by Jim Nintzel
If Jon Kyl does want to run for re-election, it looks like he's a safe bet to win another term. Public Policy Polling delivers some numbers:
Jon Kyl has solid approval numbers and will be a strong favorite for reelection if he decides to seek another term. Democrats' best hope for making this a legitimate offensive opportunity is probably for him to retire.
47% of voters approve of the job Kyl is doing to 40% who disapprove. That's above average when compared against all the other Senators PPP has polled on over the last seven months. Kyl is not particularly popular with independents, sporting a 35/50 approval spread. But his 24% approval from Democrats is pretty decent for the degree of polarization in the country right now and there's no doubt about his popularity with Republicans, 74% of whom approve of him to only 14% disapproving.
PPP also tests a few Democratic contenders against Kyl, including former attorney general and gubernatorial nominee Terry Goodard, Homeland Security Secretary and former governor Janet Napolitano, former congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. Kyl easily beats all of them, but we found this tidbit about Napolitano interesting:
On paper Janet Napolitano is probably the Democrats' dream candidate as a popular former Governor. The problem is that ever since she joined the Obama administration she's not popular in the state anymore. 55% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of her to only 40% with a positive one and she trails Kyl 53-41 in a head to head. No point in coming back from Washington DC to face those odds.
Leaving the state in Jan Brewer's hands did not endear Napolitano to many Democrats—and Janet made it way too easy for Republicans to blame the state's financial mess on her.
You can read more about the numbers here.