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Arpaio most popular Republican for governor


By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – A new poll shows that the most popular choice for governor among
Republicans is someone who isn't running now -- and may not run
at all. That could be good news for the person in second place,
state Treasurer Dean Martin.

The Rasmussen Report found Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
with the backing of 47 percent of Republicans questioned. But
Arpaio, who said he has made no decisions, has been here before,
backing away from statewide races at least twice despite high
popularity. In second spot is Martin at 22 percent, compared to
10 percent for incumbent Jan Brewer. In an interview with Arizona
Public Radio, Martin sounded very much like someone who is eyeing
higher office, though he said it would be for the good of the
Republican party.

"What I care about is making sure that we win. I don't want to be
treasurer under Terry Goddard."

Goddard, currently the state attorney general, is the presumed
Democratic nominee. Martin noted an earlier survey showed him in
a statistical dead heat with Goddard with all voters. By
contrast, the poll showed Goddard would defeat Brewer in a
general election by 9 points. But if Martin wants to keep the
governorship in GOP hands, why not back Arpaio who the polls show
would trounce Goddard by 11 points?

"Arpaio is extremely popular. He does a great job as sheriff. If
there's one thing that comes out of those numbers it shows that
people like it when you do your job well. Whether that translates
to another race or not, I don't know."

Martin said a decision will come early next year.