Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
PPP's newest poll of the Arizona Senate race finds Democrat Richard Carmona leading Republican Jeff Flake by 45-43. Carmona up 2, Romney by 9 in Arizona - Public Policy Polling:
That represents a small shift in Carmona's direction since our last poll of the state three weeks ago, which had found Flake ahead by just a 44-43 margin.
There's two things you have to do to win as a Democrat in a pretty Republican leaning state like Arizona: win independents and a get a healthy amount of crossover support from GOP voters. Right now Carmona's doing both of those things. He has a 52/37 advantage over Flake with independents. And he's winning over 14% of Republicans while losing just 7% of Democrats. Carmona's net favorability is a +8 spread (35/27), while Flake's is -1 at 40/41.
There are still reasons to think this race could shift back in Flake's favor. The 12% of voters who are undecided prefer Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for President by a 58/37 margin, so there's reason to think they might end up breaking toward Flake in the end. Also Arizona voters would generally prefer that Republicans be in control of the Senate rather than the Democrats by a 50/40 spread. That Carmona leads anyway is a function of him being superior to Flake as a candidate, but that still leaves open the possibility that if Republicans can effectively nationalize the election Flake's standing will improve.
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Arizona may go Democratic in the Presidential race sometime but it doesn't appear likely to be this year. We find Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama 53-44 in the state. This is a rare state where a majority of voters actually see Romney favorably. 54% have a positive opinion of him to 42% with a negative one. And Obama's quite unpopular with just 40% of voters approving of him to 57% who disapprove.
Full results here.