Christine Jones Leads Latest Poll in Governor's Race, but Most Republicans Still Undecided
Now just four weeks away from the primary election, the latest poll of Republican voters shows half are undecided on a candidate for governor.
Of the Republicans who have made up their minds, former GoDaddy executive Christine Jones is the leader with 18 percent, followed by Treasurer Doug Ducey at 16 percent, according to the newest Rocky Mountain Poll.
Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Secretary of State Ken Bennett trailed with 8 percent and 5 percent of Republicans' votes, respectively. Former California Congressman Frank Riggs and disbarred former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas lagged behind them.
A poll of likely Republican voters released two weeks ago put everyone in the same order, except Ducey was on top with 17 percent, and Jones was at 15 percent.
It seems pretty clear at this point that the Jones campaign sees Ducey as their top competitor for the Republican nomination.
When we asked Jones spokeswoman Anna Haberlein for the campaign's reaction to the poll results this morning, she told New Times, "Recent polls indicate Doug Ducey is in a free-fall in the polls, and voters are rejecting the establishment choice."
Ducey's also directly attacked Jones on the campaign trail, including an ad labeling Jones' immigration plan "phony."
The new Rocky Mountain Poll also surveyed independent voters who plan on voting in the Republican primary, when combined with the registered Republicans, the standings didn't change much: Jones leads with 17 percent, followed by Ducey at 13 percent. However, when you consider the independents voting in the primary, Bennett takes over third from Smith.
Bennett was actually the most popular candidate among independent voters, at 27 percent, followed by Jones at 13 percent.
Bennett's campaign sees the high support among the independent voters as a good sign.
"Considering we haven't spent millions pandering to voters on TV, this particular poll shows what we believe to be the case," Bennett's spokesman Matt Roberts tells us. "Arizona's independent voters like the fact Mr. Bennett has a proven record of success and are more concerned with results than rhetoric."
Zero percent of the independent voters polled picked Ducey, but 51 percent of the independent voters hadn't made up their minds, either.
As we mentioned before, the primary election is about four weeks away, and early ballots are being sent out within a week.
"Republican voter reluctance to commit to any of these candidates cuts across all demographic segments of the party from the most to least affluent and across all age groups," the pollsters say in a statement. They do note that Republicans in rural counties are more likely to be undecided, at a rate of 60 percent.
There was also a separate poll released by the CBS and New York Times that found Jones leading a hypothetical match-up with presumptive Democratic nominee Fred DuVal. No other Republican candidate was tested against DuVal in that poll.
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