by Jim Nintzel
Public Policy Polling gave us President Barack Obama's numbers in Arizona yesterday.
Today, the organization has some data on Arizona's potential governor's race next year—and the news is good for Terry Goddard:
If the election was today Democrats would reclaim the Governor's seat they gave up in Arizona when Janet Napolitano became Homeland Security Secretary. Attorney General and likely party nominee Terry Goddard leads incumbent Republican Jan Brewer and two other potential GOP rivals by margins ranging from 8 to 23 points.
The news is not so good for Gov. Jan Brewer:
Only 26% of Arizona voters approve of the job Brewer is doing with 43% expressing disapproval and 31% unsure. Her numbers are remarkably consistent along party lines with 28% of Republicans, 26% of Democrats, and 24% of independents giving her good marks. Of all the Governors and Senators PPP has polled on across the country so far in 2009 Brewer is the least popular within her own party, taking that mantle from Illinois Senator Roland Burris who is at just 29% with Democrats.
Goddard leads Brewer 46-36 in a head to head contest, winning 77% of the Democratic vote while holding her to 59% of the Republican vote and taking independents 47-35. He is actually slightly more popular with GOP voters than Brewer is, with 31% of them viewing him positively. Overall 44% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him to 22% unfavorable.
And it's really bad for Republican Fife Symington III, who resigned from the governor's office back in 1997 after being convicted on fraud counts that were later overturned on appeal. Fife has recently been making noises about a political comeback:
Fife Symington may have had the conviction that led to his resignation in 1997 thrown out by the courts, but he doesn't appear to have recovered in the court of public opinion. 54% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of him with only 17% viewing him favorably. It's important to note though that 26% of Republicans like him, almost equal to Brewer. That could make a primary contest interesting.
He doesn't appear to be viable as a general election candidate, trailing Goddard 52-29. The Democrat wins independents by an unusual 31 point margin in that match, and wins 84% of his party vote while Symington gets just 51% of Republicans.