To: Interested Parties
From: Joshua Ulibarri, Lake Research Partners
Re: Polling in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District, Democratic Primary[i]
Date: May 27, 2014
A recent survey among likely Democratic primary voters in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District shows former State Representative Ruben Gallego leading Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. Gallego leads with 38% to 32% for Wilcox (29% are undecided). Gallego is advantaged because he is nearly as personally popular as Wilcox, but does not carry the same personal unfavorable ratings she does. Further, voters view Gallego’s job performance net-positively, while they view Wilcox’s performance net-negatively. Gallego is in the driver’s seat in this close race. If he has the political and financial support to reach voters and communicate his message, he is likely to be the next Congressman from this area.
Gallego is advantaged for two main reasons:
First, Gallego is nearly as well liked as Wilcox, but does not carry the burden of her higher unfavorable ratings. Overall, 43% of voters rate Gallego favorably, compared to just 6% who rate him unfavorably; a 7:1 favorable to unfavorable ratio. Meanwhile, Wilcox is rated favorably by 48% of voters, but more than a quarter (27%) rate her unfavorably. That is a ratio of less than 2:1 and well below Gallego’s 7:1 pace.
Second, voters give Gallego strongly positive job performance ratings as State Representative, but are critical of Wilcox’s performance as County Supervisor. Overall, 42% of voters rate Gallego’s job performance as either excellent (8%) or good (34%), while just 23% rate his performance as either just fair or poor. That is a positive relationship by 19 points. On the other hand, voters are critical of Wilcox’s job performance. Thirty-nine percent rate her job as either excellent (12%) or good (27%), but 45% rate it as just fair (27%) or poor (18%). That is a negative relationship by six points, well below Gallego’s net-positive score of 19 points.
In summary, former State Representative Ruben Gallego leads the Democratic Primary for Congress. He leads by six points overall (38% to 32%). Gallego’s personal and political bases are as strong as Wilcox’s. The meaningful difference is that Wilcox is weighed down by more negative personal and job performance ratings. If Gallego has the funding to take advantage of his stronger positioning, he will likely win the August primary and be the next United States Representative from this area.
[i] Methodology: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey and it was conducted by telephone using professional interviewers May 20 – 22, 2014. Both landlines and cell phones were called. The survey reached a total of 401 likely August Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 4.9% and larger for sub-groups. Lake Research Partners’ national headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Joshua Ulibarri, a partner at the firm, works from Phoenix, Arizona.