by Jim Nintzel
Democrat Fred DuVal released a poll today showing that this year's gubernatorial race is up for grabs.
Granted, the election is a long way off and voters don't yet know most of the potential candidates, but Team DuVal clearly sees the poll results as encouraging.
Among the findings: In trial heats for governor, DuVal is currently tied with Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey (32%-32%) and trails Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett by just 3 percentage points (35%-32%).
But even more encouraging for Team DuVal is the response to the message that DuVal hopes to drive home. When voters are asked if they'd prefer "a Republican who supports cutting state taxes for business and individuals and reducing spending," or "a Democrat who favors making targeted investments in early childhood education and K-12 public schools," the voters prefer the latter. That includes 47 percent of all surveyed voters, 51 percent of independents and 49 percent of GOP women aged 18 to 54.
But that message might not be what motivates voters when it comes time to cast a ballot this November. The conventional wisdom suggests that with President Barack Obama in the sixth year of his term, voters will be looking to support the GOP ticket on the federal level and that same instinct could create a strong headwind against Democrats at the state level.
The poll, by GarinHartYang Research Group, surveyed 500 likely Arizona voters and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent. Check out the entire polling memo here.