(CNN) - The battle between President Barack Obama and all-but-certain GOP nominee Mitt Romney for Arizona's eleven electoral votes stands neck and neck, according to a poll released Monday.
Arizona, which has voted for only one Democratic presidential candidate in sixty years, has become a hot battleground in 2012, partly because of the state's increasing Latino population.
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The poll from Arizona State University's Merrill/Morrison Institute indicated 42% of registered voters in Arizona backing Romney and 40% supporting Obama. The margin was well within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
A large portion of respondents – 18% - said they were undecided in who they would support in the November's general election. Among independents, the undecided figure was far higher. Thirty-four percent of voters who said they were independents said they hadn't yet picked a candidate to support.
"As the poll shows, the independents will decide this election in Arizona," Dr. David Daugherty, director of research at Morrison Institute for Public Policy, said in a statement accompanying the poll's release. "But, it's important to remember the state's history: Arizona has supported only one Democratic presidential candidate since Harry S Truman was elected in 1948. Winning Arizona will be an uphill battle for President Obama."
As Daugherty noted, Arizona has consistently voted Republican for decades, with the single Democratic win coming in 1996 for Bill Clinton. In 2008, Obama made an effort to win Arizona, despite being pitted against a longtime senator from the state, John McCain. Obama eventually lost to McCain by an 8-point margin.
Since then, however, Latinos have grown in population, boosting Democrats' confidence in winning Arizona. Latinos made up 16% of the electorate in 2008, which was an increase from four years earlier. Obama won the demographic by 15 percentage points, 56% to 41%.
On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden made a campaign appearance in the state, expressing confidence in Democrats' chances there in November.
"We think we have a real shot at winning the presidential race here in Arizona," Biden said at the event, which was part of a West Coast campaign swing for the vice president.
Biden added the Obama reelection campaign was actively working to generate support in the state.
"You're going to see organizers here," Biden said.
Republicans have largely thrown cold water on the notion of a Democratic victory in Arizona. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called the idea a "mirage" last week on a conference call with reporters.
The ASU poll was conducted by telephone from 488 registered voters April 9-13. The sampling error was plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
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As an Arizonan I can say this is bologna. I know few people still willing to support Obama. McCain beat Obama and Arizonan's don't even care for McCain and that is when people thought voting for Obama might mean something positive.
Romney will loose the undecided 18% when he etch-sketches
I predict Obama will carry Arizona, and he will have the GOP, most especially the Arizona GOP, to thank. In fact one could go so far as to thank the Arizona GOP for perhaps providing the very votes that will allow Obama to beat an otherwise very strong candidate in Mitt Romney....but hey! They needed to be 'tough on immigration', even if it DID cost them election....which it almost certainly is going to. Sayonra GOP. You only have yourselves to blame.
The media wants to make this a horse race, but anyone looking at state by state polling is predicting an Obama win by a clear margin. The electoral points are just so much harder for Republicans now that they've lost the northeast and west for another few decades (until they realign their social policies).
Mitt the flip.......flopper has no leadership qualities. I have been in AZ for 30 yrs, and have seen this state become more independent. In fact 70% of eligible voters are Democrats(30%) and Independents(40%) with 30% registered with the Republican party. The last few years a small group of vocal regressive wing Republicans have taken the spotlight. But people here are tired of the hate filled rhetoric being espoused by this group. Arizona will turn Blue this time around.
WOW........I never thought there were that many THINKING PEOPLE in AZ. If Obama is close in that Jan "Iron Head" Brewer's domain, then Obama has a great chance on FOUR MORE. Who knows, maybe Gabby G will take over for the finger pointer.
Wow, the vote suppressors have their work cut out for them. If they don't severely curtain the Hispanic vote, it will be hard for them to win in November without resorting to tampering with the electronic voting machines.
Give me a break. Only 488 people questioned? The sample is not representative. Period. Another biased poll.
It doesn't help the republican party here in Arizona when our county attorney Andrew Thomas (A republican) just got disbarred for having our sherrif Joe Arpaio launch illegal investigations on Democrats. Joe Arpaio himself is in hot water in this state for not only these investigations but also for waisting millions in tax payers dollars. The republican party has held this state for so long that they have essentially taken it for granted that Arizona will remain a conservative stong hold. It's going to be a wake up call for the GOP. If the republican party holds Arizona in 2012, it won't be by a lot. Many of us, like myself are Independents here in Arizona so the GOP can not just assume they will hold Arizona.
The GOP/Tea Party war on women and immigrants will help President Obama win Arizona!