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Hillary Clinton now holds a 5-point lead over Donald Trump in the presidential race for Arizona’s 11 electoral votes, with many still undecided, according to the latest statewide poll released today by The Arizona Republic and Arizona State University. In addition, Sen. John McCain, campaigning for his sixth term in the Senate, holds a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Ann Kirkpatrick.
The poll — a joint project between The Arizona Republic and ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS — shows Clinton, the Democratic nominee, leading Trump 39 to 33.9 percent among likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
The Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News Poll has 20.7 percent of the state still undecided and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson at 5.9 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 0.5 percent. When undecided voters were asked which candidate they were leaning toward, the total numbers changed to Clinton at 43.3 percent, Trump at 37.8, Johnson at 6.5, Stein at 4.3 and 8.1 percent still undecided. That question had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
This is the second poll to be released by The Arizona Republic and ASU in the past six weeks. The first showed Clinton leading Trump, 35.1 to 33.5 percent (+/‐ 3.3).
“Even as core supporters of either Trump or Clinton remain firmly in place, the poll shows movement that is keeping Arizona in play,” said Thom Reilly, director of Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU. “Both undecideds as well as those abandoning Johnson and Stein appear to be breaking toward Clinton. The question is whether Arizona's electorate could be shifting or whether we are just witnessing the results of this unique campaign.”
As Clinton and Trump enter the final presidential debate tonight, the new poll shows that two thirds of registered voters in Arizona said they were not influenced by the debates. Of the respondents, 67.1 percent (+/‐ 4.3) said the debate did not influence them. Of those who indicated the debate was influential, 16.5 percent said they were more likely to vote for Clinton and 9.2 percent for Trump.
The poll also continues to show voters in Arizona see both Clinton and Trump in an unfavorable light, with 55.8 percent describing Clinton as either “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable.” Trump received a slightly higher response, with 62.5 percent describing him as either “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable.”
Clinton — Very Favorable: 11.8 percent, Favorable: 27.1 percent, Unfavorable: 24.3 percent, Very Unfavorable: 31.5 percent, Don’t Know/Refused: 5.2 percent (+/‐ 3.9)
Trump — Very Favorable: 12.9 percent, Favorable: 19 percent, Unfavorable: 21.8 percent, Very Unfavorable: 40.7 percent, Don’t Know/Refused: 5.6 percent (+/‐ 3.8)
In comparison to the poll six weeks ago, Clinton’s un-favorability rating among Arizona voters decreased by 3.2 points, while Trump’s un-favorability rating increased by 2.5 points.
The most recent poll also looked at President Barack Obama’s favorability. A majority of registered voters, 55.5 percent, saw the outgoing president as either “very favorable” or “favorable.”
Obama — Very Favorable: 23.3 percent, Favorable: 32.2 percent, Unfavorable: 21.1 percent, Very Unfavorable: 20.8 percent, Don’t Know/Refused: 2.6 percent (+/‐ 3.6)
The new poll also looks at the U.S. Senate race in Arizona between Democratic challenger Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Republican incumbent Sen. John McCain. The poll showed McCain leading Kirkpatrick by 11 points among registered voters, 51.5 to 40 percent, with 8.5 percent planning to vote for someone else (+/‐ 3.7).
Opinions on Kirkpatrick were evenly split at 40.4 percent between both “very favorable/favorable” and “unfavorable/very unfavorable.” Arizonans’ opinions on McCain were positive, with 50.4 percent describing him as either “very favorable” or “favorable.”
Kirkpatrick — Very Favorable: 3.9 percent, Favorable: 36.5 percent, Unfavorable: 32.9 percent, Very Unfavorable: 7.5 percent, Don’t Know/Refused: 19.3percent (+/‐ 4)
McCain — Very Favorable: 6 percent, Favorable: 44.4 percent, Unfavorable: 31.6 percent, Very Unfavorable: 7.8 percent, Don’t Know/Refused: 10.2 percent (+/‐ 4.2)
Both candidates’ favorability ratings increased from the previous poll six weeks ago, with 36 percent describing Kirkpatrick as “very favorable” or “favorable,” and 48.8 percent describing McCain as either “very favorable” or “favorable.”
The Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News Poll, conducted Oct. 10-15, 2016, was based on research findings from 1,179 telephone interviews in English and Spanish with Arizona registered voters. The poll team contracted with Behavior Research Center to collect the data. The average number of valid responses to the questions was 811. The response rate for complete interviews was 69 percent.
“Most national polls will ask everyone questions, not just registered voters,” said Eric C. Hedberg, senior research fellow for the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. “We know a lot of people over-estimate their registration status. Using only a registered voter list for our poll cut down on that error.”
The complete Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News Poll and coverage from The Arizona Republic can be found at http://www.azcentral.com/politics/ and Cronkite News at https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/10/19/october-2016-poll-data. The methodology report can be found at https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/10/19/october-2016-poll-methodology.
About The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Republic is the leading source of news and information in Arizona. Its newsroom publishes azcentral.com, which serves about 9 million unique visitors each month, and the Spanish-language news sources La Voz and lavozarizona.com. A part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, the newsroom covers breaking news, politics, watchdog investigations, sports, entertainment and the stories of life in Arizona that aren’t found anywhere else.
About Morrison Institute for Public Policy
Morrison Institute for Public Policy is Arizona’s premier think tank, examining critical Arizona and regional issues and a catalyst for public dialogue. A unit of the Arizona State University College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Morrison Institute uses nonpartisan research and communication outreach to help improve the state and region’s quality of life.
About Cronkite News
Cronkite News is the news division of Arizona PBS. Daily news products are produced by students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University under the leadership of a team of award-winning professional journalists. Cronkite News includes a nightly newscast that reaches 1.9 million households in Arizona, news bureaus in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and an online site, cronkitenews.azpbs.org, that features in-depth multimedia stories on issues important to Arizonans. Arizona PBS is a member-supported community service of Arizona State University and the Cronkite School.