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Poll: Ducey leads Garcia by wide margin

Gov. Doug Ducey (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Gov. Doug Ducey (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Gov. Doug Ducey is dominating challenger David Garcia, according to a poll by Arizona Capitol Times and OH Predictive Insights.

Ducey has a 17-point lead over Garcia in the latest poll of likely Arizona voters. The poll comes as early voting begins on Wednesday.

Approximately 54 percent of the 600 likely voters surveyed chose the Republican incumbent, while 37 percent sided with the Democratic challenger.  

In the poll, Ducey is beating Garcia among both men and women of all age ranges, and among likely voters across all regions.

Polling has showed Ducey increasing his lead in recent weeks, likely a result of the governor and his allies blanketing the airwaves with pro-Ducey and anti-Garcia ads leading up to the election. Meanwhile, Garcia’s campaign, having spent most of its campaign cash ahead of the primary, hasn’t had the resources to fight back.


Ducey is doing better than Garcia among voters in Pima County, Arizona’s Democratic bastion and home to state Sen. Steve Farley, who opposed Garcia in the primary.

Ducey is also picking up 52 percent of Maricopa County voters to Garcia’s 38 percent. Garcia narrowly won Maricopa, a Republican stronghold, in his 2014 bid for superintendent of public instruction.

The poll shows Garcia beating Ducey among individuals with some post-graduate education, and among African Americans. Meanwhile, Ducey is barely beating Garcia (47-45 percent) with Hispanic voters — a key demographic that Garcia has courted throughout his gubernatorial campaign.  

The poll also shows Garcia’s favorability rating underwater (37-42 percent), while Ducey’s favorability rating stands at 58 percent.

“Throughout the state, it’s clear that most Arizonans are leaning toward Governor Ducey,” said OHPI’s chief pollster Mike Noble. “In the next few weeks leading up to the election, it’ll be interesting to watch the strategies in Garcia’s campaign as he attempts to bring Ducey down.”

Green Party candidate Angel Torres picked up about 2 percent of the vote in the poll, while about seven percent of those polled were undecided.

OHPI surveyed 600 likely voters on Oct. 3 for this poll that carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Approximately half of those polled were contacted by live callers, while the other half were contacted via autodial.

Of those polled, 44 percent were Republicans, 32 percent were Democrats and 24 percent were independents. Women and men were nearly even split in the survey.

A Real Clear Politics average of four polls — not including this one — of Arizona’s gubernatorial contest has Ducey up by 10.5 points. In 2014, Ducey beat Democrat Fred DuVal by 12 points.


The recent poll also attempts to measure what, if any, effect Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court will have on Arizona elections.

The results are within the margin of error, but the poll shows that Arizona voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supported Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could play into the matchups for governor and U.S. Senate.

Ducey and Senate candidate Martha McSally supported Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Garcia and McSally’s opponent, Kyrsten Sinema did not.

About 43 percent of those polled say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supported Kavanaugh, while 39 percent are less likely to support such a candidate.

Voters from both parties tended to stick close to their respective base on this issue, but 43 percent of independents said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported Kavanaugh, as opposed to 35 percent who would be more likely to do so.

The poll showed little difference between where men and women stood on the issue.


Water scarcity is also a top issue for voters this year, but rural voters appear to be most concerned, according to the poll.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents say that looking 10 years out, the issue of water scarcity is very important.

The majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents surveyed all cited it as a crucial issue, but rural voters appear to be the most concerned, with 72 percent of them citing it as very important.


Intelligent design

Voters also appeared to reject the idea of teaching intelligent design in Arizona’s classrooms, an idea that has been pushed by Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

Intelligent design, a version of creationism, is an alternative to teaching the scientific theory of evolution.

Of those surveyed, 41 percent oppose teaching intelligent design, 32 percent support it and 27 percent had no opinion on the issue.


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