by Jim Nintzel
Rasmussen is the latest polling outfit to reveal that Attorney General Terry Goddard is leading the 2010 gubernatorial race at this early stage. The Rasmussen release:
State Attorney General Terry Goddard has an early lead over embattled incumbent Jan Brewer in Arizona’s 2010 race for governor.
The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey in the state finds Goddard, a Democrat, ahead of the state’s current Republican chief executive 42% to 35%. Thirteen percent (13%) like some other candidate, and 11% are undecided.
Goddard also has a seven-point lead - 44% to 37% - on another possible GOP contender, former Governor Fife Symington. Nine percent (9%) prefer some other candidate, and 10% are not sure whom they’d vote for.
Brewer, the Arizona secretary of state, became governor in January when Janet Napolitano resigned to become President Obama’s secretary of Homeland Security. Faced with reportedly the largest per-capita state budget deficit in the country, an increasingly frustrated Brewer has been battling with Democrats and even her own party virtually ever since.
Highlighting Brewer’s unpopularity even in her own party is the fact that Symington, who resigned as governor in 1997 following a fraud conviction, polls about the same as she does at this early stage. Symington's conviction was
later overturned on appeal, and he was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.
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In a match-up with Goddard, Brewer draws only 59% support from her fellow Republicans. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Arizona Democrats back Goddard. Unaffiliated voters give Goddard the edge by 10 points.
Goddard’s Democratic support rises to 90%, and he carried unaffiliateds by seven points in a match-up with Symington. The ex-governor earns 61% of GOP support.
Sixteen percent (16%) of all Arizona voters have a very favorable view of Goddard, while 17% see him very unfavorably.
Negatives for Brewer are quite strong. In fact, the number with a very unfavorable view of her outnumber those with a very favorable opinion by three-to-one — 22% to seven percent (7%).
Symington is viewed very favorably by 10% and very unfavorably by 30%.
At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) approve of Brewer’s job performance as governor while 57% disapprove. Only eight percent (8%) strongly approve while 21% strongly disapprove. In May, 51% offered their approval of the way Brewer handled her job.
Twenty-one percent (21%) rate Brewer’s handling of the state’s budget negotiations as good or excellent. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say she has done a poor job.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) say Brewer has done a better job on the budget negotiations than Napolitano would have done, but 38% say she has done worse. Another 28% say she has done about the same as her predecessor would have done.
Seventy-six percent (76%) say the unwillingness of politicians to control government spending is a bigger problem in the state than the unwillingness of voters to pay enough in taxes. Just 17% say reluctant taxpayers are the bigger problem.
Forty-one percent (41%) of Arizona voters say the state government tries to do too much, but 39% say it doesn’t try to do enough. Fifteen percent (15%) say it tries to do just about the right amount of what voters want.