Poll: Obama slightly more popular than Brewer in Ariz.

Poll: Obama slightly more popular than Brewer in Ariz.

Credit: AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has an intense conversation with President Barack Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa on Jan. 25, 2012.


by Dennis Welch | 3TV Political Editor

Bio | Email | Follow: @Dennis_Welch


Posted on June 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM

PHOENIX -- Arizona voters aren't big fans of either of them right now, but President Barack Obama is slightly more popular here than Gov. Jan Brewer.

According to a recent poll by the east coast-based Public Policy Polling, more voters say they like the Democratic president than Arizona's Republican governor.

Forty-five percent those questioned said they had a favorable opinion of Obama while 51 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the commander-in-chief.

On the other hand, 43 percent gave Brewer a favorable rating while 48 percent gave her unfavorable marks.

Predictably, the numbers broke down along party lines as big numbers of Democrats backed the president and an equally big number of Republicans supported Brewer.

Of those identifying themselves as Democrats, 91 percent said they liked the president and 48 percent of Independents said the same thing. There's a steep drop from there, with 12 percent of Republicans giving Obama a favorable rating.

The partisan numbers are similar with Brewer as 70 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Independents said they liked the governor. Among Democrats, only 10 percent said they liked Brewer.

Taken together, the numbers paint a picture of a much divided electorate heading into the fall elections. It also shows a sharp drop in Brewer's popularity since cruising to victory two years ago.

Chuck Coughlin, one of the governor's top political advisors, said he's not surprised with the numbers. He's said they're close to what he's been seeing in his own internal polling.

The biggest difference between now and the 2010 election, he said, is the support of Independent voters who viewed Brewer as a, "a leader on fiscal issues."

Two years ago, he said, voters who were not registered with a political party were big supporters.

The same year Brewer ran for election, she convinced voters to pass a sales tax increase. Money from the one-cent tax hike was used to pay for education and other government programs that suffered deep budget cuts.

Since then other polls have shown the governor's popularity eroding in Arizona. And the Democratic friendly Public Policy Polling survey is the latest evidence of that erosion. Although the firm leans Democrat, its polls have been considered highly accurate.

Since they both took office in 2009, Obama and Brewer have been closely linked together. It was Obama who tapped then Gov. Janet Napolitano to join his cabinet, paving the way for Brewer to take over the state's top job.

Obama and Brewer have sparred over immigration and healthcare issues. Most recently, Brewer famously pointed her finger in the face of Obama during a spat at an airport in Mesa.

The poll was conducted June 4-5 by questioning 791 Arizona voters.