by Jim Nintzel
-Doug Ducey's off to a rough start as Governor. Only 27% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 44% who disapprove. Both Democrats (13/59) and independents (13/52) give him very poor marks while Republicans (49/26) are much less emphatic in their approval. Ducey's current approval closely mirrors the 26/41 favorability we found for him right before the GOP primary last year- although Republicans voters finally came together to vote for him in the general it looks as if there are still plenty who don't like him after last year's contentious intra party contest.
-Voters in Maricopa County have gotten pretty sour on long time Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Only 38% have a favorable opinion of him to 53% with a negative one. Interestingly Arpaio is far more popular in the rest of Arizona- a 50/41 favorability rating- than he is in his own county. It's hard to say if Maricopa voters unhappy with him- especially the Republican ones- would go so far as to vote him out but he's clearly not in good standing right now.
-For most voters the reaction to life in Arizona after gay marriage became legal has been 'no big deal.' 60% say it's had no impact on their life and another 14% say it's been a positive thing. Just 26% claim gay marriage being legal has affected them negatively. More Arizonans- 48%- support gay marriage than the 43% who oppose it and among voters under the age of 30 the numbers in favor are 71/16.
-Voters in the state are very unhappy about budget cuts that have recently been made to education in the state at all levels. 63% say they disapprove of the cuts to only 24% who are in support of them. Voters generally think the current amount of funding for both K/12 and higher education in the state is inadequate. 64% think there is not enough K/12 funding to just 10% who think there's too much, and 51% think there is not enough higher education funding to only 22% who think there's too much. 52% of voters say they'd support a one cent increase in the sales tax to help restore lost education funding with only 39% opposed.
-After a year in which Arizona had far superior seasons in both basketball and football, 36% of voters in the state say they're fans of the Wildcats to 28% for Arizona State. That's a reversal from a year ago when we found the Sun Devils winning out on fan loyalty 34/31. Rich Rodriguez (51/11) and Todd Graham (45/12) are both pretty popular within their fan bases and have comparable approval numbers. Sean Miller (61/5 approval) is the most well thought of coach within the major sports at the two schools. Arizona State fans are largely ambivalent about both the decision to fire Herb Sendek (27% approve and 13% disapprove but 60% have no opinion) and the decision to hire Bobby Hurley (24% have a favorable opinion of him, 3% unfavorable, 73% have no opinion.)
-48% of Arizonans identify themselves as fans of each of the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, leading the way for sports loyalties in the state. That drops to 42% who call themselves fans of the Suns and then all the way down to 29% for those who are fans of the Coyotes. Despite the lack of interest in the team, 42% of Arizonans still say they think there should be an NHL team in the state to only 24% who don't.
-Indiana may have fallen in line recently but there was little we polled on in Arizona that voters were more emphatic on than this- they do not want to observe daylight savings time. 69% are opposed to adopting it compared to only 17% who would be supportive of doing so. There's broad agreement across party lines on the issue- Republicans (74/17), independents (75/14), and Democrats (59/20) all stand against that change.
-Arizonans love the desert- unsurprisingly since most of them live in it. 73% have a favorable opinion of it to 8% with a negative one. They're not as sold on cactus though- 44% see it positively but 8% have a negative view. And there's nothing Arizonans can agree on more universally than loving the Grand Canyon- it sports a 94/2 favorability rating.