by HighGround | October 17, 2016

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As early voting begins, Clinton leads Trump by 2 points and McCain has a commanding 10 point lead over Kirkpatrick

 PHOENIX (October 17, 2016)— In a recent statewide poll of likely Arizona General Election voters conducted on October 14th, Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton has pulled ahead of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump, 38.5% to 36.5% as voting starts in earnest with early ballots hitting mailboxes.  One in five voters remain undecided or are supporting a third-party candidate.  See the survey here.

Clinton holds a nearly 5% point lead in Maricopa County and 24% point lead in Pima County.  Meanwhile, Trump leads by more than 22% in rural ArizonaMaricopa County and Pima County make up more than 75% of the likely voter turnout.  Clinton’s national trend upwards over the past two weeks has now made its way to Arizona.  The last Democratic Presidential Candidate to win Arizona was Bill Clinton in 1996.  Prior to that, the state had not gone for a Democratic candidate for nearly 50 years.

“It is safe to say that Arizona is in the conversation as a true battleground state.  Our polling shows that Hillary Clinton has a good chance of turning Arizona blue if her team commits serious resources and attention in the final three weeks of the election,” said J. Charles “Chuck” Coughlin, President and CEO of HighGround Public Affairs, which commissioned the poll late last week. “Despite making multiple visits to the state, Arizona voters are simply not impressed with Donald Trump or his campaign’s divisive rhetoric. Our extensive survey research has shown time and again Arizona voters want real solutions on immigration, not the type of empty rhetoric Trump has offered.  If Clinton and her team choose to focus on the issues and play in Arizona, they have a strong chance of winning.”

Clinton is leading in all age demographics under 64 years old and holds a nearly 9% point lead among Independent and other voters.  Just this morning, the Clinton team announced that First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Bernie Sanders and Chelsea Clinton will all be making stops in Arizona this week to rally support for Secretary Clinton.

“It would appear that the Clinton team is attempting to play to their lead in their key demographics and mobilize younger voters in the remaining weeks.  With voting already underway, anything they can do to maximize their voter participation will move them even closer to victory,” said Coughlin.

In the state’s U.S. Senate race, Senator John McCain leads Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick 45.3% to 35.3%. The senior Senator has a commanding lead while managing to keep his race separate from the presidential campaign, outpolling Trump by nearly 9 points.

McCain is leading by more than 11% points in Maricopa County and more than 14% points in rural Arizona.  He only trails Kirkpatrick by 2% in Democratic stronghold Pima County.  McCain also holds a nearly 20 point lead among voters 65+ and has leads in younger voter demographics as well including an impressive 9 point lead among voters 30-39.

“Senator John McCain is a known quantity in Arizona when voters are looking for consistent leadership,” said Coughlin. “He has provided solutions on issues like immigration and unmatched experience when it comes to national security, two of the most important issues facing Arizona. His team’s ground game has been impressive showing impressive gains among younger voters and showing a stark contrast to the Presidential election.  The Senator and his team have run a very strong race against a quality opponent, and looks to be in good shape heading into the home stretch of the campaign.”

About the Survey
The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona general election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender.  The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users.  Anticipated turnout for the Arizona General Election has a partisan gap of Republican +9. 


Q. In general, would you say that Arizona is heading in the right direction, or the wrong direction? 

7.8% Definitely right direction
27.3% Probably right direction
25.0% Probably wrong direction
31.8% Definitely wrong direction
8.1% Don't Know, Refused

Q. If the General Election for President of the United States were held today, who would you vote for: [Randomize names]

38.5% Hillary Clinton, Democrat
36.5% Donald Trump, Republican
8.3% Gary Johnson, Libertarian
2.5% Jill Stein, Green Party
4.5% Someone else
7.0% Undecided
2.7% Refused

Q. If the General Election for United States Senate were held today, who would you vote for: [Randomize names]

45.3% John McCain, Republican
35.3% Ann Kirkpatrick, Democrat
6.3% Gary Swing, Green Party
1.8% Someone else
8.8% Undecided
2.5% Refused

The survey was conducted on October 14th and the margin of error of the survey is ±4.88% with 95% confidence.  HighGround recently “nailed” the Prop 123 election results within 0.2% of the outcome prior to the May 2016 Special election. The HighGround team has built a reputation of reliable and accurate polling over the past ten years.  Clients and surveys conducted by HighGround include Restoring Arizona, Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association, Maricopa Health Foundation, Education Health and Safety Coalition, local school districts, and various candidate campaigns.  Visit our website to learn more about HighGround’s polling experience. 

Survey Demographics

Age Group:

12.0% 20 to 29
17.0% 30 to 39
25.0% 40 to 49
22.7% 50 to 64
23.3% 65 Plus


48.0% Male
52.0% Female


41.5% Republican
32.5% Democrat
17.5% PND
8.5% Independent/Other

Congressional District:

10.7% CD1
13.0% CD2
7.7% CD3
10.0% CD4
13.5% CD5
14.4% CD6
6.0% CD7
13.0% CD8
11.7% CD9



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