David Garcia holds solid lead in Arizona Democratic gubernatorial race

Aug 21, 2018, 4:48 AM | Updated: 12:39 pm

PHOENIX – With about a week until Arizona’s primary election, David Garcia maintained a commanding lead in the Democratic gubernatorial race, according to a new poll.

Garcia, an education professor at Arizona State University, was the choice of 40 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in an OH Predictive Insights/ABC15 poll released Monday.

That was 15 points ahead of his closest competitor, state Sen. Steve Farley, who polled at 25 percent. The third candidate, nonprofit CEO and former minister Kelly Fryer, was at just 7 percent.

More than a quarter of voters for the Aug. 27 primary weren’t ready to commit to a candidate.

“With 28 percent of the likely Democratic vote still undecided, it’s possible we could see a surprise come election night,” Mike Noble, managing partner and chief pollster at OH Predictive Insights, said in news release.

Garcia showed particular strength in three key areas, leading Farley by 17 points among women, 24 points in Maricopa County and 25 points among self-identified liberals.

However, Farley was ahead of Garcia by 14 points in Pima County.

Nearly half of those polled, 46 percent, said they’d already mailed in their early ballot. Another 34 percent said they planned to vote early, while 19 percent were waiting to vote at the polls.

According to the poll, which was conducted Aug. 14-15 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.04 percent, education was the top issue for 39 percent of Democratic voters. Health care was next at 30 percent, and immigration was a distant third at 9 percent.

Despite Garcia’s overall lead, the results were a big improvement for Farley since a poll done two months ago by another firm.

In a Data Orbital poll conducted June 19-21, Garcia was leading with 33 percent, Farley had 11 percent and Fryer 6 percent, with a whopping 49 percent undecided.

Arizona gubernatorial candidates on offensive ahead of primary

Farley also joined KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac and Gaydos on Monday, in which he touted his budget proposal that he claimed would increase education spending while lowering taxes.

“We spend about $10 billion as a state and give away $13.7 billion in corporate sales tax loopholes alone,” Farley claimed.

“If we get rid of $3 billion in loopholes, we could lower our sales tax by a full percent making our entire tax code less regressive and increasing our education spending by $2 billion a year.”

But both Garcia and Farley have agreed on one issue: They both claimed that Ducey is not governing for the people of Arizona.

In a statement, Garcia said Ducey “proudly sid[ed] with Trump time and again” on Monday after the Arizona governor joined the president for an event to honor immigration and border officials at the White House.

“The immigration issue has been used as a political weapon for too long,” the statement read.

“Instead of working to fix the crisis in public schools, Ducey wants to distract from his education failures, even standing next to Trump if need be.”

Farley also claimed that Ducey was inauthentic in his fight to raise education funding.

“He’s not governing for us, he’s governing for some Kansas billionaires,” Farley told Mac and Gaydos.

“Gov. Ducey sees this as another step on his career ladder to becoming the president of the United States.”

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David Garcia holds solid lead in Arizona Democratic gubernatorial race