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Voter Indecision Looms in Home Stretch of Gubernatorial Primary

David Wallace/The Republic

Early voting starts at the end of the week. But, as Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports, a new statewide poll shows half of Republicans undecided about who they support for governor.

The Behavior Research Center survey shows Christine Jones backed by 18 percent of Republicans questioned, with Doug Ducey at 16 percent. Scott Smith logs in at 8 percent with Ken Bennett three points back. Pollster Earl de Berge said the high level of indecision reflects what has oftentimes been a lot of negative campaigning rather than candidates providing positive reasons to support them.

“They’re not giving them much to chew on. They’re giving them reasons to vote against the other guy because he made a mistake on some vote or whatever. But I think a lot of voters are hanging out. And so what I expect to see frankly happen is that we’re probably going to see a season in which the decision making on who they’re going to vote for is going to go right down to the wire,” de Berge said.

And de Berge said that may be one reason Ken Bennett polls particularly strong among independents who said they intend to vote in the GOP primary.

“That may be the difference is they see him as a more reasonable — can I use that word — a reasonable or calm candidate who’s not trying to whack the ears off his opponent,” de Berge said.

De Berge said a high turnout by independents and moderates could make a big difference when the votes are tallied on election day.

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