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Arizona: McCain Takes 16-point Lead over Obama; 46% Support Anti-Affirmative Action Initiative

John McCain has now stretched his lead over Barack Obama to 16 points -- 52% to 36% -- in his home state of Arizona, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey.

Counting “leaners,” the gap is even wider, with McCain ahead 57% to 38%.

In late June, McCain led Obama 49% to 40%. That was the first Arizona survey since Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Republican presidential candidate has won Arizona in every election but one since 1952.

Nationally the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll continues to show a very close race for the White House. On Monday, McCain had a statistically insignificant single point edge, but it’s the first time McCain has enjoyed even a statistically insignificant advantage since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3.

McCain is now viewed favorably by 71% of Arizona voters, up from 60% in late June, while 26% see him unfavorably. Forty-three percent (43%) rate their opinion of Obama as favorable, down slightly from 47% in the last survey. Over half (55%) regard the Democrat unfavorably.

The Republican has expanded his lead over Obama among male voters from 27 points last month to 33 points now. He was behind among women voters by six points but now leads his Democratic opponent by two points with this group, too.

McCain is supported by 86% of Republicans, Obama by 72% of Democrats. Among unaffiliated voters, McCain leads 45% to 32%, roughly the same as in late June.

Rasmussen Markets data gives McCain a % chance of winning Arizona this November. The state, with six Electoral College votes, is currently rated as “Likely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

Forty-six percent (46%) now say they support the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, which would amend the state constitution to prohibit preferential treatment for women and minorities in government hiring and college enrollment. Twenty-seven percent (27%) oppose the initiative, and the identical number (27%) are undecided. Arizona, along with Colorado and Nebraska, is one of three states which have anti-affirmative action initiatives on the ballot this November.

More than half of Arizona voters (55%) believe that reducing the price of gas and oil is more important than protecting the environment. This is slightly higher than the national average on this question. But 35% place protecting the environment first.

Arizonans are even more confident than most Americans that the United States and its allies are winning the war on terror. 59% believe the U.S. is winning versus 18% who think the terrorists are winning.

Only 30% believe Iraq is the central front on the war in terror versus 41% who say that front is in Afghanistan. Thirty-seven percent (37%) say Afghanistan is the bigger threat to U.S. national security, as opposed to 31% who believe that of Iraq.

Arizona voters are more optimistic about the U.S. economy, too, with 49% rating it the best in the world as opposed to 41% who say it is not. Half (51%) also believe that most reporters make the economy seem worse than it really is.

Seventy-two percent (72%) think most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win the election, and 58% say most reporters are now helping Obama. But 11% say they are trying to help McCain, while 16% say most reporters offer unbiased coverage. Those figures are close to the national average.

President Bush’s job performance is rated good or excellent by 34%, down from 39% in late June. Forty-three percent (43%) say he is doing a poor job versus 45% just over a month ago.

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano is given good or excellent marks by 47% of the state’s voters, down five points from late June. Twenty-seven percent (27%) rate her performance as poor, up from 23%.

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Arizona Likely Republican

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This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports July 30, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology

Arizona Trends: McCain vs. Obama



















Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Arizona




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About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.