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Post Primary Tucson Mayoral Poll Shows Mayor Regina Romero with Strong Position in Race

Change Research conducted a survey of likely voters in Tucson, AZ, August 16-20, 2023. A total of 538 likely November general election voters were interviewed online, and the survey has a modeled margin of error of 4.4 percentage points. Post-stratification weighting was performed on age, race/ethnicity, sex, education, ZIP code, and 2020 presidential vote. Weighting parameters were based on voter file data.


TUCSON - Following the Tucson Primary election victory of Mayor Regina Romero, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) contracted Change Research - a reputable polling firm, to conduct a post-primary election poll for the mayoral race leading up to the November general election. We are thrilled to report the findings show that endorsed candidate Mayor Regina Romero has a whopping 52% support, a 30-point lead over her closest opponent (Janet Wittenbraker’s 22%). Additionally, among most likely Tucson voters, Mayor Romero holds higher favorable numbers than some prominent elected officials, including President Joe Biden.


Mayor Romero’s outstanding lead is a testament to her leadership to deliver significant reform, relief, and victories for the city of Tucson and its residents. Alejandra Gomez, Executive Director of Living United for Change in Arizona, said, “Mayor Romero’s unwavering commitment to building a climate-resilient city and championing a more equitable public transit system have resonated strongly with the people of Tucson.” Her visionary approach to sustainability and resilience has positioned Tucson as a leading city in tackling the urgent challenges posed by the climate crisis. Alejandra Gomez continued, “She champions clean energy initiatives, sustainable infrastructure, and smart urban planning, setting a strong foundation for a greener future and sustainable economic growth for the city.”


KEY FINDINGS

In the Race for Mayor, incumbent Regina Romero has a commanding lead over her opponents: 52% compared to Janet Wittenbraker’s 22%, Ed Ackerley’s 10%, and Arthur Kerchen’s 3%.


Few (13%) are undecided. Romero has much higher name recognition than the other candidates (95% name recognition) and is liked (+8 net favorable). All other candidates have less than 50% name recognition.

Romero maintains a large lead after the candidates’ biographical statements: 48% to Wittenbraker’s 23%, Ackerley’s 15%, and Kerschen’s 5%. 9% are still undecided. Romero still holds a lead with every gender, age, racial, and educational attainment group. She holds a small lead with independent voters, too.

APPENDIX: DEMOGRAPHICS

1. Are you male or female?

45% Male

55 Female

2. Age

11% 18 to 34

15 35 to 49

31 50 to 64

43 65+

3. What is your race?

69% White / Caucasian

24 Hispanic or Latino/a

2 Black or African American

1 Asian / Pacific Islander

0 American Indian or Alaska Native

3 Other

4. What is the highest level of education you have completed?

9% High school diploma or less

24 Some college, but no degree

17 Associate’s degree, or two-year college degree

23 Bachelor’s degree, or four-year college degree

26 Graduate degree

5. Are you registered to vote in Tucson?

100% Yes

0% No

0% Not sure

6. Party Identification

35% Strong Democrats

14 Weak Democrats

8 Independent lean Democrats

13 Pure independents

8 Independent lean Republicans

7 Weak Republicans

16 Strong Republicans

49% Base Democrats

29 Independents + Leaners

22 Base Republicans

57% Democrats

13 Pure independents

30 Republicans

7. How did you vote in the 2020 election for President, or for some reason were you unable to vote? 63% Joe Biden, the Democrat

30 Donald Trump, the Republican

1 Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian

1Notregistered/Tooyoung/Ineligible 6Didnotvote


APPENDIX: METHODOLOGY

Change Research surveyed 538 likely general election voters in Tucson, AZ, August 16-20, 2023. We used targeted advertisements on Facebook/Instagram to recruit respondents. Regardless of which of these sources a respondent came from, they were directed to a survey hosted on SurveyMonkey’s website.

Ads placed on social media targeted all adults living in Tucson, AZ. Those who indicated that they were not registered to vote in Tucson were terminated. As the survey fielded, Change Research used dynamic online sampling: adjusting ad budgets, lowering budgets for ads targeting groups that were overrepresented and raising budgets for ads targeting groups that were underrepresented, so that the final sample was roughly representative of the population across different groups. The survey was conducted in English.


The survey was conducted on behalf of LUCHA and conducted online by Change Research. Post-stratification was performed on age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, ZIP code, and 2020 presidential vote. Weighting parameters were based on the electorate from the 2019 mayoral election, obtained from the voter file. That is, if a given age bracket or gender group represented x% of the 2019 electorate, then that same group would be weighted to x% in this survey. 2020 presidential results were based on publicly available data.


The modeled margin of error* for this survey is 4.4%, which uses effective sample sizes** that adjust for the design effect of weighting.


* We adopt The Pew Research Center's convention for the term "modeled margin of error"(1) (mMOE) to indicate that our surveys are not simple random samples in the pure sense, similar to any survey that has either non-response bias or for which the general population was not invited at random. A common, if imperfect, convention for reporting survey results is to use a single, survey-level mMOE based on a normal approximation. This is a poor approximation for proportion estimates close to 0 or 1. However, it is a useful communication tool in many settings and is reasonable in places where the proportion of interest is close to 50%. We report this normal approximation for our surveys assuming a proportion estimate of 50%.

