by Jim Nintzel
Public Policy Polling wraps up Arizona week with an examination of the GOP nomination for governor. Gov. Jan Brewer is looking good, as long as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio doesn't decide to run:
Six months ago it looked like Jan Brewer would have a very difficult time winning nomination to a full term as Governor of Arizona. Now in the wake of signing a controversial immigration measure popular with conservatives she looks like a strong favorite.
Brewer leads the Republican pack with 38% to 19% for Buz Mills, 16% for Dean Martin, and 3% for John Munger. Her approval rating with primary voters stands at a positive 52/30 spread, a 34 point improvement on the margin since September when it was a negative 28/40. The improvement in her standing with conservatives has been particularly dramatic, going up 52 points from 30/42 in the fall to now 60/20.
38% in the primary still isn't a particularly impressive standing for a sitting Governor but she is being helped quite a bit by the fact that she has so many opponents, effectively splitting the still sizable anti-Brewer vote.
Brewer's opponents are pretty much an unknown to
likely primary voters, and they could pick up more support once they are able to more broadly introduce themselves to the electorate. 61% have no opinion about Mills, 63% are ambivalent toward Martin, and Munger is really anonymous with 86% of voters expressing no feelings toward him one way or the other.
One thing that could confound Brewer's hopes for renomination is if Joe Arpaio decided to make a last second entry into the race. He is by far the most Republican in the state with primary voters. 70% of them view him favorably to only 22% with a negative opinion, and he leads Brewer 33-25 as a prospective candidate.
For now though Brewer has improved her position significantly so far in 2010, and has to be seen as a very strong favorite for renomination.