PPP: Arizona not really going to be a swing state after all

posted at 10:41 am on May 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

No one really thought Barack Obama had a chance in Arizona, did they?  Not only does the state have a distinctly conservative electorate, it also has a rather strong Mormon presence on which Mitt Romney will draw for support.  Democratic pollster PPP throws a large dash of cold water on Democrat dreams of a surprise in the desert:

Arizona’s looking a little bit less intriguing for Barack Obama than it did three months ago, when PPP polled it in the middle of the Republican primary contest. At the time it was tied but Mitt Romney’s now opened back up a 50-43 advantage in the state.

Arizona makes a rare state where Romney actually has a positive favorability rating, at 46/45. Meanwhile Obama is unpopular there with only 41% of voters approving of his job performance to 56% who disapprove. Romney’s ahead 48-38 with independents. Obama’s dominating the Hispanic vote as he is most places, leading 63-35, but Obama’s going to have to keep it closer with whites than his current 56-36 deficit if he’s going to have a chance at carrying the state.

One thing that could make the race more competitive in Arizona, perhaps more so than other states, is Gary Johnson’s presence on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate.  He pulls 9% in Arizona and he takes a lot more support away from Romney than he does Obama, narrowing Romney’s lead in the state to 45-41. History suggests it’s quite unlikely Johnson would really pull 9% in the end but it shows how many voters are unhappy with their main choices in this race.

That approval rating is 41/56, which means that even if Romney didn’t get a lot of support in the state, Obama is even less likely to win it.  Don’t forget that Romney won the state in the early part of the nomination process rather easily, so the idea that Arizona Republicans will be less likely to turn out with Romney is a strange notion indeed.  With that kind of approval rating, Obama has more of a problem there with his party than Romney will with the GOP.

The only real surprise — and it’s not much of one — is the impact that an Arizona running mate has on Romney’s standing.  Let’s just say that he’ll be looking eastward to fill out the ticket.  John McCain’s favorability in the state is a disastrous 36/54, and while Governor Jan Brewer is above water at 47/45, having her as a running mate gives the overall ticket a four-point lead, one point less than Romney has over Obama one-on-one.

One caveat, though, is the sample, which has a D/R/I of 31/46/23.  In 2010, the D/R/I was 28/36/36.  That’s big enough to take a closer look, but since the biggest undersample was with independents that give Romney a 10-point edge, it’s probably not working in Obama’s favor.

Update: The last sentence should have read, “not working in Obama’s favor” rather than “Romney’s”.  I’ve fixed it.


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Love that pic. Brewer is really giving it to Teh Won.

The deer-in-the-headlights look on his face is priceless.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM

JugEars to Arizona-FO!
Arizona to JugEars-FO!
That’s fair!

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Maybe he can get the rattlesnake vote…

PatriotRider on May 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

The Dems are shocked, shocked I say!

upinak on May 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

No one really thought Barack Obama had a chance in Arizona, did they?

Other than Karl Rove, no.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Way oversampling Republicans, and showing Romney only up +4 with no-name Gary Johnson inlcuded….in AZ which hasn’t voted for a Democrat i 2 generations???

Not exactly a strong poll for RomneyCare, no matter how much Ed tries to spin this.

Norwegian on May 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Together we Strive

Arizona is flyin’ with the winged ones. :)

Electrongod on May 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

2010 election results in Arizona:

Governor
54.3% R, 42.5% D (+11.9% R)

U.S. Senate
58.9% R, 34.7% D (+24.2% R)

All House races:
53.0% R, 41.9% D (+11.1% R)

steebo77 on May 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

One caveat, though, is the sample, which has a D/R/I of 31/46/23. In 2010, the D/R/I was 28/36/36. That’s big enough to take a closer look, but since the biggest undersample was with independents that give Romney a 10-point edge, it’s probably not working in Romney’s favor.

That sample is so bad, this post barely qualifies as “news you can use”.