** The effective sample size adjusts for the weighting applied to respondents, and is calculated using Kish's approximation (2).

(1) https://www.pewresearch.org/methods/2018/01/26/for-weighting-online-opt-in-samples-what-matters-most/ (2) Kish, Leslie. Survey Sampling, 1965.

For more information, contact Ben Sullivan at bensullivan@changeresearch.com.


REPORTED QUESTIONS

There is a local election on November 7, for mayor and other offices. How motivated are you to vote in the November 7 election on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 means you are not motivated at all and 10 means you are extremely motivated? [0 - Not motivated at all | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 - Extremely motivated]

What are the most important issues influencing how you vote? Please choose up to THREE. [RANDOMIZE] ● Jobs and the economy

● Higher education

● K-12 education

● Taxes

● Illegal immigration

● Foreign policy

● Reproductive rights

● Ending abortion

● Gun rights

● Gun control

● Civil rights

● Roads and infrastructure

● Drug and opioid abuse

● Ending corruption

● Environmental issues

● Health care

● Balancing the budget

● Public transportation

● Crime and public safety

● Cost of housing

● Homelessness

● None of these

How favorable are your feelings about each of the following public officials and organizations? If you haven’t heard of them, please indicate it. [Very favorable | Somewhat favorable | Neutral | Somewhat unfavorable | Very unfavorable | Never heard of them] [RANDOMIZE]

● Regina Romero

● Janet Wittenbraker

● Ed Ackerley

● Arthur Kerschen

If the election for the mayor were held today, and the candidates were the following, who would you vote for? [RANDOMIZE] ● Regina Romero, Democrat

● Janet Wittenbraker, Republican

● Ed Ackerley, Independent

● Arthur Kerschen, Libertarian

● Not sure

[IF NOT SURE] If you had to choose, who would you vote for? [RANDOMIZE]

● Regina Romero, Democrat

● Janet Wittenbraker, Republican

● Ed Ackerley, Independent

● Arthur Kerschen, Libertarian

● Not sure

● Would not vote


Here is some more information about possible candidates for Mayor. How persuasive is each statement as a reason to support that candidate? [RANDOMIZE] [Very persuasive | Somewhat persuasive | Not too persuasive | Not at all persuasive]


Regina Romero is currently serving as the first woman and first Latina Mayor of Tucson. Raised by immigrant farmworkers in Somerton, Arizona, Regina broke barriers early on as the first member of her family to vote and the first to graduate from college. Prior


to being elected Mayor, Regina served as Ward 1 City Council Member from 2007-2019. During her first term, Regina has made significant accomplishments in public safety and has secured more than $6 million in federal grants. She has also made great strides in rental assistance and affordable housing, helping everyday Tucsonans have the chance to live comfortably in this wonderful city. In a second term, Mayor Romero will implement her Climate Action Plan to fight against climate change and will continue to work to make housing more affordable. She will also invest in the city’s infrastructure and support local small businesses.

Janet Wittenbraker has been a devoted Tucsonan for decades. Over the course of her multifaceted career, she has developed skills in numerous industries, including aerospace defense, government, healthcare, higher education, and commercial businesses. She will take this vast breadth of knowledge and use it to solve problems for the people of Tucson. As mayor, Janet will prioritize properly staffing and funding Tucson's first responders to ensure the safety of our citizens. She will also rebuild our community through fiscal responsibility and by allocating transportation funds where they are most needed. Janet will focus on pressing issues, like reducing crime and homeless encampments. Janet knows that she will be serving the people and will actively seek the ideas and input of Tucson's constituents to address pressing issues. As Mayor, Janet will be a voice for all Tucsonans and work tirelessly to create a more prosperous, safer, and inclusive city.


Ed Ackerley grew up right here in Tucson. He has dedicated his life to his family, serving a key role at his family’s company, Ackerley Advertising, teaching at the University of Arizona and as a passionate Tucsonan serving with countless local nonprofit organizations. Ed has always known that he has wanted to make a difference in his community. He is very active in the American Advertising Federation Tucson and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As mayor, Ed will use his experience in education to improve our K-12 schools, with a goal of getting 70% of students to score at or above grade level in reading and math. He also plans to turn abandoned buildings into homeless transition centers, taking an empathetic approach to clearing out encampments and helping our most vulnerable citizens reenter society. Ed hopes to have the opportunity to improve the city he has called home his whole life.


Adam Kerschen is a lab specialist at Pima Community College and has lived in Tucson for more than 30 years. He’s running for mayor to minimize the power of government in the city of Tucson and to cut spending by the city government and minimize intrusion in business. He believes the city shouldn’t put any money into transit, and as mayor, he would move to privatize it. One of his top priorities includes keeping the city streets clean and modern. Part of his plan to clean up the streets involves enforcing existing laws to remove homeless encampments from Tucson streets.


Now that you've read some more, if the general election for the mayor were held today and the candidates were the following, who would you vote for? [RANDOMIZE]

● Regina Romero, Democrat

● Janet Wittenbraker, Republican

● Ed Ackerley, Independent

● Arthur Kerschen, Libertarian

● Not sure

[IF NOT SURE] If you had to choose, who would you vote for? [RANDOMIZE]

● Regina Romero, Democrat

● Janet Wittenbraker, Republican

● Ed Ackerley, Independent

● Arthur Kerschen, Libertarian

● Not sure

● Would not vote

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