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Poll: Presidential race close in Arizona

Poll: Presidential race close in Arizona
Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 5:26pm

A new poll of likely voters in Arizona shows the race for the White House is a close contest in the state.

President Barack Obama stands at 44% and GOP challenger Mitt Romney has 42% in the Rocky Mountain poll released Saturday. The margin is within the poll's sampling error.

With 11 electoral votes, the state has been considered to be leaning in Romney's favor.

The state's two most populous counties, Maricopa and Pima, came out in support of Obama, while Romney has a lead in the rural counties. Men are evenly split between the two candidates, and the difference between the candidates among women is only three points.

Obama is the heavy favorite among the state's Latinos, who split for him 77% to Romney's 10%.

Since 1972, the state has gone to the Republican candidate in every presidential race except 1996. President Bill Clinton won the state that year by a three-point margin -- 47% to 44% -- over Bob Dole, while Reform Party candidate Ross Perot and others picked up about 9% of the vote.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona won the state's presidential vote in 2008 by nine points and in 2004, President George W. Bush won the state by 11 points.

Statewide, Arizona sent two Republican senators to Washington and has a Republican governor. The state's congressional delegation includes five Republicans and three Democrats.

The race between Democrat Richard Carmona and six-term GOP Rep. Jeff Flake to replace retiring Sen. John Kyl is also close, with likely voters split 44% to 40%. Former President Clinton lent some star power to the race when he campaigned for Carmona this past week.

The Rocky Mountain poll included 523 registered voters reached by phone between October 4 and 10, entirely after the first presidential debate. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 points.

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