Bitter Clinger on May 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Not exactly a strong poll for RomneyCare, no matter how much Ed tries to spin this.

Norwegian on May 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

“….but since the biggest undersample was with independents that give Romney a 10-point edge, it’s probably not working in Romney’s favor.” -Ed the Spinner

Electrongod on May 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

One caveat, though, is the sample, which has a D/R/I of 31/46/23.

Time for the Democrats to bring in a couple of fresh truckloads of illegals from South of the Border to balance those numbers out…..

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Hey Ed, maybe I’m not understanding that last sentence, but should’t it read “not working in Obama’s favor?”

GeorgiaBuckeye on May 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

The left still hasn’t figured out that states who didn’t vote for Obama last time around won’t be voting for him this time around.

The loss of the favorite son factor notwithstanding.

Red Cloud on May 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Bacracka will be lucky* to win 10 states.

*Lucky being able to stuff enough ballot boxes.

SouthernGent on May 24, 2012 at 10:51 AM

West Virginia: Racist!

Kentucky: Racist!

Arkansas: Racist!

Arizona: Racist!

NotCoach on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Don’t trust PPP. This is clearly a poll designed to show Romney up big, just so they can skew the sample huge the other way and create a narrative of an Obama resurgence sometime mid-summer. My guess is that a solid lead is legitimate, but I’m wary of anything told to me by a pollster affiliated with Kos.

Gingotts on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

No one really thought Barack Obama had a chance in Arizona, did they?

Other than Karl Rove, no.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Oh, does Rove’s electoral map still have Obama with 210 and Romney with 14?

Marcus on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Hope springs eternal for the left. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution actually posted an article on their website the morning of November 4th, 2008, which had the line “As you read this, Barack Obama is probably winning the race in Georgia.”

McCain beat him here by over 204,000 votes, in fact, that’s several thousand more votes than he had over Obama in his home state of Arizona! But the left kept talking about Georgia as though they had a shot here. Apparantly they forgot that the franchise is not restricted to Midtown and DeKalb County…

radjah shelduck on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Even though AZ has been invaded by the Californian refugees, Bark has to be a hard sell as a candidate given that he has more or less declared war on the state…

CorporatePiggy on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I’m sure laborers in Arizona are thrilled that Obama’s justice department is suing the state for enforcing federal immigration law.

stout77 on May 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Nice leading picture. By the way, what is Obama’s rating with coyotes? They will be voting, y’know.

Archivarix on May 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Arizona was never a swing state. It was never going to be close. I do hope some of that anti-Obama sentiment spills over into New Mexico though.

Doughboy on May 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

West Virginia: Racist!

Kentucky: Racist!

Arkansas: Racist!

Arizona: Racist!

NotCoach on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Cory Booker: Racist!

Oh, no wait . . .

Heh. Is it time to start putting scare quotes around “racist” yet?

smellthecoffee on May 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Maybe he can get the rattlesnake vote…

PatriotRider on May 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

He ate the rattlesnake.

de rigueur on May 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Love that pic. Brewer is really giving it to Teh Won.

The deer-in-the-headlights look on his face is priceless.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM

But moderates hate that Brewer was less than respectful to the President.
Brewer has suffered a decline in popularity here in AZ since that incident.
Like it or not, we have to appeal to moderates before we can win anything.

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM

“Romney will lose every state and four more years of President Obama won’t be all that bad. Did I mention I voted for Donald Reagan?”

-staunch conservative Gumby

Bishop on May 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM

John McCain’s favorability in the state is a disastrous 36/54

Coming from the liberal north east, I can’t, with any creditably,ask what were they thinking when they re-elected this arrogant RINO -but I will…

Don L on May 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Love that pic. Brewer is really giving it to Teh Won.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM

She sure is. And look at him trying to bully her by holding her elbow. I hope she didn’t finish with him before she told him to get his filthy hand off of her.

petefrt on May 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

By the way, what is Obama’s rating with coyotes? They will be voting, y’know.

Archivarix on May 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Yes, we certainly will be voting.

