The CD Media Big Data Poll finds Republican Kari Lake and Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in a tight race for governor of Arizona. Lake holds a slight early lead over Hobbs 39.4% to 38.1% with 11.2% opting for someone else and another 11.2% undecided.
"Historically speaking, the 2022 midterm elections are expected to be difficult for the incumbent party in power nationally," Big Data Poll Director Rich Baris, said. "But if we scratch beneath the surface and dig a little deeper into the results, the findings indeed reveal multiple Republican advantages."
Far fewer Democrats (53.2%) than Republicans (64.5%) report being "extremely" enthusiastic to vote in November, an 11.3% enthusiasm edge for the GOP. Lake edges Hobbs among extremely enthusiastic voters, 45.4% to 37.8%, and among "very" enthusiastic voters, 38.7% to 38.3%. Hobbs leads among those unenthused, including "not at all" enthusiastic, 41.3% to 26.2%.
"The closer we get to Election Day, three things will happen," Director Baris, added. "Third party vote share will decline, voters will begin to pay more attention and we will begin to tighten the likely voter screen."
"Come Labor Day, all things being equal, all three will most likely have benefitted Lake and her narrow lead will grow."
Nearly all voters (97.4%) who reported being "extremely" enthusiastic also reported being "certain to vote" in November. That certainty to vote compares to just 55.7% who are "moderately" enthusiastic, 39.8% who are "slightly" enthusiastic, and 57.9% who are "not at all" enthusiastic,
Of those most likely to vote, Lake leads 41.7% to 38.4%. Hobbs leads 36.9% to 28.4% among lower propensity potential midterm voters (≥ 50/50 likelihood).
Unlike Hobbs, Lake has faced competition for the gubernatorial nomination. The state has become the latest battleground for control over the Republican Party. Former President Donald J. Trump has endorsed Lake, while the Republican Establishment represented by former Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Doug Ducey have come out in support of Karrin Taylor Robson.
The Trump-endorsed Lake leads Robson by double digits ahead of the primary on August 2. But for now, the competition has resulted in more self-identified Republicans opting for "someone else" in the hypothetical matchup than her opponent across the aisle.
That disparity in base consolidation is being more than offset by a large lead for the Republican among independent and third party voters. Lake leads Hobbs 39.8% to 30.3% among non-two party voters. Further, Director Baris expects that disparity to be temporary.
"Come November, whomever is the Republican nominee will almost assuredly be able to count on 9 in 10 base support," he said. "This is a first-term incumbent midterm and while this is rather common for early polling during competitive primaries, it is almost unheard-of for it to remain throughout the general election."
Hobbs leads Lake among urban voters, but trails among rural and suburban voters. Men prefer Lake 44.6% to 32.8%, while women back Hobbs 43.2% to 34.6%.
Of those who are undecided, 42.7% strongly disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as president and only 7.0% strongly approve. Overall, the president is underwater with undecided voters in the gubernatorial contest, 27.5% to 66.1%.
"The relationship between presidential approval ratings and midterm performance is well established," Director Baris concluded. "The president is deeply unpopular in the Grand Canyon State and that dissatisfaction will weigh down Democratic candidates up and down the ballot this fall."
The CD Media Big Data Poll for the Arizona Midterm Elections was conducted by Big Data Poll and interviewed 1,298 likely general election midterm voters statewide via Peer-2-Peer SMS/OSP from July 16 to July 18, 2022. The overall survey sampling error is ± 2.7% at a 95% confidence interval. It’s important to note that sampling errors for subgroups are higher. Results are weighted to represent statewide voter file demographics to include gender, age, race and region. The proprietary likely voter model is determined by both self-reported likelihood and 4-cycle primary vote history. The full crosstabs can be viewed on MarketSight and methodology on Google Sheets.
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