Poll: Thumbs down on border wall, deportation and Arpaio

PHOENIX – Despite Arizona’s national reputation as a hardline immigration state, most “likely voters” in the Grand Canyon State oppose deporting all undocumented immigrants in the United States, according to a poll of Arizona registered voters released today. The Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News Poll also found that a majority of likely voters opposed building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and harbor an “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” opinion of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Statewide, the poll shows, Arpaio received a combined favorability rating of 39.4 percent. His combined favorability rating in Maricopa County, though, was 38.2 percent. Arpaio’s combined favorability rating among Hispanics was 24.1 percent. The poll was conducted from August 17 to 31, during the same time period in which a federal judge referred Arpaio to the Justice Department for possible criminal contempt of court prosecution.

Arpaio, reached by phone, said the poll “didn’t mean anything” because he’d already won by a landslide in the recent Republican primary election.

He referred all questions to his campaign manager Chad Willems, who also said the “blowaway primary” won by Arpaio “stands in stark contrast” to the poll’s findings. He said the campaign’s internal polling shows Arpaio has high approval ratings and will “heavily” defeat his Democratic rival Paul Penzone.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio listens as media officials ask him questions at Arizona Republican Headquarters on Aug. 30, 2016, the evening of Arizona's primary election. (Photo by Bri Cossavella/Cronkite News)

Sheriff Joe Arpaio listens as media officials ask him questions at Arizona Republican Headquarters on Aug. 30, 2016, the evening of Arizona’s primary election. (Photo by Bri Cossavella/Cronkite News)

The poll, conducted by the Phoenix-based Behavior Research Center, asked likely Arizona voters: “Should the U.S. build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. in an effort to secure the border?”

A total of 41.4 percent of respondents said the United States “should definitely not” build a border wall, while 13.2 percent said the United States “should maybe not” build the wall. Slightly over one-fourth, or 25.4 percent, of likely voters said they believed the nation “should definitely” build a border wall, while 8 percent said the United States “should maybe” build the wall.