Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is the Republicans’ best shot at holding onto the Arizona governorship in 2010 against likely Democratic candidate Terry Goddard.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Arizona voters finds Arpaio, famed for his crackdowns on illegal immigrants, leading Goddard, the state’s current attorney general, by 12 points — 51% to 39%. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.
Embattled incumbent Republican Jan Brewer, who stepped up to the governorship from secretary of state when Janet Napolitano became secretary of Homeland Security, trails Goddard by nine points — 44% to 35%. In that match-up, nine percent (9%) like another candidate. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure whom they’ll vote for.
More bad news for Brewer:
Arizona is one of the hardest hit states in the country budgetwise, and just 39% of voters now approve of Brewer’s performance as governor. Only four percent (4%) strongly approve. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disapprove of the job she is doing, with 24% who strongly disapprove.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) say economic conditions in Arizona are getting worse. Just 13% say they are getting better, while 22% think they’re staying about the same.
But again like voters around the country, most in Arizona don’t think tax increases are the way out. Fifty-one percent (51%) oppose increasing the state sales tax to solve budget issues, while 36% say an increase in the sales tax is a good idea. Thirteen percent (13%) aren’t sure.