Terry Goddard (D)
Joe Arpaio (R)
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard may not coast into the governor's office as some political observers have said, a poll indicates Monday.
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 out Goddard, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the general election.
The poll of shows that Arpaio, known nationally for his crackdowns on illegal immigration, would best Goddard, who served as mayor of Phoenix, 51 percent to 39 percent.
"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."
Arpaio responded to the poll on Twitter.
"If ever there was a time to consider a run, now may be the time. I continue to be asked by my supporters to step up and fill a leadership void," he said. "I cannot ignore the results of this latest Rasmussen poll about the possibility of me entering the Arizona governor's race for 2010."
In another hypothetical general election matchup, Goddard would beat Brewer by nine points - 44 percent to 35 percent. Goddard would also beat another possible Republican candidate, state Treasurer Dean Martin, 40 percent to 38 percent, the poll indicates.
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.
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.