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2020

PollerCoaster 2020: What’s Happening In Arizona

Crooked Media/Change Research PollerCoaster 2020: 

Arizona Highlights

HORSERACE

  • Arizona should be a top-tier battleground state. The race here is just as competitive as it was in our Wisconsin poll: Trump has the same approval rating (48-51), the same economic approval rating (50-48), and trails the Democratic candidate by 1% (47-46). Another 2% say they’ll vote for a 3rd party candidate, and 5% are undecided. 
    • New voters are key. People who say they didn’t vote in 2016 lean Democrat by 69-16%, which is why Arizona is closer than it was in the last presidential election. In total, 68% of these new voters are under 35. 
    • Swing voters lean Democrat. People who say they’ve voted for at least one Republican and Democrat in the last three years support the Democratic candidate by 54-26%, and self-identified independents lean Democrat by 43-40%.

2020 DEMOCRATS 

  • Elizabeth Warren has opened up a big lead in the Democratic primary. Warren has the highest favorability rating among Democrats (81-7), and leads the horserace with 35%. Next is Bernie Sanders (19%), Joe Biden (15%), Pete Buttigieg (13%), Andrew Yang (8%), Kamala Harris (4%), and Beto O’Rourke (3%). 
  • But…none of the candidates are all that popular yet. Trump’s personal favorability rating among all voters is 42-56% (-14), and the only Democratic candidates currently more popular than him are Pete Buttigieg (39-35%, +3), Elizabeth Warren (45-45%), Bernie Sanders (41-50%, -9), and Kamala Harris (35-48%, -13). Joe Biden’s favorability is one of the lowest, at 33-56% (-23). 
  • Mark Kelly has a small lead in the Senate race. Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly has a 50-47% lead over Republican Senator Martha McSally, whose approval rating is 30-50% overall, and 29-48% among independents. 

IMPEACHMENT

  • Nearly half of all voters now favor impeaching Trump. 49% support impeachment, including 94% of Democrats and 48% of independents. 
  • The scandal is hurting Trump. 91% of Arizona voters have heard a lot or a decent amount about the President’s efforts to pressure a foreign government into investigating Joe Biden. What’s more, hearing this information makes independents 21% less likely to support Trump, and swing voters 34% less likely to support Trump. 
  • Democrats can win the argument on impeachment. We tested two Democratic messages on impeachment, both of which beat the Republican message. The most effective Democratic message said that Congress needs to hold Trump accountable in order to ensure a free and fair election in 2020, even if it means impeachment. After hearing this message, as well as the Republican message that Democrats are engaged in a witch hunt because they’re bitter over 2016, voters said they were more likely to support the Democratic candidate by 51-43%.

THE MESSAGE WAR 

  • Trump’s chaos and corporatism are his biggest weaknesses. What’s the most effective argument against Trump? We tested a few different messages, and two clear winners emerged: one about the President’s chaotic, divisive leadership style, and one about how his policies favor the rich. Not only did these messages test well with independents and swing voters, but Republicans too.

  • Trump’s economic policies make Arizona voters much less likely to support him. Trump’s approval rating on the economy may be strong, but when voters learn about the effects of his policies, they move against him. Statements about his economic policies were significantly more effective with voters of all parties than statements about Trump’s record on immigration, abortion, health care, judges, national security, and other issues.

  • Trump’s most effective message is on jobs. As in Wisconsin, the most effective pro-Trump statements and messages were about job creation and unemployment, beating pro-Trump messages on immigration and judges. But these pro-Trump economic messages were still not as effective as the Democratic economic messages. 

DEMOCRATIC POLICIES

  • Arizona voters prefer a public option over Medicare for All, support background checks over mandatory buybacks, and oppose reparations. Across a range of issues, we tested various Democratic messages and policies against a single Republican message:
    • Health care: The Medicare for All message was less popular than the public option message by a 5-point margin, due mainly to an 18-point margin among independents. 
    • Racial inequality: As in Wisconsin, the message that mentioned reparations was by far the most negatively viewed of any message we tested, with low marks among independents and even relatively low marks among Democrats. The other message, which discussed alleviating racial inequality by ending discrimination and investing in communities of color, was one of the most successful messages we tested.
    • Guns: Both messages on guns were in slightly negative territory, but the message about background checks and red flags did 14 points better among independents and 7 points better among Democrats than the message about the assault weapons mandatory buyback program. 
    • Immigration: As in Wisconsin, the smallest difference was between the two immigration messages, as the broader “pathway to citizenship” message did only slightly better than message about decriminalizing border crossings and health insurance for undocumented immigrants.