But not for Obama.

AZCoyote on May 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

But moderates hate that Brewer was less than respectful to the President.
Brewer has suffered a decline in popularity here in AZ since that incident.
Like it or not, we have to appeal to moderates before we can win anything.

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Brewer’s problems in Arizona are with conservatives. She signed SB1070 only to rescue her flagging campaign and her policies in AZ have been anything but conservative. She’s a fiscal moderate at best. Good riddance to her in two years.

With respect to AZ being “conservative”, actually it’s a center-right state with a very strong libertarian vein.

mbecker908 on May 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

But moderates hate that Brewer was less than respectful to the President.
Brewer has suffered a decline in popularity here in AZ since that incident.
Like it or not, we have to appeal to moderates before we can win anything.

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Winning by selling out your principles and buying into theirs is called losing anyway in my book.

Don L on May 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Don’t trust PPP. This is clearly a poll designed to show Romney up big, just so they can skew the sample huge the other way and create a narrative of an Obama resurgence sometime mid-summer. My guess is that a solid lead is legitimate, but I’m wary of anything told to me by a pollster affiliated with Kos.

Gingotts on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Never trust a democrat. One of PPP’s assistant directors has publicly stated he intends to personally help “eviscerate” Pat McCrory (GOP candidate for governor in North Carolina).

Pollster Dustin Ingalls, assistant director with the Democratic Polling Group – Public Policy Polling was speaking to the Cumberland County Democratic Men’s Club when he was quoted as saying,

“To win, we have to raise a lot of money, first of all, and we have to absolutely eviscerate McCrory.” He went on to say, “We have to just slash McCrory — death by a thousand cuts.”

SouthernGent on May 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Obama would have to win nationally by at least a 5 percent margin to take Arizona.

Republicans are grossly oversampled here, but I think that Republican turnout is going to be at 2010 margins or better, so the sample sizes for Republicans in all polls should be a little higher than usual anyway.

Corporal Tunnel on May 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Coming from the liberal north east, I can’t, with any creditably,ask what were they thinking when they re-elected this arrogant RINO -but I will…

Don L on May 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

The alternatives to McCain are always worse. He has a wide and deep organization here, and lots of money, and that keeps better candidates from challenging him.

AZCoyote on May 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Brewer would be a nightmare as a veep.

She looks like the decades-long owner of some mid-western “Arizona Tanning Beds” company.

budfox on May 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

More weird samples. I still don’t see Obama winning AZ. Economy there is really struggling. Support among voters of Mexican descent for Obama is overstated by lefty hopefuls as is turnout IMHO.

The battles between the AZ state govt and the Obama fed govt will surely drive turnout of ABO voters.

BruinEric on May 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Obama obviously thinks pandering to Hispanics is a smart move. All he has to do is dangle “immigration reform” in front of them once again.

Will any of those Hispanic voters be smart enough to ask “You had majorities in both Houses for two years. What happened to immigration reform at that time?”

GarandFan on May 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

But moderates hate that Brewer was less than respectful to the President.
Brewer has suffered a decline in popularity here in AZ since that incident.

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Brewer’s problems in Arizona are with conservatives. She signed SB1070 only to rescue her flagging campaign and her policies in AZ have been anything but conservative. She’s a fiscal moderate at best. Good riddance to her in two years.

mbecker908 on May 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I’m hardly a moderate, but my opinion of Brewer nosedived after that stunt. It reeked of showboating, self-aggrandizement, and a lust for a little national attention. Wasn’t she trying to hawk her book at the time? She’s a media whore, and was probably trying to goose her numbers with conservatives by going after Obama. It was transparent, and obviously didn’t work.

I refuse to believe that the home state of Barry Goldwater would ever go to Obama.

Mr. Arkadin on May 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Obama obviously thinks pandering to Hispanics is a smart move. All he has to do is dangle “immigration reform” in front of them once again.

GarandFan on May 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

They are not coming here to marry their gay lover.

