Poll: Carmona and Flake in dead heat for US Senate seat

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PHOENIX -- The Republicans running for Arizona's open Senate seat have shelled out more than $11 million on their increasingly hostile and costly primary race so far.

But that apparently isn't helping them when it comes to the general election in November.

A new poll released Wednesday shows Democrat Richard Carmona in a dead heat with Republican Congressman Jeff Flake.

Both of them would take about 38 percent of the vote if the election were held today, according the East Coast-based Public Policy Polling.

The group didn't bother to ask how businessman Wil Cardon would hold up in the fall even though he's spent more than $7 million of his own money on the Aug. 28 primary.

A closer look at the survey also shows that the negative campaigning may be taking a toll on Flake, a six-term congressman looking to move up.

According to the poll, 30 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Flake while 37 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. Another 33 percent have no opinion at all.

It's a different story when it comes to Carmona, the former surgeon general under President George Bush's administration. The survey shows Carmona with 20 percent unfavorable ratings compared to 16 percent favorable.

But it appears that a big number of voters still don't have an opinion of Carmona, as 64 percent said they weren't sure what to think of him.

The same poll also has presumptive Republican nominee for president Mitt Romney easily beating President Barack Obama. Romney grabbed 52 percent of the vote while Obama managed 41 percent.

The poll was taken July 23-25 and questioned 833 Arizona voters. Public Policy Polling is a Democratic-leaning firm, but it has been rated as highly fair and accurate.