Public schools chief Diane Douglas leads divided field in GOP primary poll

Jun 14, 2018, 10:22 AM

PHOENIX — A poll of likely Republican primary voters in Arizona gave Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas a comfortable enough lead overall in a crowded but divided field, boosted by people who chose President Donald Trump.

Mike Noble of Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday, when the poll was released, “Her strength is with Trump loyalists, that gives her the edge.”

Douglas pulled in 14.5 percent of the 600 surveyed over two days earlier this week. Jonathan Gelbart, a first-time candidate, was her closest rival with 7 percent.

But the big number was among undecideds, taking up 64.5 percent.

That wasn’t unusual, Noble, chief pollster and managing partner, said. He expected those numbers to go down as the election, scheduled for Aug. 28, drew closer.

Poll respondents were broken down by ideology The biggest groups identified as Trump Republicans, who made up 33.5 percent; Christian conservatives were next at 28.7 percent. Moderates came in with 24.3 percent. No other group was in double figures.

Douglas publicly supported Trump during the presidential election.

“Douglas is clearly winning because of her base support … but among moderates she’s not doing as well,” Noble said.

“To win a Republican primary, especially here in Arizona, you have to really play to the Trump crowd. You can play to the moderate end but there, frankly, are just more social conservatives and Trump conservatives than there are moderates.”

Two Democrats have announced their candidacy for the job — David Schapira and Kathy Hoffman.

The poll was conducted by phone and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Douglas was elected in November 2014.

During her tenure, she has feuded with the Arizona Board of Education and disagreed with Gov. Doug Ducey over personnel matters.

Before the recent teachers’ walkout, Douglas said teachers who left their classrooms could face repercussions.

She supported the 20 percent pay increase, legislation that Ducey signed after six days of walkouts.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix police are investigating the scene that left one officer hospitalized and another injured e...

Phoenix police investigating stabbing that leaves 2 injured at apartment complex

Police are investigating a stabbing that left two injured after a confrontation with their neighbor Saturday morning, authorities said.
14 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

2 men shot and killed after committing home invasion in Phoenix

Phoenix police are investigating a shooting that left two men dead after they forced their way into a home, authorities said. 
14 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
SuElen Rivera

Phoenix café closing to make way for affordable housing apartment complex

A Phoenix café serving visitors for over eight years is closing shop and making way for an affordable housing apartment complex.
14 hours ago
(Goodyear Police Department Photo)...

Goodyear police search for suspects in shooting death of 19-year-old man

Police are in the early stages of a homicide investigation after a 19-year-old man died from a gunshot wound at a party in Goodyear in May. 
14 hours ago
Gabby Giffords, center, the subject of the documentary film "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down," poses...
Associated Press

Giffords documentary comes as gun debates stay center stage

In the two years documentary filmmakers shadowed former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the most jarring moment for them was in the kitchen of her Tucson, Arizona, home. As cameras were rolling, she and her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, nonchalantly opened the freezer. Kelly grabbed a plastic container and revealed it holds the piece of Giffords’ skull […]
14 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police seek information on death of man found shot on bridge near I-10

Police are investigating the death of a man who was found shot to death on a bridge that goes over the I-10 freeway in Phoenix. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Public schools chief Diane Douglas leads divided field in GOP primary poll