New poll: Obama within 3 points of Romney in Arizona - East Valley Tribune: Capitol Media Services

New poll: Obama within 3 points of Romney in Arizona

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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 1:24 pm | Updated: 7:35 pm, Fri Oct 12, 2012.

It may be the comments about the "47 percent.''

Or maybe it's been some of his other stumbles.

But a new poll Friday shows Barack Obama within three points of Mitt Romney in Arizona.

The survey is the first ever by Purple Poll of Arizonans, an organization that normally concentrates its efforts on examining voter attitudes in swing states like Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. But the numbers here suggest that Arizona could be in play.

Doug Usher, the organizations managing partner for research, said the issue for voters seems to be not so much how they feel about the president but instead the Republican challenger.

Usher noted most of the survey of 600 Arizonans was conducted after the release of the video showing the GOP nominee talking about how 47 percent of the electorate do not pay taxes, are "dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.''

Romney said these people "will vote for this president, no matter what.''

Usher said the newly released comments, by themselves, are not what is causing problems for Romney.

"But I think the totality of evidence would point to it having an impact on how people feel in terms of their comfort level with him,'' he said. "And that's making it very difficult for them to vote for Romney.''

That showed up in other survey results where Obama outpolled Romney among Arizonans asked about who has the right temperament to be president. And 44 percent of those questioned viewed Romney favorable, compared with 46 percent for Obama.

Questioned about the comments about the 47 percent of Americans, Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday that Romney probably didn't express himself well.

"We all know that he cares about that vulnerable population out there and that there are people that need a safety net and that they need a helping hand,'' the governor said.

Anyway, Brewer said, she said the comments were "blown up and out of proportion.'' And she argued that lost in all of that was his real message.

"What he was saying, is that we want to make everyone successful,'' he said. "We want everyone to be successful.''

The poll does show that far more Arizonans believe that Romney knows how to get things done than the president. And 56 percent of those questioned say Arizona is headed in the wrong direction.

But they give Obama a slight edge -- well within the 4 point margin of error -- in terms of who can better handle a crisis.

The survey was conducted between last Saturday and Wednesday. Three-fourths of the results come from automated telephone interviews with people who have "landline'' phones; the balance were online interviews with voters who predominantly or exclusively use cell phones.

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