by Jim Nintzel
Rasmussen provides new numbers on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in the wake of her signing of the immigration law that has captured the nation's attention:
Last week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an immigration law that launched a national debate. It has also at least temporarily helped her own chances of remaining Arizona’s governor.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state shows that 56% now approve of the way Brewer is performing her role as governor. Two weeks ago, just 40% offered their approval.
The new figure includes 22% who Strongly Approve of the governor’s performance. That’s up from five percent (5%) before Brewer signed the law that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant.
The bounce in the polls is also evident in new numbers on the November election. If Brewer is the Republican nominee, she would get 48% of the vote while her likely Democratic opponent, State Attorney General Terry Goddard, would attract 40%. Two weeks ago, it was Brewer 44% and Goddard 40%. Goddard is an outspoken opponent of the new law.
As with all poll bounces, it remains to be seen whether this is a temporary spike
in support for the governor or if it signifies a lasting change in the race.
Data on the immigration law itself will be released soon. The law is popular with the state’s voters, and a plurality believe it will be good for the state’s economy. The numbers indicate anger at the federal government rather than illegal immigrants.
This is the second big issue in two months to boost Brewer’s prospects for being elected to her own full-term in office. In March, Brewer trailed Goddard by nine percentage points. Then, after passage of the federal health care law, Goddard refused to file a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the law. Brewer found a way around that objection, and Arizona joined other states in the legal challenge. After that, Brewer’s numbers improved to a slight advantage over Goddard.
Brewer became governor when Janet Napolitano moved to Washington to be secretary of Homeland Security. She initially ran into trouble with Republicans statewide by supporting a tax hike to help balance the state budget.
Following the health care action, Brewer’s numbers also improved in the Republican Primary campaign.
The latest polling did not ask about the Republican Primary. However, it is worth noting that 81% of Republicans now approve of Brewer’s performance. That’s up from 52% before signing the immigration law. Those figures include 31% of Republicans who now Strongly Approve, up from seven percent (7%) before the immigration law was signed.