New poll shows Arizona Republicans flocking to Trump-backed candidates

Jul 29, 2022, 9:00 AM | Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 3:17 pm

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly declined in an interview aired Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, to ...

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly declined in an interview aired Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, to answer questions about whether he watched the Capitol riot unfold on television, saying he would “tell people later at an appropriate time.” (Associated Press Photo)

(Associated Press Photo)

PHOENIX – Late-deciding Arizona Republicans are lining up behind candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump, according to poll results released Friday, four days before primary voting ends.

Trump-backed candidates in four statewide GOP races, including the high-profile contests for governor and U.S. senator, all saw double-digit gains in the month of July to open big leads heading into Tuesday’s election, OH Predictive Insights found.

Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and U.S. Senate hopeful Blake Masters pulled clear of their top challengers, according to the OH Predictive Insights poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.37%.

“The Trump endorsement is hands down the most powerful endorsement when it comes to GOP primaries right now, because there’s only one Donald Trump and with all these other groups they kind of fracture the rest of the vote,” Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insights chief of research, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

“It’s just clear that … in this battle for the soul of the GOP, right now Trump’s definitely got the upper hand.”

The Phoenix-based research firm conducted its latest survey of likely Republican voters two days before releasing the results.

After leading Karrin Taylor-Robson by 8 percentage points in early July, Lake was up 51%-33% with little time left until Election Day. The 18-point cushion was well above the 12% who were either unsure or refused to reveal their preference.

Masters, meanwhile, saw his lead over Jim Lamon increase by 8 points to 36%-21%, with Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a frequent target of Trump’s barbs, stagnating at 12%. Another 22% headed into the final days of the campaign undecided.

The new poll results were released one week after Trump held a rally in Prescott Valley for Lake, Masters, attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem.

Trump-backed candidates have had mixed results nationally, but he could be heading for a perfect game with his statewide endorsements in Arizona. (Trump has also endorsed several Arizona legislative candidates, but polling is limited in local races.)

His nod appears to have had the biggest impact in the race to succeed Brnovich. Hamadeh, who received the Trump stamp of approval in mid-June, broke open a tight attorney general’s race by adding 24 points to his column.

In early July, Hamadeh led a tightly packed five-candidate field with 7%, one point ahead of the next two opponents. But the new results showed Hamadeh piling on 24 points to take a 31%-16% lead over Rodney Glassman, the only other candidate in double digits. The unsure column remained high at 35%.

In the other statewide race where Trump has endorsed, his candidate, Mark Finchem, more than doubled his support over the month of July.

Finchem went from 14% to 32% as the percentage of undecideds dropped from 72% to 41%. Beau Lane was the only other candidate in double figures, at 11%, in the results released Friday.

One of the two non-Trump statewide races covered by OH Predictive Insights is shaping up to be a nail-biter, but the other appears to be a blowout for the incumbent.

In the race for superintendent of public instruction, Shiry Sapir eliminated an 11-point deficit to Tom Horne as the pair came in tied at 21%. The third candidate, Michelle Udall, also gained and was within shouting distance at 14%, with 44% still in the undecided column.

“She hasn’t received a Trump endorsement, but she’s definitely leaned into the whole Trump platform,” Noble said of Sapir.

Treasurer Kimberly Yee, who flirted with a run for governor before opting to seek reelection, pushed her support to 33% in a three-person field, good for a 21-point lead over Jeff Weninger, who had 12%. Nearly half of those surveyed, 48%, were still unsure.

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