A new Rocky Mountain poll has President Obama ahead by 2 points in Arizona.Given the larger national dynamics in the race I’d strongly caution people not to assume this is actual the state of the race in Arizona. I have to assume it’s an outlier. And the Rocking Mountain poll does not have a great reputation. But there are some interesting details in the poll that suggest Arizona could be more in flux than we realize.
The poll has Gary Johnson with 3 points, believable considering the strong libertarian streak in Arizona politics and the fact that he was the governor of the state next door.
The poll also has Richard Carmona up by 4 over Jeff Flake, a number not inconsistent with recent polling. (It’s hard to get a read for where this race really is since most of the polling has been released by organs of either party.)
Carmona was born in New York City and is of Puerto Rican descent, unlike the vast majority of Latinos in Arizona who have roots in Mexico or Arizona in the years when it was part of Mexico. But I’m not sure that makes a huge difference in the ethnic politics of the state and the poll notes that the Democrats strength in these races is drawing heavily on minority votes. The poll notes also point out that the pollsters offered the questions in either English or Spanish.
Again, I’m assuming the poll is an outlier. But Carmona seems to be in serious contention to win the Senate seat. So I’d consider whether his presence on the ticket is driving higher rates of Latino voter enthusiasm/engagement and whether the bilingual poll may be accessing some voters other polls are missing.