A poll done for former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) shows the Arizona Senate race is competitive for Democrats this fall, an argument national party strategists have been working to make.
The Anzalone Liszt Research survey found Rep. Jeff Flake (R) ahead of Carmona 43 percent to 39 percent in a general election matchup. The poll did not test Carmona against Flake’s GOP primary rival, real estate investor Wil Cardon.
Carmona, who has never run for office before, had a much lower name identification than Flake, who was first elected to the House in 2000. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed were able to identify Carmona, while 48 percent said they knew who Flake was.
Thirty percent of respondents rated Flake favorably, while 19 percent had an unfavorable view of the Congressman. Carmona had a 14 percent favorable rating, while 8 percent said they viewed him unfavorably.
National Republicans mocked the survey by pointing out that the same pollster did polling for the 2010 Louisiana Senate race that showed that contest was competitive when ultimately it never was. National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said that just like Louisiana, the Arizona contest remains a “long-shot Senate race for the Democrats.”
Carmona still has a climb ahead of him in a state that fundamentally still favors Republicans. The last Arizona Democrat elected to the Senate was Dennis DeConcini in 1988.
The survey of 600 likely voters via live telephone interviews was taken April 2-9 and had a 4-point margin of error. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.