A new survey of Arizona by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling shows Republicans favored to hold the state's open Senate seat — but something interesting could be brewing in the GOP primary, which will be held on Aug. 28.
Rep. Jeff Flake leads the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Bush-era Surgeon General Richard Carmona, 48 percent to 35 percent. Carmona narrowly trails the other main Republican candidate, real estate developer Wil Cardon, 37 percent to 40 percent. The survey of 500 registered voters was conducted from May 17-20, and has a 4.4 percent margin of error.
In the Republican primary, Flake leads with 42 percent to Cardon's 20 percent. The survey of 421 Republican primary voters has a 4.8 percent margin of error. That's a drop for Flake from the previous PPP survey from February, when he led 56 percent to 7 percent. From the pollster's analysis:
Republican Senate primaries not going the way they're expected to has become the new norm over the last two election cycles, and there are indications Arizona could be the next state with some upset potential. PPP's newest poll finds that Wil Cardon has cut 27 points off of Jeff Flake's lead over the last three months. Flake still has a solid advantage of 22 points, 42-20, but it's a far cry from the 49 point lead he had at 56-7 when PPP surveyed the state in February.
Cardon's early advertising appears to be having an impact. His name recognition has nearly doubled from 17% to 35% and the numbers suggest that as he continues to become better known he may pull even closer to Flake — among voters who have an opinion about Cardon, whether it's a positive or negative one, he trails only 45-35.