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Poll: Arizonans don’t want to re-elect Biden, but will support him over Trump

By: - June 29, 2021 5:41 pm

U.S. President Donald Trump and former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speak during the first presidential debate at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on Sept. 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Morry Gash-Pool | Getty Images

Arizonans don’t want to re-elect President Joe Biden to another term in 2024, but will again give the state’s 11 electoral votes to him if he’s running against Donald Trump, according to a poll released Tuesday.

And U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has better job approval ratings from Republican voters than from her fellow Democrats, who are riled up over her support for the filibuster and other positions that are anathema to Democratic voters.

The poll by Bendixen and Amandi International, a Democratic polling firm based in Miami, was first reported by Politico on Tuesday morning. 

The live-caller survey queried 600 Arizonans on Biden, Sinema, U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, Gov. Doug Ducey, the elimination of the filibuster and the controversial self-styled audit that the Arizona Senate ordered of the 2020 general election in Maricopa County. The poll has an error rate of +/- 4 percentage points.

Biden won Arizona by just 10,457 votes in November, becoming the first Democrat to win the traditionally red state since 1996, and only the second since 1948. Only 37% of respondents said Biden deserved to be re-elected based on his job performance so far, compared to 53% who said he doesn’t deserve another term. Forty-nine percent had a favorable review of Biden and 48% had an unfavorable view.

But Biden’s prospects brightened significantly when respondents were asked about a head-to-head matchup against Trump. In a hypothetical matchup between Biden and Trump, the incumbent president bested his predecessor 51-44, with independent voters breaking 54-41 in favor of Biden. Only 46% of the voters polled said they had a favorable opinion of Trump compared to 51% who had an unfavorable opinion. Among independents, 58% had an unfavorable view of Trump.

Sinema, who has repeatedly angered Democratic voters over the past few years, had 50% of respondents say they had a favorable opinion of her and her job performance. Only 52% of her fellow Democrats said they had a favorable view of her, while 51% of Republican respondents also had a favorable opinion.

When it came to Sinema’s job performance, Republicans were actually more supportive than Democrats: 54% of Republican respondents and 47% of Democratic respondents said they approved of the way she handled her job in the Senate, while independents broke 46-40 in favor of her job performance.

Sinema’s opposition to eliminating the filibuster, which has largely blocked Biden and Senate Democrats from advancing their agenda since retaking control of the chamber, has angered Democratic voters perhaps more than anything else the senior senator has done. But only 36% of respondents said they disapproved of the filibuster, compared to 46% who supported it.

When the pollster explained that the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome the filibuster is a hindrance to Biden and Senate Democrats, support actually jumped to 50%, with opposition increasing to 39%.

Kelly, who is up for re-election next year, has similar overall approval numbers to Sinema, but far more support among his fellow Democrats and far less from Republicans. Among Democratic respondents, 87% said they approved of his job performance compared to 19% of Republicans. Independents supported his job performance 44-31. Overall, 51% of respondents approved of Kelly’s job performance and 35% opposed as he heads into his re-election.

One issue that could affect how people vote in next year’s election is the controversial review of the 2020 election results in Maricopa, which Senate President Karen Fann ordered in response to widespread but baseless allegations that the election was rigged against Trump. As in other recent polls, respondents largely were not supportive of the audit. 

More respondents (49%) said they opposed the audit than supported it (46%), and support followed predictably partisan trends, with Democrats overwhelmly opposed and Republicans overwhelmingly supportive. Among independents, 56% opposed the audit and 38% supported it.

The audit’s approval numbers worsened after the pollster provided more information. After being informed that the review was being conducted by companies with no experience in election audits, that the lead contractor believes that the election was rigged, that election experts and some Republican officials opposed it, and that previous reviews have already found no problems with the election, 51% said they opposed it compared to 44% who supported it, with opposition among independents jumping to 59%.

Nearly half of the voters surveyed — 46%, including 46% of independents — said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported the audit, while 37% of total respondents and 28% of independents said they would be more likely to support a pro-audit candidate. 

But among Republicans, support for the audit was high, creating a conundrum for GOP candidates who face serious challenges in both the primary and general elections. Republican respondents supported the audit by a margin of 75-19. Support dropped slightly to 73-21 after respondents learned about the many problems that have plagued the election review.

The pollster also surveyed respondents on their opinions of Ducey, who will leave office after 2022. Ducey’s favorability numbers were slightly underwater, with 49% saying they had an unfavorable view of him and 47% saying they had a favorable opinion.

Of the poll’s 600 respondents, 40% were Republicans, 36% were Democrats and 24% were independents or others, such as Libertarians. Compared to the past few election cycles, the poll slightly oversampled Democrats and undersampled independents. Democrats made up nearly 33% of the vote in 2020 and independents made up nearly 30%, while Republicans were nearly 38% of the vote in the general election.

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Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”