Arizona: Association Poll Shows Big Mitchell Advantage

Posted April 22, 2008 at 6:46pm

A poll conducted by a Democratic firm for the American Hospital Association revealed that Rep. Harry Mitchell (D) is well positioned to win a second term in the 5th district.

The survey, now more than a month old, polled 400 likely voters and found that Mitchell led his nearest potential Republican competitor by 26 points. The poll was conducted March 9-11 by Bennett, Petts and Normington, and had a margin of error of 4.9 points.

In the poll, Mitchell led GOP primary candidate David Schweikert, the former Maricopa County treasurer, 50 percent to 24 percent, with 26 percent undecided. The Congressman led former state Rep. Laura Knaperek (R), 49 percent to 26 percent, with 25 percent undecided.

“Knaperek’s years of high-profile service in the state Legislature appears to be an advantage for her over her Republican primary opponents,” according to the polling memo released by the AHA.

Arizona’s primary elections are not until Sept. 2, putting the Republicans at a potential disadvantage in their quest to unseat Mitchell, who with more than $1.1 million on hand to close the first quarter of this year is far ahead financially of any of the Republicans he might face in November.

Former state Rep. Mark Anderson and lobbyist Jim Ogsbury are also seeking the GOP nomination, and state Rep. Susan Bitter Smith (R) has formed an exploratory committee.

— David M. Drucker