They used to come here for jobs.

faraway on May 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM

But moderates hate that Brewer was less than respectful to the President.
Brewer has suffered a decline in popularity here in AZ since that incident.
Like it or not, we have to appeal to moderates before we can win anything.

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Winning by selling out your principles and buying into theirs is called losing anyway in my book.

Don L on May 24, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Public disrespectfulness toward our nation’s president is your principle?

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM

So… how many states does it make now that are a-swinging no more?

Logus on May 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM

@Bitter Clinger:
“That sample is so bad, this post barely qualifies as “news you can use”.”

Agreed- Reps look to be oversampled by at least 7 and arguably 10, so this poll is worth about as much as one of barry dunham’s aliases.

Even if it is good news for the Team of Goodness and Right (meaning us and not the doltish left), this is news that just doesn’t mean much.

GrassMudHorsey on May 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh…but have the taken a poll of the Zombie vote? Zombies vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

NickDeringer on May 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

With respect to AZ being “conservative”, actually it’s a center-right state with a very strong libertarian vein.

mbecker908 on May 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Libertarian as in small government and self-dependent libertarian or Ron Paul crazy as bat guano libertarian?

Happy Nomad on May 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Barry declared war on Arizona in every way imaginable. Yet, he is so egocentric that he expects another term ’cause it’s cool to have a prez with dark skin?

Hening on May 24, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Brewer would be a nightmare as a veep.

She looks like the decades-long owner of some mid-western “Arizona Tanning Beds” company.

budfox on May 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

So you judge people’s abilities by how they look? You must be really smart.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Did 0bama even get on the ballot yet?

Rebar on May 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Other than Karl Rove, no.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Oh, does Rove’s electoral map still have Obama with 210 and Romney with 14?

Marcus on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Last time I saw him showing one of his maps, he had Texas as “leans Romney.”

Come on. Does he actually think 0bama has a snowballs chance of winning Texas?

Rove loses a little more credibility every time he opens his fat mouth.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Barry declared war on Arizona in every way imaginable. Yet, he is so egocentric that he expects another term ’cause it’s cool to have a prez with dark skin?

Hening on May 24, 2012 at 11:47 AM

His entire reelection effort is centered around big, bold lies. “Don’t believe the media I’m not a big spender. Mitt Romney didn’t create jobs at Bain. Red states are swing states.”

Somewhere Goebbels is blushing.

Kataklysmic on May 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Brewer would be a nightmare as a veep.

She looks like the decades-long owner of some mid-western “Arizona Tanning Beds” company.

budfox on May 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

So you judge people’s abilities by how they look? You must be really smart.

The Notorious G.O.P on May 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Based on looks in 2008 I would have guessed little Bammie to be a used Mercedes salesman.

slickwillie2001 on May 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I find it hard to respect the guy that holds the office of the presidency, when the guy holding that office has absolutely no respect for it. Being a narcissistic SOB, surely doesn’t help build respect among the peasants either.

savage24 on May 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM

If the citizens of the state of Arizona cannot understand why the Federal Government treats them like a third world country, they just need to keep voting for senators who lie to them before election day and then stab them in the back the next day. At least the Federal Government is honest when they look the other way when their immigration problems are out of control. A state with a mindset like that will probably vote for Obama and be surprised when their state language is spanish. When all is said and done, we will all just get what we deserve and should not be surprised when our way of life ceases to exist.

volsense on May 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The Notorious G.O.P on May 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Smarter than you, savant, to understand the optics of putting the Cat Lady from Simpsons next to Romney is destined for ridicule and kills the credibility argument.

Lest we forget…

Brain Freeze

budfox on May 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Other than Karl Rove, no.
UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Oh, does Rove’s electoral map still have Obama with 210 and Romney with 14?

Marcus on May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Last time I saw him showing one of his maps, he had Texas as “leans Romney.”

Come on. Does he actually think 0bama has a snowballs chance of winning Texas?

Rove loses a little more credibility every time he opens his fat mouth.

