by Jim Nintzel
Republican Ruth McClung released a poll today showing that she trails Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva by just 7 percentage points in Congressional District 7.
Grijalva had the support of 42 percent of the voters in the poll, while McClung had the support of 35 percent. Another 23 percent were undecided.
“We’re very excited about it,” says Sam Stone, spokesman for the McClung campaign. “It clearly shows how much Raul Grijalva’s policies and his boycott have affected this race. Voters are definitely looking for an alternative of someone who is more interested in representing their constituents than making headlines.”
McClung, who works at Raytheon, is making her first run for political office.
Pat Burns of the Grijalva campaign had no immediate comment on the survey.
Grijalva, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, won his 2008 race against Republican Joe Sweeney with 63 percent of the vote. He defeated Republican Ron Drake with 61 percent of the vote in 2006.
The poll, which has a margin of 4.3 percent, was conducted on Sept. 25-26 by American Political Consulting, which notes that “other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.”
The political world has been buzzing about whether Grijalva was in a close race for several weeks, but McClung's poll is the first survey to be publicly released.
The most recent registration count shows that 44 percent of District 7 voters are Democrats, while just 23 percent are Republicans. Another 32 percent identify as independents.
Voters in the poll self-identified their political leanings, with 32 percent saying they were Democrats, 21 percent saying they were Republicans, 34 percent saying they were independent and 13 percent saying they were undecided. Women made up 52 percent of the sample, while men made up 48 percent.