Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Beats Barack Obama in Rasmussen Poll? They Don't Call It Ari-bama for Nuthin'

The majority of Arizona voters are completely delusional, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

The July 21 poll asked 500 likely voters if "the policies and activities of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio helped or hurt Arizona's image." A whopping 57 percent say they've helped. Only 27 percent say they've hurt.

Well, that at least makes 27 percent of us who are not suffering from a psychotic break. In the civilized world beyond the borders of Cactus Country, they pity the poor folks that have to live under Arpaio's bootheel (which is only as large as Maricopa County, BTW). One need only read William Finnegan's well-received portrait of Sheriff Joe in The New Yorker to grok the truth of that statement.

Thing is, I'm guessing the 57 percent in question don't spend a lot of time poring over The New Yorker, the LA Times,the New York Times, or even the New Times, for that matter. You know, papers and periodicals that have been critical of our septuagenarian "shurf."

As much as we love to hate him, he might as well be Camelback Mountain 'cause he ain't going nowhere. At least until someone indicts him. And even then...

And this Presidential cat named Barack Obama? He scored a 46 percent approval rating in Arizona, according to Rasmussen.

Which means we dwell in The Land Time Forgot, people. Watch out, there goes a dinosaur! Nah, it's just Sheriff Joe...

Arpaio's PR hacks will soon be playing this as Arpaio beating Obama in a straight up comparison. Not exactly. The questions are different. But I will concede that the percentages correctly reflect reality. Obama won a similar percentage of the state's electorate in 2008. In other words, no change. That could be our state's motto.

Oh, and Sand Landers would rather chase Mexicans like Yosemite Sam after a brown Bugs Bunny. Sixty-five percent of those asked said securing the border was more important than legalizing illegals. Fifty-one percent insisted immigration reform is more important than health care reform. (Access to a doctor? Who needs it!) And 50 percent state that it's possible to end illegal immigration.

I'm just glad Rasmussen Reports didn't ask folks if they wanted to plant land mines and gun turrets down on the border. I'd be afraid to see what the sandbillies here have to say about that.

In other news from the poll, Republican Jan Brewer is running a 48 percent negative rating. An equal percentage approves of her.

Fifty-seven percent are willing to cough up a penny more per dollar in sales tax to fund K-12 education.

And Brewer gets slightly higher marks over the legislature in the way she's handled the state budget crisis.

The margin of error is plus or minus 4.5 percent. You can read the results for yourself, here.   

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons