Gov. Jan Brewer’s chances in Republican primary are looking better, with a new Rocky Mountain Poll showing her with an eight-point advantage over her nearest challenger, and double-digit leads over the rest of the field.
The poll, released May 3 by the Behavior Research Center, showed Brewer with 22 percent support among likely Republican primary voters. Brewer’s closest challenger in the poll was Northern Arizona businessman Buz Mills, who had 13 percent. State Treasurer Dean Martin polled at 10 percent, while former Arizona Republican Party Chairman John Munger got just 4 percent.
More than half of the voters in the poll, however, were uncommitted, with 51 percent saying they hadn’t decided which candidate to support.
Brewer’s polling numbers have been on the rise since signing S1070, which is being called the toughest state-level illegal immigration law in the country, on April 23. A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted several days later showed the governor increasing her job approval numbers and margin of victory over Attorney General Terry Goddard, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor. The Rocky Mountain Poll was conducted from April 15-25, primarily before Brewer signed the bill.
The Rocky Mountain Poll surveyed 319 Republicans and independents likely to vote in the GOP primary. A press statement by the Behavior Research Center did not say what the voter-registration breakdown was for Republican and independent voters.
According to the Behavior Research Center, Brewer fared well in Maricopa County, where 25 percent of respondents said they would vote for the incumbent. Martin got 12 percent of the Maricopa County voters, while Mills got 10 percent.
Brewer may have some catching up to do in the rest of the state, though. Mills led the field in Pima County with 17 percent, along with 21 percent in Arizona’s rural counties. Mills owns a tactical firearms training school in Paulden.
Mills also led among the independent voters who were polled, with 20 percent. Brewer had 9 percent of independents and Martin had 4 percent.
Not every poll conducted since Brewer signed S1070 has been as kind. Public Policy Polling on April 27 showed Goddard leading all four Republican candidates, though he led Brewer by a margin of just 3 percent.