. Voter intent includes 42% who say they are certain to vote for Biden (versus 45% who say they are not at all likely to support the Democrat) and 38% who are certain to support Trump (versus 48% who are not at all likely).

Under a likely voter scenario with a somewhat higher level of turnout than in 2016, the race narrows to 48% for Biden and 46% for Trump. The race tightens even more to 47% Biden and 47% Trump when using a likely voter model with lower turnout. Arizona has given its electoral votes to the Democrat only once in the past 70 years (1996). Trump won the state by just under 4 points in 2016.

The Democrat has a large advantage among voters of color (67% to 28%), including Latino voters specifically (63% to 33%). According to the 2016 exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the national networks, Hillary Clinton won Arizona’s Latino vote by a similar 30 points (61% to 31%). Trump leads among white voters (51% to 39%), which is similar to his lead in the 2016 exit poll (54% to 40% for Clinton). Trump has solid support among white voters without a college degree (59% to 33%), but Biden leads among white college graduates (49% to 38%).

“The Latino vote will be crucial to Biden’s chances of flipping this state. At this point, it seems more about turnout rather than his margin of support. Latinos make up a larger share of Arizona’s voter roll than four years ago, but the question is how many will show up?” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

ARIZONA: VOTER MODELS
Office:Registered
voters
High likely
turnout
Low likely
turnout
President   
Biden (D)48%48%47%
Trump (R-i)44%46%47%
Other4%3%3%
Undecided3%3%3%
    
U.S. Senator   
Kelly (D)50%50%49%
McSally (R-i)44%46%48%
Other<1%<1%<1%
Undecided4%4%4%
 Source:  Monmouth University Poll, Sep. 11-15, 2020

In populous Maricopa County, which alone accounts for about 60% of the state’s electorate, Biden holds a 9-point lead among registered voters (50% to 41%), a 6-point lead among likely voters in a high turnout scenario (50% to 44%) and a 3-point lead among likely voters in a low turnout scenario (49% to 46%). Trump actually won this county by 3 points four years ago. In the four counties that Hillary Clinton won (Apache, Coconino, Pima, and Santa Cruz) by a cumulative total of 16 points, Biden holds an even larger lead (58% to 36% RV, 60% to 36% high LV, 61% to 36% low LV). Trump holds a commanding lead in the remaining ten counties (60% to 33% RV, 61% to 31% high LV, 60% to 30% low LV). This is slightly better than his 26-point cumulative victory in these counties four years ago.

“Both candidates are solidifying their support in the most partisan areas of the state, but the big prize is still Maricopa County. And we see a notable swing away from Trump there compared to four years ago,” said Murray.

Another key bloc in Arizona is the military vote. Just over one-third of the state’s electorate reside in veteran or military households and these registered voters are almost evenly divided between Biden (48%) and Trump (44%). A majority (58%) of Arizona voters say that Trump respects our military troops and veterans either a great deal (40%) or some (18%). However, more (70%) say the same of Biden (45% great deal and 25% some). This gap narrows slightly among voters in military and veteran households, where 55% say the incumbent respects the military and 63% say the challenger does.

The president gets generally poor marks for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak – 42% say he has done a good job and 55% say he has done a bad job. However, Biden does not have a clear edge over the incumbent on this issue. Voters are split on whether they feel confident (50%) or not confident (49%) in Trump’s ability to put the country on the road to recovery from the pandemic. The results are similar for Biden – 51% confident and 48% not confident.

Biden earns nominally better personal ratings than Trump overall, although they are not particularly stellar. Among registered voters, 42% have a favorable view of the Democrat and 47% have an unfavorable opinion of him. By comparison, 40% have a favorable view of Trump and 51% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Latino voters have a better opinion of Biden (46% favorable and 30% unfavorable) than Trump (32% favorable and 49% unfavorable), although about 1 in 5 have no opinion of either candidate.

– U.S. Senate race –

In Arizona’s U.S. Senate contest, Kelly leads McSally by 6 points among registered voters (50% to 44%), which is identical to where the race stood in March. Among likely voters, his lead is 4 points in a high turnout scenario (50% to 46%) and one point in a low turnout scenario (49% to 48%). Among independents, Kelly has 60% support to 33% for McSally. Among partisans, Kelly has 97% of the Democratic vote while McSally has 88% of the Republican vote.

Kelly gets a positive rating from registered voters – 48% favorable and 29% unfavorable, with 22% having no opinion of him. In March, the Democrat’s rating was 41% favorable, 17% unfavorable, and 42% no opinion. McSally, on the other hand, earns a divided rating of 40% favorable and 42% unfavorable, with 18% having no opinion of her. The Republican’s March rating was similar at 35% favorable and 39% unfavorable, with 26% having no opinion. McSally was appointed to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s seat after she lost the election for the state’s other Senate seat two years ago.

