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Brewer lead over Goddard slips to 3 points
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Brewer lead over Goddard slips to 3 points

21% still undecided in Arizona's governor's race

Incumbent Gov. Jan Brewer's lead over challenger Terry Goddard has slipped to just 3 points in a new Rocky Mountain Poll.

More than one in five — 21 percent — are still undecided, said the survey, which was performed by Behavior Research Center and released Monday.

The Repubican governor gets the nod from 38 percent, while the Democratic candidate (and current Arizona attorney general) is favored by 35 percent.

Green candidate Larry Gist and Libertarian Barry Hess are each preferred by 3 percent.

Goddard has picked up 10 points in the survey since July. Brewer's support has dropped by 7 percent.

Among likely voters, Brewer's lead is larger: 46-35 percent. The pollster did not release how the likely voter subset was determined.

Fewer voters are undecided among the likely set, with 15 percent still on the fence.

Behavior Research Center analyzed some of the results:

Democratic candidate Terry Goddard is benefitting from a huge vote from the Latino community, 60 percent of whom say they will vote for him and only 13 percent say they favor Brewer. Goddard also out-polls Jan Brewer among other minority voters, who in Arizona are mostly Native American or Asian. These advantages are off-set by Jan Brewer's anchor of voter strength among those who classify themselves as "Very conservative." Of these voters, 63 percent of people favor Brewer and among voters who consider themselves "conservative" but not extremely so, the Brewer vote is still impressive at 57 percent. Goddard attracts a fifth of conservatives. Brewer also rolls up an impressive 65 percent of the GOP vote and out distances Goddard by only 33 to 26 percent among Independents.

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If Goddard hopes to close the gap further, the key may be getting heavy turnout from women voters under 35 years of age, political moderates and Caucasians. He will also need to find some way to overcome the very serious deficit he has with male voters. Over the ten days of polling in this study, the gap between the candidates was closing steadily and the ranks of undecided voters edged upward – both signs that the Goddard media campaign is having an impact.

Goddard leads among women voters, 43-31 percent, and in Pima County, 46-29 percent.

Brewer has the edge in Maricopa County, 41-36 percent, and in the rural counties, 28-26 percent.

Male voters are leaning strongly toward Brewer, the pollster said. Green candidate Gist may be pulling as much as five percent of the vote from Goddard.

The poll, conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 10, was based on telephone interviews with 555 Arizona voters. The margin of error is 4.2 percent.

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