GOP Polling: McCain Up Just 3 Points in Arizona

Yesterday I pointed to Rasmussen Reports polling showing John McCain leading Barack Obama by a mere 5 points -- 51 percent to 46 percent -- in Arizona. This survey came on the heels of two more recent Democratic polls showing McCain under 50 percent and leading by just 2 and 4 points. Now comes word that GOP polling shows largely the same result, and a forthcoming nonpartisan survey might not be too far off, either.

More disturbingly for Republicans, at least one internal Republican poll conducted toward the end of the week showed McCain clinging to a tiny 3-point lead. McCain is tied in Maricopa County, usually seen as a death knell for any statewide Republican candidate, but he makes up the difference with a strong performance in the northern part of the state.

Bruce Merrill, a political scientist who conducts the nonpartisan Cronkite/Eight poll for Arizona State University, told the Arizona Daily Star he expects his next poll to show a narrower advantage for McCain than his last survey. That survey, conducted during the final week of September, showed McCain leading by seven points, already a slim margin for a candidate's home state. Merrill's poll was being conducted over the weekend.

The last few days I have posited that it likely would not be worth it for the Obama campaign to go into Arizona this late in the process. But the more data I have seen quite unanimously showing the race in Arizona to be in the low single-digits, it might actually be worth it -- if the resources permitted it -- to spend a few hundred thousand dollars in late advertising in the state. Again, resources permitting, the upside is fairly high -- 10 electoral votes -- while the downside (a few hundred thousand dollars) isn't nearly as high. Yes, Obama's national advertising, including the 30-minute spot that will run on the major networks (including Univision), will saturate the state. But a targeted television buy in the state could just put Arizona genuinely in play one week from election day.

Tags: Arizona, AZ-Pres, John McCain, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Also:

The mere fact he was advertising in McCain's home state would dominate the news a day of the news cycle.

by mikeinsf 2008-10-28 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Polling
I live in Tucson and I can tell you that Obama has been running ads here off and on for the last two weeks or so. And they appear to be increasing. Mostly in prime time on the big 3 networks.
Southern Az is the "hole in the dognut" part of the state in that we are surrounded by repugs, but we (Pima County) are democratic.
This county is also home to Gabrielle Giffords who is facing off with Tim Bee, and we have prop 102, the anti marriage proposal on the ballot again this year.So there is tremendous interest and activity this election cycle.
I have been knocking on doors for the last 3 months for Obama and the Hispanic vote is going to turn out HUGE for him.
by dogeatdogi 2008-10-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Polling

Yes, exactly dogeatdogi. If Obama were to drop a few hundred K extra on TV, as Jonathan suggests, it will help a lot. More importantly, a quick visit/rally here would be much, much bigger. Just a fly-in/fly-out deal. The media coverage, in the context of these three poll results, would be devastating. And that might very well put him over the top, in addition to giving a big boost to Bob Lord in AZ-03.

And I agree prop. 102 has energized our side. Theirs, too, but I think ours more. The Goops didn't count on that when they forced it onto the ballot.

by Sun Tzu 2008-10-28 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: GOP Polling

And I agree prop. 102 has energized our side.

I hope so!  I've been hearing hardly anything about it.  The Tucson Weekly (OK, not exactly serious journalism, but then, the Daily Star is?) has basically ignored it, which is shocking.  Seems like the "Majority Rules" referendum is sucking up all the air.

by sneakers563 2008-10-28 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re:McCain Up Just 3 Points in Arizona

I don't claim to have my thumb on the pulse of my state, but I get the sense that Obama contesting Arizona might be a bad thing in the long run.

We have some important races that will be very close, including the marriage initiative and ousting Shadegg.  If we want to win those we need to win the turnout war.  If Republicans start to think that Obama is making a race of it in Arizona, they may be energized and turn out in larger numbers to prevent McCain from the humiliation of losing his home state.  If they think their presidential vote doesn't count, they may find themselves too busy to vote.

I'd rather McCain wins Arizona if it means Republicans stay home and we can win the important downballot races.

by alvernon 2008-10-28 12:25PM | 0 recs

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