Goddard encouraged by recent polls

Chris Rizo Dec. 11, 2009, 12:01am

Terry Goddard (D)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard says he is encouraged by recent polls as he considers a run for governor.

An Arizona State University/Eight-KAET poll last month indicates that Goddard, a Democrat, leads Republican Gov. Jan Brewer 47 percent to 28 percent, with 21 percent undecided.

"If I was the sitting governor, I would be pretty disturbed by the poll numbers," Goddard told Legal Newsline.

But not all polling suggests that Goddard, the former four-term mayor of Phoenix, would coast into the governor's office, a post once held by his father, Sam Goddard, in the 1960s.

The latest Rasmussen Reports poll on the Arizona gubernatorial race indicates that if Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio decides to run for the Republican nomination, he would handily beat Goddard, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the 2010 general election.

Arpaio, known nationally for his crackdowns on illegal immigration, would best Goddard 51 percent to 39 percent, the poll indicates.

"If Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio decides to seek the Republican nomination for governor of Arizona, he will enter the race as the clear favorite," Rasmussen Reports said in its analysis. "Incumbent Governor Jan Brewer places third in an early look at the 2010 GOP gubernatorial race."

The Rasmussen poll too indicates Goddard would beat Brewer -- by 9 points, 44 percent to 35 percent.

Goddard is officially just exploring the race since state law would require him to resign as the state's chief legal officer were he to officially launch a campaign for governor this soon before the 2010 gubernatorial primary.

The attorney general has been at the forefront of efforts by state attorneys general to pressure banks and other lenders to modify mortgages to help struggling buyers avoid losing their homes. He is a member of the State Foreclosure Working Group, composed of AGs and state regulators from 11 states.

Brewer, a Republican, became governor in January, after Democrat Janet Napolitano resigned to become President Barack Obama's secretary of homeland security. So far, Brewer is the only declared candidate in the gubernatorial race.

The Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,200 likely voters in Arizona was conducted Nov. 18. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The Arizona State University/Eight-KAET poll was conducted Nov. 19-22. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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