Poll shows overwhelming support for immigration reform in Arizona’s most conservative district; McCain leads Nearest Rival by 16% in State’s Most Conservative Congressional District
PHOENIX (August 18, 2016)—In a recent survey of high-efficacy Republican primary voters in Congressional District 5, more than 70% of voters support key tenets of an immigration reform proposal supported by U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. The overwhelming response shows that even within Arizona’s most conservative district, there is broad support among Republicans to fix the nation’s broken immigration system through a combination of stricter border enforcement standards and replacing the current guest worker system.
The survey, conducted on behalf of Arizona First from August 8-10, also pointed to a toss-up CD-5 race to replace Congressman Matt Salmon, with State Senate President Andy Biggs leading Attorney Christine Jones 22% to 19.5% after a wave of dark money attacks from outside spending groups.
Arizona First is a not-for-profit educational organization chaired by Michael Cowley, an Arizona businessman with family ties to the East Valley. Cowley said, “Arizona First works toward better understanding the Arizona electorate and where it stands on important issues like education, campaign finance, immigration reform, border security, and health care. As a former elected official, I know first-hand how these issues affect our community.”
Cowley served one term on the elected board of the Maricopa Special Health Care District Board of Directors. During his time on the board, Cowley helped turn around the Maricopa Integrated Health System going from $12 million in debt to $97 million in reserve. Cowley left the Board after serving 4 years as a public servant with no compensation. Neither Arizona First, nor the polling firm is professionally or personally supporting any of the candidates for Congressional District 5.
The survey asked the following question of 400 likely Republican primary voters in CD-5:
“Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake previously proposed an immigration reform policy that would secure the border with more agents, fencing, and technology; crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants; provide a 10 year waiting time to apply to become a lawful permanent resident, but NOT citizenship; and develop a system to issue temporary visas for limited periods for both high and low skilled workers where jobs are not being filled. Knowing what you know right now, do you support or oppose this proposal?”
The poll found 70.8% of Republicans supported this type of proposal, with 41.5% saying they would definitely support this type of reform.
“Arizona is negatively impacted by our nation’s broken immigration system more than any other state in the nation and these results make clear that conservative Republicans want solutions instead of tired and hollow rhetoric,” said J. Charles Coughlin, President and CEO of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants which conducted the poll. “There is broad Republican electoral support for candidates willing to offer thoughtful solutions to the most vexing of public policy challenges facing Arizona’s economy. Mexico is Arizona’s largest trading partner and fixing these public policy challenges are the keys which will unlock economic growth in Arizona.”
In addition to support for many of the tenets of his immigration reform proposal, the survey found Senator John McCain has a commanding lead in his U.S. Senate primary race among likely CD-5 Republican voters. Senator McCain holds an impressive 47.8% to former State Senator Kelli Ward’s 31.5%.
Coughlin said, “In a conservative district like CD-5, wide support for much of Senator McCain’s immigration reform proposal positions him well to win his primary race and move onto to the general election. Arizonans are looking for statesmen who will stand up and lead on issues like immigration reform. Senator McCain has proven himself as that leader and looks to be in great position to win the Republican primary.”
About the Survey
The poll surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters from August 8-10 and was commissioned by Arizona First, a non-profit group dedicated understanding the Arizona electorate and its views on significant public policy issues. The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround to both landline and cell phone users and balanced across age and regional representation.
The margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence. HighGround recently “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 election. Other clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include Restoring Arizona, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Maricopa Health Foundation, Education Health and Safety Coalition, Build the 202 Coalition, Keep the Cubs, Yes for Mesa, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.
Arizona Congressional District 5 Primary Voter Survey
August 8-10, 2016 400 voters ±4.88%
Q. If the Republican primary election to choose a candidate for the United States Senate were held today, would you vote for [Rotate names] John McCain, Kelli Ward, Alex Melusky, or Clair Van Steenwyk?
47.8% John McCain
31.5% Kelli Ward
1.8% Clair Van Steenwyk
Q. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake previously proposed an immigration reform policy that would secure the border with more agents, fencing, and technology; crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants; provide a 10 year waiting time to apply to become a lawful permanent resident, but NOT citizenship; and develop a system to issue temporary visas for limited periods for both high and low skilled workers where jobs are not being filled. Knowing what you know right now, do you support or oppose this proposal?
41.5% Definitely Support
29.3% Probably Support
6.5% Probably Oppose
11.8% Definitely Oppose
10.9% Don’t Know, Refused