Another Poll Shows Possible GOP Troubles In Arizona

Following on the Arizona State University Poll I wrote about yesterday, a new Rocky Mountain Poll has Mitt Romney and Barack Obama tied in a state that Republicans won easily four years ago:

Is Arizona truly a battleground state?

The jury’s still out, but a second straight survey this week does indicate that it’s all knotted up between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in Arizona.

According to a Rocky Mountain Poll released Wednesday, 42% of registered voters in Arizona say they support Obama, with 40% backing Romney and a high 18% undecided. The president’s two percent margin is well within the survey’s sampling error, meaning it’s basically a dead heat in Arizona.

A poll released Monday from Arizona State University’s Merrill/Morrison Institute also indicated 42%-40% margin for Obama among registered voters in Arizona.

The two point margin for Obama in the new Rocky Mountain poll is a switch from January, when Romney held a six point advantage over Obama.

According to the new poll, Obama holds a 16 point advantage over independent voters and a 39 point lead among Hispanic voters.

I’d still like to see more polling before we start to talk about Arizona as a toss-up state but this has got to be a big concern for Team Romney.  If the campaign has to start worrying about defending states that McCain won in 2008, that’s going to make the task of flipping the 2008 Obama states they need all the more difficult.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the internals on this – especially the breakdown by gender. Start watching for a new wave of GOP-led “Voter ID” laws that are tweaked to discourage women voting instead of just minorities or poor people…

  2. Rick Almeida says:

    I’d argue that McCain took AZ in 2008 in large part because it’s his home state. Per the Teixeira thesis, AZ should be firmly in play for the Dems.

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Wishful thinking.

  4. How many polls saying the same thing will it take for Republicans to sound silly saying that?

  5. legion says:

    On a somewhat related topic, I’d like to ask Doug’s legalistic opinion on the current SCOTUS debate of Arizona’z immigration laws. Specifically, I saw Scalia quoted thusly:

    “What’s wrong about the states enforcing federal law?” Scalia said during his aggressive questioning of U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. “There is a federal law against robbing federal banks. Can it be made a state crime to rob those banks? I think it is.”

    Now, several things occur to my NAL mind on reading this… First, _can_ states prosecute for violating a federal statute like this? Could the Feds prosecute separately, or would that be Double Jeopardy? Second, even if they can, going with Scalia’s specific example, a state cannot define what is and is not a federal bank. And that’s what (I think) is the main problem with laws like Arizona’s – states have no standing to define or interpret how citizenship is determined, right?

  6. @legion:

    I haven’t been able to read much about the arguments today so I’ll probably end up commenting about this tomorrow morning.

    Nevertheless, things can be violations of both federal and state law and there is no Double Jeopardy issue. See, for example, the federal investigation in the Trayvon Martin case. As for Scalia’s example, a Federal Bank as he was referring to it most likely means a Federally Chartered Bank. Technically, robbing a federally chartered bank is a federal crime as well as being a violation of state bank robbery laws but they are typically prosecuted at the state level unless you’re talking about a bank robbery scheme that crosses state lines. In fact, someone who crosses state lines to rob several banks as part of a common scheme would be subject to Federal prosecution as well.

    As for your final question, while I’m not a fan of the Arizona law, my understanding of the law is that it does not define citizenship at all.

  7. legion says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Thanks – I look forward to a deeper look at this. I’ve seen surprisingly little across my usual spectrum of news sources.

  8. Clyde Barrow says:

    This link claims to list 108 State Banks in Illinois that are not Federally Chartered.
    Does that mean if me and Bonnie robbed them all and never left the Prairie State the Feds couldn’t hang us?

  9. There is a bigger picture here. If Romney is tied with Obama in Arizona that means that Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico are definetelly out of picture.

  10. David says:

    @Clyde Barrow: If you don’t break a federal law, then no, the feds can’t hang you.

  11. superdestroyer says:

    The only question for the 2012 election, at the presidential election, is whether Romney loses in a bigger rout than McCain.

    If Romney receives less than 46% of the popular vote, will any wonk or wannbe be intellectually honest and acknowledge that the Republican Party is irrelevant at the national level and that the U.S. should begin to adapt to being a one party state where the Democratic Primary for president will be the real election for president.

  12. JohnMcC says:

    Ah, my friend Mr Destroyer, you do not consider the favoritism toward rural areas and smaller states which the Founding Generation built into our system. I quickly googled a bit and discovered that each electoral college vote cast by Wyoming represents 142,224 individuals voting in that state. The same figure for California is 494,545.

    This may or may not seem to be “democratic” (small ‘d’), but it definitely is Republican (upper-case R) and will help the anachronism of that party to be a perpetual boil on the American butt for decades to come.

  13. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnMcC: By example, Mr Gore gained the votes of 543,895 more Americans in 2000. Instead, we got Mr GWBush. The result was that we invaded Iraq and completely depleted the growing federal surplus. See how that works?

  14. legion says:

    @superdestroyer: There’s a very big difference between being irrelevant at at the national level vs. the state & local level. No matter how badly Mitt gets it handed to him, there will be countless Republicans in statehouses across the country (and down the street from the Oval Office in Congress) to carry that banner for quite some time to come. It’s just becoming painfully apparent that the GOP simply doesn’t have anyone with widespread enough appeal (and lacking a whole graveyard’s worth of skeletons in their closet) to withstand a nationwide general Presidential election.

  15. EddieInCA says:

    As of 2010, Arizona has almost 40% of it’s population as Native American/Hispanic/Black. If that block goes to Obama by 75-25 (very likely), it will mean Romney has to carry the white vote about 60-40 to make up for it. That seems like a big mountain to climb – no pun intended.

  16. superdestroyer says:


    No party can is irrelevant at the national level can survive as a regional or local party. Very few people are going to get involved in a political party that is irrelevant at the national level.

    It is much more likely that as people realize that the Democratic Primary is the real election for president or Senator in most states that the current Republican Party

    If a policy wonk wannabe wanted to get ahead of everyone else, they would be reviewing that states, cities, and areas that are totally dominated by Democrats and think about how will the U.S. will operate in the same situation.

  17. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “How many polls saying the same thing will it take for Republicans to sound silly saying that? ”

    One, the one taken on the first Tuesday in November.

    On second thought, not even that – they’ll just claim that the election was stolen.

  18. Barry says:

    @EddieInCA: “As of 2010, Arizona has almost 40% of it’s population as Native American/Hispanic/Black. If that block goes to Obama by 75-25 (very likely), it will mean Romney has to carry the white vote about 60-40 to make up for it. That seems like a big mountain to climb – no pun intended. ”

    Is it possible that it only goes 75-25?