Arizona may have a reputation as a far-right, anti-immigrant state, but a new poll shows that voters here disapprove of our new POTUS Donald Trump and of the border wall he's ordered built via executive fiat.
In a snap survey of 500 registered voters in Arizona conducted by the Phoenix-based consulting firm Data Orbital just two days after Trump issued his order jump-starting the construction of a wall across the 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico, nearly 50 percent of respondents held an unfavorable view of Trump, and 54 percent said they did not support Trump's wall.
Additionally, 57 percent of Arizona voters disagreed with a Trump administration idea to pay for the massive structure, estimated to cost as much as $12 billion to $15 billion: a 20 percent tariff (basically, a tax) on all products imported into the U.S. from Mexico.
Only 33 percent of those polled liked that trial balloon, which the administration since has wisely shot down.
Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona's Seventh Congressional District said he wasn't surprised by the results.
"Arizonans have heard of the border wall scam for many years," the Democrat and Trump foe texted me when asked for a comment. "They know in the end it does not bring us more security. It is a waste of money and not a solution to our immigration problems. "
The Data Orbital poll is in line with a poll done by the Arizona Republic in August, which found nearly 55 percent of Arizona voters were not keen on a U.S.-Mexico border wall being built. Nationally, a recent CBS News poll showed 59 percent of Americans being opposed to Trump's Great Wall.
In November, Trump won traditionally red Arizona by less than four percentage points. But the Data Orbital poll shows that 49 percent of Arizona voters view Trump unfavorably versus 39 percent who view him favorably. That dovetails with a recent report from Gallup showing that Trump's national approval rating dropped to an eight point deficit during his first week in office, with 50 percent disapproval versus 42 percent approval.
Data Orbital president George Khalaf, the former political director of the Arizona Republican Party, says his company wants to do more polls like this one as Trump rolls out his new initiatives, such as Trump's recent, so-called "Muslim ban" on travelers entering the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
However, keeping up with Trump is a challenge.
"When we did this poll, it was obviously the thing to talk about — his executive order on the border wall," Khalaf told me during a phone interview. "If [the Muslim ban] continues to dominate, we'll probably be in the field for a quick poll on the refugee issue."
Data Orbital's numbers may be another indication that voters in Arizona have moved on from the days when the state's anti-immigrant juggernaut, Senate Bill 1070, dominated headlines. Back then, Arizona was regularly blasted as a racist state, and even U.S. Senator John McCain, a relative moderate on immigration, promised to "complete the dang fence" during his 2010 re-election campaign, where he refashioned himself a border-hawk.
Khalaf agreed with this assessment.
"Even members of the caucus that were supportive of SB 1070 when it occurred aren't necessarily leading the charge anymore, right?" he said. "Folks have definitely shifted to other issues."
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Or at least, we had moved on, till Trump got in.
Read recent poll results from Data Orbital on Trump and the border wall.