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To: Interested Parties

From: Joshua Ulibarri, Lake Research Partners
Re: Polling for the April 24th Special Election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional Districti
Date: March 12, 2018

A recent survey among likely special election voters in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District
shows that Republican State Senator Debbie Lesko is vulnerable to defeat. While this is a
difficult district for Democrats to win, the Republicans have nominated a flawed candidate
at a time when likely voters are repulsed by Congress and ready for change. Democratic
nominee, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, is well positioned to take advantage of Democratic momentum
and Lesko’s vulnerabilities. With partner investment, this race is winnable.

Here are the survey’s key findings:

• Democrats are as motivated as Republicans to vote. This has been the trend since
Donald Trump was inaugurated, and it continues today. Fifty-one percent of all
voters rate themselves a “10” on a 0-10 motivation scale. While 51% of registered
Republicans rate themselves a “10,” the same is true for 52% of registered
Democrats. Among all Tipirneni voters, 55% rate themselves a “10” compared to
54% of Lesko’s supporters.

• Lesko underperforms partisanship and takes less than a majority in the initial
vote. Fifty-one percent of voters are registered Republicans, but Lesko takes only
48% in the initial trial heat. Tipirneni outperforms partisanship, taking 34% in the
initial vote. If Tipirneni is to win this race, she must earn double-digit support from
Republicans, and right now, 23% of registered Republicans are voting for Tipirneni
or are undecided.

By the end of the survey, once Tipirneni defines herself and defines Lesko, the race
becomes a tie within the margin of error.

• Voters’ distaste for Republicans in Congress and their disappointment in Lesko’s
Lake Research Partners
own job performance adds to her vulnerability. Nearly eight-in-ten voters (78%)
1101 17th Street NW,
Suite 301
say Republicans in the United States Congress are doing a just fair or poor job.
Washington, DC 20036 Among registered Republicans, 70% say Republicans in Congress are doing a just fair
or poor job. Lesko cannot escape this ill-will among voters, and she, too, receives
Tel: 202.776.9066 negative job performance ratings: 44% say Lesko is doing a just fair or poor job,
Fax: 202.776.9074
while just 32% say she is doing an excellent or good job.
Celinda Lake • Lesko carries significant baggage. Voters have serious doubts about Lesko because
Alysia Snell her state legislative campaign gave $50,000 to a super-PAC that spent the money to
David Mermin promote her congressional campaignii. They also doubt her qualifications for
Dr. Robert G. Meadow Congress based on her ties to corporate special interests, going back on her word on
Daniel Gotoff taxes, and her push to expand the state’s voucher program in education. These
Joshua Ulibarri
negatives against Lesko undermine her credibility with Republicans and moderates
and have helped energize the Democratic base around Tipirneni.
AZ-08 Special Election – March 2018 2

• This was not a benign sample for Democrats. Republicans comprise 51% of the
likely electorate, and 59% of voters view President Trump favorably. The generic
Republican takes 50% of the initial vote. Given these parameters, Lesko’s
weaknesses are even more glaring.

In summary, this is a challenging district for a Democrat to win, but the Republicans have
nominated a vulnerable candidate. Voters in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District dislike the
Republicans in Congress and disapprove of Lesko’s job performance. Even before voters
hear that her campaign is under federal investigation, Lesko takes less than majority
support. Dr. Hiral Tipirneni’s call for change is a strong contrast to Lesko’s swamp-like
tactics. This can become a very competitive race.


i Methodology: Lake Research Partners designed and administered this survey, and it was conducted by
telephone using professional interviewers March 3- 6, 2018. The survey reached a total of 400 likely April 2018
special election voters in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. Telephone numbers for the sample were generated
from a list of registered voters in Arizona. The data were weighted slightly by gender, age, region, party
registration, education, support score, and turnout score. Both cell phones and landlines were called.