As reported Tuesday in the Phoenix Business Journal, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has just taken a narrow, but significant lead over Republican Donald Trump in a newly released Arizona poll.
The Phoenix-based company, OH Predictive Insights, surveyed 996 likely Arizona voters on Aug. 1, and the results give Clinton a 45 percent to 42 percent lead over Donald Trump in a four-way race that includes third party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green Party).
In the same poll, Johnson received 4 percent of the vote, and Stein received 1 percent, leaving 8 percent of likely voters still undecided on who they’ll support come November.
The lead is only three points, but Arizona has traditionally been a Red State, and Republicans have carried the state in every presidential race except for the 1996 race (B. Clinton vs. Dole) since 1948, when Harry S. Truman surprised pollsters by defeating Dewey in a historical upset.
OH pollster and political consultant, Mike Noble, noted that Trump’s recent altercations with the Muslim Gold Star family, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, are having an impact on his numbers in the state of Arizona, one that the Republican Party has generally considered a safe bet.
A June poll of 691 Arizona voters by Public Policy Polling showed Donald Trump in the lead in a two-way race with 44 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent, and 16 percent still undecided.
Trump’s hard rhetoric on immigration has also alienated a large number of Hispanics with his call to “build a wall” across the border to Mexico. According to Pew Research, Hispanics make up a full 30 percent of Arizona’s population, with 91 percent of those Spanish-speaking residents being of Mexican origin.
Trump has also had recent altercations with Republican Arizona senator John McCain, who is a war hero and longtime well-respected politician in the state. Sen. McCain criticized Trump for his comments about the Khans, whose son, Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in action in 2004 in Iraq by a suicide bomber, receiving both a Bronze Star for heroic achievement and a Purple Heart posthumously.
Trump has refused to endorse Sen. McCain in his upcoming primary, insulted his war hero status, and faulted McCain for problems with Veterans Administration hospitals. Sen. McCain has two remaining opponents in the Republican Party primaries on Aug. 30, with Tea Party activist Alex Meluskey dropping out of the race at the end of last month. Former state Sen. Kelli Ward and Tea Party activist Clair Van Steenwyk remain in the race against McCain.
A May 23 poll published by The Arizona Republic showed McCain with a 52 percent disapproval rating among Arizona voters and only a 39 percent lead in the primary against four other Republican contenders for the ballot slot.
Trump has repeatedly criticized and even humiliated John McCain, and McCain’s insistence on continuing to support the rapidly spiraling Trump is hurting his own senate campaign, according to this Tuesday segment of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
But local Democrats are holding firm, according to Politico, trying to grasp Arizona hard enough to turn it blue. Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democratic representing a heavily Hispanic district in Phoenix said:
‘We just need the resources and funds to put us over the top.’