A poll shows real estate mogul Donald Trump as the top choice of a third of Republican voters in Arizona, at least after undecided voters were urged to make a decision.
In a poll conducted by Silver Bullet LLC, a Las Vegas-based consulting firm, 33 percent of respondents chose Trump as their top pick for the Republican presidential nomination. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took second place with 17 percent, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 13 percent and neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 10 percent. No other candidate was chosen by more than 5 percent of voters.
Arizona’s presidential primary is on March 22, 2016.
Unlike many other polls, the survey asked respondents who declared themselves undecided who they would vote for if they had to make a choice. Only 7 percent were still undecided at the end of the survey.
“You try to force people to make a decision,” said Tim Mooney, founding partner of Silver Bullet LLC. “Now we know better about where people were leaning.”
Respondents were asked first whom they preferred from among candidates who are considered among the top tier of the crowded Republican field: Bush, Trump, Walker, Carson, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Those who said they preferred another candidate were then asked to choose from among eight other candidates. The only GOP presidential candidate not included in the poll was former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.
Respondents were also asked about their choice for vice president. Walker was the top pick as a running mate with 18 percent, followed by Cruz at 16 percent, Rubio at 14 percent and Trump at 11 percent.
The automated poll of 677 self-identified likely GOP primary voters was conducted on Aug. 3 via landline, according to Silver Bullet. Mooney said the firm polled only Republicans who had voted in one of the last three Republican primaries in Arizona, including the 2012 presidential primary. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.77 percent.
Trump’s lead in the survey mirrors his approval numbers from previous surveys both in Arizona and nationally since the celebrity businessman and reality television star began his improbable rise to the top of the polls. A July 30 poll by MBQF Consulting, which was also an automated survey, showed Trump with more than 26 percent of the vote, followed by Bush and Walker with about 12 percent. Twenty-one percent of respondents were undecided in that poll.