Arizona’s Family/HighGround Statewide Survey: Horne leads Hoffman in race for Superintendent

The survey was conducted among likely voters from October 12 through 13, 2022, with a random sample of 500 people
Updated: Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:00 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona’s Family has partnered with HighGround, the oldest public affairs firm in the state, to take a closer look at the biggest races in this year’s midterm election and possible outcomes by polling voters.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted among likely voters from October 12 through 13, 2022, with a random sample of 500 people. The poll surveyed likely Arizona 2022 General Election voters with 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 landline and cell phone users. Based on previous midterm election trends, the partisan advantage was set at +8% GOP. The margin of error is ±4.3%.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

One of the races on this year’s ballot that hasn’t garnered a lot of attention is for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, a position that oversees the state’s Department of Education and public school system. The current superintendent, Democrat Kathy Hoffman, is being challenged by GOP candidate Tom Horne.

If the name is familiar, Horne previously held the role of Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction for two terms, from 2003-2011. He also served one term as Arizona Attorney General before being defeated by current AG Mark Brnovich in the 2014 Republican primary.

Hoffman is in her first term as superintendent and has spent her entire career in public education. But as HighGround’s survey shows, she’s down by three points: 43.2% to 40.2% in Horne’s favor. Break it down by party, and 35% of Republicans who were surveyed said they would definitely vote for Horne. That’s a trend HighGround is seeing across several races.

In the Arizona Attorney General’s race, 36% of GOP voters said they would definitely vote for its party’s nominee, Abe Hamadeh. The same goes for the secretary of state race, with 35.2% of Republican voters who said they would definitely vote for Mark Finchem. For U.S. Senate, 33% would definitely vote for Blake Masters and in the governor’s race, 41% of surveyed Republicans say they’ll definitely vote for Kari Lake.

Paul Bentz, HighGround Senior Vice President for Research and Strategy, says that’s the partisan advantage but that some other trends aren’t carrying over into the superintendent’s race.

Survey takeaways in this race

“You can see the female vote is less than 10 points in this one for Hoffman,” Bentz said. “She is not getting that independent crossover we’ve seen that is benefiting some of the other candidates.” He also pointed out how Hoffman is losing in the 65 and over age group by 20 points.

“That’s the recipe here; that’s what Republicans are trying to do,” Bentz explained. “This is clear to me based on the behavior of all of these voters that Republicans have been working on maintaining their base.”

He says the party is trying to communicate with and solidify its base and that they’re not necessarily trying to gain votes from others such as Independents. “I don’t see a lot of movement in Republicans among the Independents,” he said. “They’re not trying to build their base. What they’re really trying to do, as far as I can tell, is to try to strengthen that 65 and older category.”

That’s corroborated by HighGround’s study, which shows younger voters backing Hoffman, but those 50 and over behind Horne.

Continuing Coverage

Links to our related reports as part of the Arizona’s Family/HighGround Statewide Survey:

Stay up-to-date with our election headlines and be sure to check out our Voter’s Guide, covering everything from different ways to vote, to how to track the status of your ballot.

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