Home>Party Business>EXCLUSIVE: Poll Finds Maricopa Optimism for Lake, Hamadeh

Kari Lake speaking with attendees at the 2022 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, December 18, 2022. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

EXCLUSIVE: Poll Finds Maricopa Optimism for Lake, Hamadeh

Globe gets mitts on credible poll showing GOP candidates each over 33% net fav

By Ken Kurson, October 3, 2023 6:00 am

The Arizona Globe has exclusively obtained some of the results of an unreleased private poll, and its findings might surprise political watchers throughout the state.

According to a source, the poll was conducted by Cygnal, whose pollsters Brent Buchanan and Jacqueline Boggess have done recent work for Arizona Republicans. The firm asked registered Republicans in Maricopa County to indicate whether they hold favorable or unfavorable opinions of several well-known Republican candidates.

President Trump had a combined 73.1% favorable among respondents—including 48.8% who ranked “very favorable.” His combined unfavorables were 24.7, giving him net favorability of 48.5—a rock-solid number in his party.

Perhaps more surprising were the nearly equally high numbers for the most recent Republican candidates for Arizona Governor and Attorney General.

Kari Lake comes out with 69.3% favorable and only 27.6% unfavorable — a dominating net positive of 41.7%. Abe Hamadeh is at 47.4% favorable vs 13.7% unfavorable—net positive of more than 33 points. Considering the amount of money recently spent to grow those unfavorables by both Democratic opponents in the general and Republican opponents in the primary, both Lake and Hamadeh have maintained impressive net favorables, at least among Republican voters.

Snippet from Cygnal poll of Maricopa County Republicans, obtained by the Arizona Globe.

Cygnal is a serious firm, given a high A rating by fivethirtyeight.com’s rigorous mathematical analysis. These results are surely encouraging to the Lake and Hamadeh teams as both eye future races. Lake has already signaled her intention to run for US Senate in 2024. Hamadeh has filed a non-trivial lawsuit challenging the still-disputed results of the 2022 election, which he trails by fewer than 300 votes.

Rumors are rampant that if Hamadeh fails to overturn the 2022 election, he will take a hard look at challenging Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. If his team is indeed looking at that race, the results of this poll certainly would prove encouraging.

As in most states, Arizona Republicans are dividing into two — the MAGA camp and establishment camp.

Abraham Hamadeh, Republican candidate for Arizona Attorney General, speaking with attendees at a candidate forum hosted by the Arizona Legislative District 28 Republican Party at TYR Tactical in Peoria, Arizona, July 18, 2022. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

That is a boorish oversimplification of a complex dynamic, of course, but anyone following politics closely enough to read this site gets the idea.

One of the tactics used by the establishment camp to shore up support by its generally less enthusiastic members is to say some variation of “We might not be willing to set our hair on fire like the MAGA camp, but we’re more electable.” Or “better liked.” Or “less divisive.”

But are those assertions even true? Or are they simply more palatable to a mainstream media that tries hard to find a few Republicans to approve of in order to say, “See, we’re not anti-Republican, we simply reject the giant swath of the Republican Party that Trump represents.”

That effort to disqualify more than half of at least half certainly finds itself on display in the coverage of the Arizona Republic. In an article about a fundraiser held this week for Chris Christie at the home of unsuccessful 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, columnist Phil Boas all but issued a valentine, congratulating Robson on her return from the dark side and re-joining the establishment. He described Robson as having “rented space in Trump’s make-believe world” and being forced to “reluctantly put on the clown shoes” in supporting Trump’s claims that Arizona had been stolen in 2020.

The Globe doesn’t penalize grammar errors, but misspelling this candidate’s name suggests the Republic might value his digs at Trump more than his ideas. (Screencap, Arizona Republic)

Boas even quotes centrist strategist Chuck Coughlin, the CEO and President of Highground Inc., who asserts that Robson, had she managed to get by Lake in the primary, “could have won by double digits” in the general.

There’s nothing the left-leaning press loves better than the opportunity to favorably quote a centrist Republican criticizing a more conservative Republican. That pose of fairness explains the entire appeal of a candidacy like Christie’s. The fact that Boas spells his name “Christy” kind of signals that it’s not a love of the former NJ Governor’s politics that’s earned him the ink, it’s his eagerness to criticize Trump.

But this poll reveals the Republican electorate, in the face of massive efforts to drive up the unfavorables of its standard bearers, still likes these “deplorable” candidates quite a bit.

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Ken Kurson
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