Unless Your Name's Wil Cardon, You'd Probably Beat Wil Cardon in GOP Senate Primary, Poll Shows

If you happen to be someone other than Mesa businessman Wil Cardon, you probably would beat Cardon in the GOP Senate primary, according to a recently released poll.

Cardon, who is running to replace retiring Senator Jon Kyl -- and subscribes to immigration policies similar to those of ousted Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce (more on that here) -- would lose the primary to "some other candidate" by at least four percentage points, a poll conducted by the Republican pollsters at Colorado-based Magellan Strategies finds.

Cardon's opponent, Congressman Jeff Flake, leads the race with 52-percent of the vote. "Some other candidate" takes second place with eight-percent, and Cardon took the bronze with four-percent.

Three other GOP candidates polled at two-percent or less, while 32-percent remain undecided.

Cardon's candidacy is in its infancy, so his poor poll numbers aren't too surprising. However, his stance on immigration isn't exactly inline with the majority of Arizona voters -- even Republicans.

A poll released last week by Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy shows that the vast majority of Arizonans (78-percent) support some sort of pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The poll also found that 66-percent of Republicans support the idea.

As he made very clear during a campaign event this week, Cardon does not fall in the 78-percent.

"Unlike Barack Obama -- and my opponent [in the GOP Senate primary] Jeff Flake -- I oppose amnesty and I will not reward those who break the law," Cardon told supporters at a campaign event at his Phoenix headquarters on Tuesday.

His announcement came a week to the day after Pearce was recalled -- which the former Senate prez can thank, in part, to his extreme policies on immigration reform. See our cover story on the Pearce recall here.

As we mentioned earlier this week, it appears Arizonans are warming up to a more moderate approach to handling the illegal immigration problem.

Cardon, it seems, didn't get the message.

"[The Morrison Institute poll] doesn't surprise me at all," Cardon tells New Times. "That's what we all want, is to help people out -- but helping people out by letting people break the law and get ahead of others who haven't is not the solution."

If Cardon doesn't have the public on his side on the immigration issue, he'll likely get stomped by Flake in the primary -- immigration is one of the only issues where the two GOPers are somewhat divided.

In fact, Cardon supported Flake in several of his past Congressional campaign, and even served on his Senate campaign's finance committee -- until he decided to run for the seat himself.

As we also pointed out earlier this week, Cardon only stopped supporting Flake -- who once supported a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants -- after Flake cowered to Arizona's far-right-wingers and flip-flopped on the immigration issue.

In other words, Cardon supported Flake until Flake started agreeing with him.

See the entire Magellan poll here.

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James King
Contact: James King