Public Opinion Poll: Russell Pearce Recall Election

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Jim Small of the Arizona Capitol Times discusses a new poll that shows a dead heat between the candidates.

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. "The Arizona Capitol Times" is out with a new poll that looks at the Russell Pearce recall election. Here to tell us what the numbers show is Jim Small of "the Arizona Capitol Times." Good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
Jim Small: Thanks for having me.
Ted Simons: All right, first of all, what did you ask, what did you find?

Jim Small: Yes, we spoke with almost 600 voters in district 18. The poll that we commissioned along with ABC15 news and asked them, who are you going to vote for? If the election was today, who would you vote for, among Russell Pearce, Jerry Lewis, and Olivia Cortes, whose name still appears on the ballot even though she is no longer an official candidate.
What we found was a statistical dead heat. Jerry Lewis got 46%, Russell Pearce got 43%, Olivia Cortes got and 2.5% and about 8% were undecided. The difference, the three point difference between the candidates is within the margin of error, about 3.95%.

Ted Simons: Now the Cortes factor - did you inform whoever you were talking to that she is not--how is that information passed on?

Jim Small: Yeah we did. We told the voters - Hey, there's going to be three names on the ballot, here are the names and Olivia Cortes, even though she is no longer a candidate and asked them who would they vote for.
Ted Simons: And what did she get again?
Jim Small: 2.5%.
Ted Simons: 2.5%. Ok. What else -- more questions asked on this thing?

Jim Small: Basically the other main question we asked whether the voter was Mormon, a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And we got about 160 or so people who said that they were and interestingly you saw that Jerry Lewis was slightly ahead of Russell Pearce among Mormons and obviously there's a lot of discussion about the Mormon's church's stance on immigration and how that plays a role in the campaign.

Ted Simons: Within the margin of error as general, dead heat otherwise. Dead heat among LDS voters. It's shaping to be a tight race.

Jim Small: And it was a dead heat among Republican voters. Russell Pearce and Jerry Lewis separated by only a couple of votes and that was shocking and is going to catch a lot of people off guard.

Ted Simons: Did you ask what issues resonate or anything along those lines? Or just who are you leaning toward?

Jim Small: We didn't do any issues. We just did a straight ballot test. We are only five days away from the election day so I think it weekend will see a flurry of activity as both campaigns get the voters out to the polls to maximize their support.

Ted Simons: Ok how was the sampling done, what kind of sample size and when, when was it done?

Jim Small: The poll was done November 1st, a couple of days ago and we chose the voters off a voter list. Took lists of Republicans, Democrats and independents who and in order to qualify they had to have voted in two of last three general elections, so people who are motivated and likely to show up.

Ted Simons: Last question. What do we take from the poll?

Jim Small: I think we take that Tuesday is going to be a fun night. No one knows what is going to happen. This echoes the result he we heard through the grapevine. There haven't been other public polls and that this race is close and probably too close to call.

Ted Simons: I was going to ask, you're a political observer, you've heard little sample polling here and there. Does it surprise you at all?

Jim Small: This actually fit pretty much exactly what we had been hearing, so I guess in that sense it wasn't a surprise. But six months ago, to win the recall -- when the petitions weren't even turned in yet. This is a surprise. I don't think most people back then thought this would be where are sitting at now.

Ted Simons: So 46% Lewis, 43% pierce and 2.5% for Cortes. Again within the margin f error. Who knows what will happen Tuesday.

Jim Small: I certainly don't.

Ted Simons: Alright Jim, thank for joining us.

Jim Small: Thank you.

Jim Small:Arizona Capitol Times;

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