“Kelly is simply well-liked by voters and McSally already has a recent loss under her belt. The advantage of her appointed incumbency seems to be providing limited benefit,” said Murray.

– Other poll findings –

The Monmouth University Poll also asked about two measures on the Arizona ballot this November. There is widespread support for a measure that would add a 3.5% surcharge onto the income tax rate of high-earners in the state to fund teacher pay – 66% among registered voters, 64% among high turnout likely voters, and 61% among low turnout likely voters. Backers include majorities of Democrats (84%), independents (67%), and Republicans (53%). Just 25% of registered voters say they will vote against this.

The margin is closer on a measure to legalize recreational marijuana. Among registered voters, 51% say they will vote for this and 41% will vote against it. This margin shrinks among likely voters in a high turnout scenario (49% for and 43% against) and disappears in a low turnout scenario (47% for and 47% against). A similar measure failed by a vote of 48.7% to 51.3% four years ago. Registered voter support for the current ballot proposition comes from 67% of Democrats and 59% of independents, but just 32% of Republicans.

Most Arizona voters (62%) plan to mail their ballot this fall. Another 10% say they will vote at an early in-person site and just one-fourth (24%) will go to their polling place on Election Day. Just 10% of Biden voters say they will go to the polls on Election Day while 39% of Trump voters intend to do this. More than 6 in 10 (65%) Arizona voters are at least somewhat confident that the November election will be conducted fairly and accurately. Biden voters (70%) are more confident than Trump voters (59%) about the electoral process for November.

Looking at other political figures in Arizona, Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema – who beat McSally in 2018 – earns a positive 38% favorable and 21% unfavorable rating, with 41% having no opinion of her. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey gets a negative 33% favorable and 46% unfavorable opinion, with 21% having no opinion of him. Arizona voters are also divided on whether Ducey has done a good job (48%) or bad job (49%) handling the coronavirus outbreak.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from September 11 to 15, 2020 with 420 Arizona registered voters. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.If the election for President was today, would you vote for … Donald Trump the Republican, Joe Biden the Democrat, or Jo Jorgensen the Libertarian? [NAMES WERE ROTATED] [If UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward – Donald Trump or Joe Biden?]

 TREND: REGISTERED VOTERS
(with leaners)
Sept.
2020
March
2020
Donald Trump44%43%
Joe Biden48%46%
Jo Jorgensen4%n/a
(VOL) Other candidate<1%3%
(VOL) No one1%2%
(VOL) Undecided3%6%
(n)(420)(847)

[1A.  If Trump/Biden voter, ASK: Are you certain about your vote choice, or might you change your mind before election day?]

[QUESTIONS 2 & 3 WERE ROTATED]

2.What is the likelihood that you might vote for Donald Trump in November – very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Certain for Trump (from Q1/A)38%
Very likely 2%
Somewhat likely 5%
Not too likely5%
Not at all likely48%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
(n)(420)

3.What is the likelihood that you might vote for Joe Biden in November – very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Certain for Biden (from Q1/A)42%
Very likely 2%
Somewhat likely 7%
Not too likely3%
Not at all likely45%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
(n)(420)

4.If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for … Martha McSally the Republican or Mark Kelly the Democrat? [NAMES WERE ROTATED] [If UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward – Martha McSally or Mark Kelly?]

TREND: REGISTERED VOTERS
(with leaners)
Sept.
2020
March
2020
Martha McSally44%44%
Mark Kelly50%50%
(VOL) Other candidate<1%1%
(VOL) No one1%1%
(VOL) Undecided4%4%
(n)(420)(847)

5A.There is a measure on the ballot that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older and allow residents to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. Marijuana use would be banned in public and a 16 percent tax would be placed on marijuana sold by licensed establishments. Will you vote for or against this measure?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
For51%
Against41%
(VOL) Will not vote on this3%
(VOL) Don’t know6%
(n)(420)

5B.Another measure on the ballot would impose a 3.5% surcharge on income tax rates paid by single filers making over $250,000 and joint filers making over $500,000. The additional funds will be used to hire and increase salaries of teachers and other school personnel. Will you vote for or against this measure?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
For66%
Against25%
(VOL) Will not vote on this1%
(VOL) Don’t know7%
(n)(420)

[QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED]

6.Is your general impression of Donald Trump very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable, or do you have no opinion?

