If next year's presidential election were held today, President Barack Obama would carry Republican-leaning Arizona, according to a recent poll.
According to a Rocky Mountain poll released yesterday, Obama leads all possible Republican candidates in Arizona by at least a five-percentage-point margin.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the GOP candidate who comes closest to Obama, according to the poll, trailing the president 45-percent to 40-percent.
Texas Governor Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain are the GOP's silver-medalists, each trailing Obama 45-percent to 38-percent.
For the record, each of those candidates have sought the endorsement of Maricopa County's 79-year-old sheriff, Joe Arpaio.
The results of the poll have caused CNN's Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser to conclude that Arizona could be "competitive in the general election," which is somewhat surprising considering the state's Republican leanings.
"All year long, we've seen Republican presidential candidates overreach and go to extremes," Arizona Democratic Chairman Andrei Cherny says, "and Mitt Romney's recent call to let homeowners hit rock bottom only reinforces that the GOP is out of touch with the mainstream. Republicans may be in for a rude awakening in 2012."
Obama did much better than expected in Arizona -- his opponent Senator John McCain's home state -- in the 2008 presidential election, losing to McCain by about 200,000 votes.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.