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Posted Apr 30, 2010, 8:28 am
Gov. Jan Brewer, in the wake of signing a controversial immigration law, now leads the state's Republican primary for governor, unless she runs against Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Public Policy Polling found Brewer leads the Republican pack with 38 percent vs. 19 percent for Buz Mills; 16 percent for Dean Martin; and 3 percent for John Munger.
While 38 percent isn't particularly impressive for a sitting governor, she's helped by the fact that she has so many opponents, effectively splitting the still sizable anti-Brewer vote.
But Arpaio's history battling illegal immigration has given him stronger anti-immigrant standing than Brewer among conservatives, even after she signed HB 1070 on Friday.
Although Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff, is not running for governor, he is by far the most popular Republican in the state.
Likely primary voters view him favorably at 70 percent, to only 22 percent with a negative opinion, and he leads Brewer 33-25 as a prospective candidate.
But with Arapio not in the race, Brewer's chances are improving.
Her approval rating with primary voters stands at a positive 52/30 spread, a 34-point improvement since September when it was 28/40. The improvement in her standing with conservatives has been particularly dramatic, going up 52 points from 30/42 in the fall to now 60/20.
Brewer's opponents are mostly unknown to likely primary voters. About 61 percent have no opinion about Mills, 63 percent are ambivalent toward Martin, and Munger is nearly anonymous with 86 percent of voters expressing no feelings toward him one way or the other.
TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.