UltimateBob on May 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Nah, you guys are just dumb and can’t even understand very basic things.

Rove’s map is merely a polling average map – as he carefully described it. He explained multiple times it’s not his projection or a prediction. He simply picks the available public polls and averages them.

You can do the same – just go to RCP or something – and you’ll come up with the exact same map.

joana on May 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Obama and Arizona?

Giffords’ former chief of staff who’s running for her congressional seat in the June 12 special election, refuses to say if he’s voting for Obama.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/ron-barber-former-giffords-aide-wont-say-whether-he-plans-to-vote-for-obama/2012/05/24/gJQAoj9BnU_blog.html?wprss=rss_campaigns

joana on May 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

That Arizona swing state thing was just another of the wet-dreams of lunatic-left d-cRAT socialist extremists stoned on medical pot.

As one of the states with the best voting record in the nation, Arizona voters didn’t go for “You Lie!” hussein in the primary (Hillary won) and didn’t go for “You Lie!” in the general. Everyone knows that “You Lie!” hussein and his imbecile AG (and Black Panther Party supporter and defender) holder have relentlessly attacked, vilified and sued Arizona because it tries to protect its citizens from ILLEGAL invader criminals (which they won’t do). Arizona has done more than any other state to fight d-cRAT socialist extremism, including blocking obozocare’s mandate, stopping forced unionization as a Right-to-Work state, prohibiting affirmative action discriminatory special treatment and countless other socialist atrocities.

TeaPartyNation on May 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Not exactly a strong poll for RomneyCare, no matter how much Ed tries to spin this.

Norwegian on May 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I agree but I still don’t think Obama has a chance of taking AZ.

Missy on May 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Say what you want about my state of AZ but I was never fooled into thinking Obama would carry it. Why would anyone think Obama’s likely to get more votes in states he lost after his first term?

The alternatives to McCain are always worse. He has a wide and deep organization here, and lots of money, and that keeps better candidates from challenging him.

Yup, McCain keeps getting re-elected because of who goes up against him. Same with Sheriff Joe…hard for people to vote for someone who says illegals aren’t a big deal, especially here in AZ.

nextgen_repub on May 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Intersting phenenom out here in Arizona.

Many Dems move her from Ca, NY, Pacific NW and the midwest. Lots of them stay true to thier political party.

But a surprising number begin evolving and moving to the center once they have been here for a while. They begin to appreciate why we carry guns (you try driving across baren wasteland for hours without feeling a bit vulnerable), why we abhor federal interference with our state (any other county sherrifs getting sued by obama for inforcing immigration laws?) etc. etc.

I had a guy come to me lately and he asked me what I thought about Romney. I told him that I’d vote for Mitt twice if I could. He shook his head and told me that he was going to vote for him too. This is a lifelong Dem from NJ who’s been out here about 5 years now.

DrW on May 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM

No one really thought Barack Obama had a chance in Arizona, did they?

RealClearPolitics still does. They have Missouri as a tossup, too.

I don’t believe that, either.

No Truce With Kings on May 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

With respect to AZ being “conservative”, actually it’s a center-right state with a very strong libertarian vein.

mbecker908 on May 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM

That’s my recollection of AZ albeit, from quite awhile ago. I should have stayed there. I loved it.

98ZJUSMC on May 24, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Libertarian as in small government and self-dependent libertarian or Ron Paul crazy as bat guano libertarian?

Happy Nomad on May 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM

The former, by and large. The bat-guano group made a run at the Republican party last month and got out maneuvered, otherwise we’d be in the same boat as Alaska, et al.

And from another thread, if I was absolutely sure Romney couldn’t lose I’d love to see Brewer as VP candidate. Just get her the h*ll out of Arizona and stick her in a closet. She’s probably the only politician in the Republican Party who could lose a debate to Biden.

mbecker908 on May 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Public disrespectfulness toward our nation’s president is your principle?

Ive heard somewhere that dissidence is the highest form of patriotism.

Machismo on May 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM