Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Poll: Giffords Popularity Up

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Public Policy Polling released a second batch of data on Arizona voter attitudes yesterday.

Among the key takeaways: Brewer's popularity is dropping, McCain is very unpopular, Giffords is popular (but voters are unsure if she should seek reelection), voters didn't like the way that Brewer removed Colleen Mathis from the chairmanship of the Independent Redistricting Commission, voters are glad to see Russell Pearce go and SB 1070 is still popular.

Here's the PPP roundup:

Voters in Arizona are unhappy with how Jan Brewer has handled redistricting in the state, and perhaps as a result PPP finds her approval numbers at their worst since before she resuscitated her political career with Senate Bill 1070 last April.

Only 31% of voters support Brewer removing Colleen Mathis as chair of the Redistricting Commission, to 43% who oppose her move. Republican agree with what Brewer did by a 54/16 margin but Democrats are even more unified in their displeasure with her action, 13/72. Independents think Brewer did the wrong thing by a 19/41 margin as well.

The unhappiness with Brewer's actions shouldn't be taken as an endorsement by the Arizona electorate of the Congressional maps that the Commission proposed. Only 25% of voters express support for the proposed lines with 34% opposed to them and an unsurprising 42% holding no opinion on this decidedly insider baseball issue. Voters don't necessarily disagree with Brewer that the House map was flawed, they just disagree with the action she took to deal with the problem.

Brewer's approval rating has sunk to 42% with 49% of voters disapproving of her. The last time PPP found her with numbers that bad was in April of 2010, shortly before the signing of Senate Bill 1070, when she was at 35/46. There are two things helping to drive Brewer's poor ratings: Democrats (77%) are more unified in their disapproval of her than Republicans (69%) are in their approval and independents split against her by a 34/51 margin as well.

Despite Brewer's declining poll numbers there's little support for a recall of her. Only 32% of voters would support such a move to 58% who are opposed. There are a lot of voters don't like Brewer, but don't think she should be removed from office either. This is particularly clear with independents who oppose a recall 25/59, even as they simultaneously give Brewer poor marks for her job performance.

In other Arizona polling findings:

-Voters in the state have a very positive opinion of Gabrielle Giffords, 61/17. She's seen favorably by Democrats (84/7), independents (49/15), and Republicans (46/26) alike. Despite Giffords' popularity there is significant doubt about whether she should run for reelection though- 32% of voters think she should seek another term in the House while 46% think she should not and 22% are unsure. It's hard to imagine Giffords losing if she does run again given her popularity and the fact that she managed to get reelected in the tough climate of 2010, but clearly there is some concern about her ability to serve.

-Arizona voters continue to support last year's sweeping immigration legislation, Senate Bill 1070, by a 57/35 margin. Republicans are pretty unanimous in their continued favor for the bill and independents (62/31) and even 30% of Democrats are happy with it as well.

Despite SB 1070's popularity voters are also happy that State Senate President Russell Pearce, one of its key proponents, was recalled from office two weeks ago. 47% of voters were happy with the outcome of the recall election with 28% displeased and 25% having no opinion one way or the other. The disparity between public opinion about 1070 and Pearce himself suggests that Pearce's style may have hurt him with voters more than some of his actual positions.

-John McCain continues to be the most unpopular Senator in the country out of 87 current ones that PPP has polled on, at 34/55. His problem is that Republicans are pretty unenthusiastic about him with only 50% approving to 38% who disapprove.

There are other Senators whose party base feels tepid about them- Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham come to mind- but they make up for it by being unusually popular across party lines. McCain does not- with independents he comes in at 23/66 and with Democrats he's at 24/68.

Outgoing Senator Jon Kyl isn't doing too hot either, with 41% of voters approving of him to 44% who disapprove. But Republicans at least give him good marks by a 68/20 spread, which allows him to outpace McCain.

-Joe Arpaio is more popular than Brewer, McCain, or Kyl but his poll numbers are on the decline too: 47% of voters express a favorable opinion of him to 45% with a negative one. That's down a little bit from 49/42 when we polled about him in May and even more from 53/38 when we polled him last April.

More info here.

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