TREND: REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
 March
2020
Very favorable27%Fav41%
Somewhat favorable13%
Somewhat unfavorable7%Unfav50%
Very unfavorable44%
No opinion9% 10%
(n)(420)(847)

7.Is your general impression of Joe Biden very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable, or do you have no opinion?

TREND: REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
 March
2020
Very favorable24%Fav36%
Somewhat favorable18%
Somewhat unfavorable11%Unfav38%
Very unfavorable36%
No opinion11% 26%
(n)(420)(847)

8.Please tell me if your general impression of each of the following people is favorable or unfavorable, or if you don’t really have an opinion.  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

Martha McSally

TREND: REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
March
2020
Favorable40%35%
Unfavorable42%39%
No opinion18%26%
(n)(420)(847)

Mark Kelly

TREND: REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
March
2020
Favorable48%41%
Unfavorable29%17%
No opinion22%42%
(n)(420)(847)

Kyrsten Sinema

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Favorable38%
Unfavorable21%
No opinion41%
(n)(420)

Doug Ducey

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Favorable33%
Unfavorable46%
No opinion21%
(n)(420)

9.Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the 2020 presidential election? [Is that very or somewhat optimistic/pessimistic]?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Very optimistic32%
Somewhat optimistic35%
Somewhat pessimistic15%
Very pessimistic12%
(VOL) Neither, don’t care2%
(VOL) Don’t know3%
(n)(420)

10.How motivated are you to vote in the November election for president – very motivated, somewhat motivated, or not that motivated?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Very motivated88%
Somewhat motivated8%
Not that motivated4%
(VOL) Don’t know0%
(n)(420)

11.Compared to past elections, are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as past elections?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
More enthusiastic48%
Less enthusiastic14%
About the same36%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
(n)(420)

12.How will you vote this year – in person on Election Day, in person at an early voting location, or by mail ballot?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
In person on Election Day24%
In person at an early voting location10%
By mail ballot62%
(VOL) Won’t vote at all1%
(VOL) Don’t know3%
(n)(420)

13.Overall, how confident are you that the November election will be conducted fairly and accurately – very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Very confident24%
Somewhat confident41%
Not too confident23%
Not at all confident11%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
(n)(420)

[QUESTIONS 14 & 15 WERE ROTATED]

14.Has Donald Trump done a good job or bad job handling the coronavirus outbreak? [Is that very or somewhat good/bad?]

TREND: REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
March
2020
Very good27%28%
Somewhat good15%21%
Somewhat bad11%12%
Very bad44%34%
(VOL) Don’t know4%5%
(n)(420)(604)

15.Has Governor Doug Ducey done a good job or bad job handling the coronavirus outbreak?  [Is that very or somewhat good/bad?]

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Very good15%
Somewhat good33%
Somewhat bad24%
Very bad25%
(VOL) Don’t know3%
(n)(420)

[QUESTIONS 16 & 17 WERE ROTATED]

16.How confident are you that Donald Trump can put the country on the road to recovery from the pandemic – very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Very confident33%
Somewhat confident17%
Not too confident8%
Not at all confident41%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
(n)(420)

17.How confident are you that Joe Biden can put the country on the road to recovery from the pandemic – very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Very confident21%
Somewhat confident30%
Not too confident13%
Not at all confident35%
(VOL) Don’t know2%
(n)(420)

[QUESTIONS 18 & 19 WERE ROTATED]

18.Would you say Donald Trump respects our military troops and veterans a great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Great deal40%
Some18%
Not much11%
Not at all30%
(VOL) Don’t know1%
(n)(420)

19.Would you say Joe Biden respects our military troops and veterans a great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

REGISTERED VOTERSSept.
2020
Great deal45%
Some25%
Not much10%
Not at all15%
(VOL) Don’t know5%
(n)(420)

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from September 11 to 15, 2020 with a statewide random sample of 420 Arizona voters drawn from a list of registered voters. This includes 191 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 229 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English and Spanish. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The survey contacted a small oversample of Hispanic voters, but the full sample is proportionately weighted for party registration, age, gender, race, education, and region based on state voter registration list information and U.S. Census information (CPS 2018 supplement). Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and Aristotle (voter sample). For results based on the full voter sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)
REGISTERED VOTERS
 
Party Registration
35% Republican
33% Other/none
32% Democrat
 
Self-Reported Party
35% Republican
39% Independent
25% Democrat
 
48% Male
52% Female
 
20% 18-34
25% 35-49
28% 50-64
26% 65+
 
70% White, non-Hispanic
  4% Black
22% Hispanic
  2% Asian
  2% Other race
 
65% No degree
35% 4 year degree
 

Download this Poll Report with crosstabs