By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Voters are making up their minds in Arizona statewide Republican primary races – and now they’re looking less competitive.
An Arizona Public Opinion Pulse poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights gives this impression.
The pollster released the data on Friday that shows Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake with a commanding 18-point lead over Karrin Taylor Robson. The poll has Ms. Lake with 51% support and Ms. Taylor Robson at 33%. In this poll, 12% of voters say they still haven’t made up their minds. Meanwhile, in early July, a poll conducted by the same pollster found a much more competitive race; it had Ms. Lake at 39% support and Ms. Taylor Robson at 31% – an eight-point gap. In the early July poll, 21% of voters said they were undecided.
Some pointed out that Ms. Taylor Robson polled significantly better when using poll responses isolated to a phone call instead of a text response.
Noble notes that “Robson’s strongest group is that 70+ crowd,” likely due to her outsized spending on television ads. He added that the effect is exclusive to the governor’s race, with former President Donald Trump’s favored candidates holding sizable leads over opponents.
“It’s a new dynamic,” he said.
While Blake Masters began to pull ahead in the early summer, he now holds a commanding lead. Masters has 36% support, putting him 15 points ahead of Jim Lamon (21%) and Mark Brnovich (12%). The other two candidates are polling in the single digits; 22% of voters said they were undecided in this one. However, in the early July poll, Mr. Masters only led Mr. Lamon 25% to 18%. In that poll, 35% of voters said they were undecided.
Plus, Abe Hamadeh’s (31%) support is now the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination for attorney general. Rodney Glassman (16%) is the only other candidate in the double digits. Meanwhile, in the early July poll, every candidate was polling in the single digits, and 67% hadn’t made up their minds. Now, only 35% say they’re undecided.
And Mark Finchem has seen his lead explode in the Secretary of State Republican primary race. In early July, just 28% of Republican primary voters knew who they wanted to vote for in this one. Now, 59% do, and 32% support Mr. Finchem. That gives him a solid 21-point lead over Beau Lane (11%). The other two people running have single-digit support. In early July, however, Mr. Finchem only had 14% support while the next-best candidate had 6%.
As for the Republican primary for Treasurer, Kimberly Yee has expanded her lead. She has 33% support in the three-way primary, where 48% of voters say they haven’t made up their minds. This gives her a 19-point edge over Jeff Weninger (12%), who is polling second out of three candidates. In the early July poll, Ms. Yee had 19% support, and Mr. Weninger had 5%; 71% of voters were undecided.
While more people making up their minds may give people a clearer picture of who will win most Republican primaries in Arizona, that is not the case in the bid to be the Republican nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Tom Horne and Shiry Sapir each had 21% support in the race, while Michelle Udall had 14%; 44% were still undecided. However, in the early July poll, Mr. Horn led Ms. Udall 18% to 9%, and Ms. Sapir had 7% support.
Early voting is underway in Arizona, but the official primary day is Tuesday, August 2.