New Poll Shows Matt Heinz in the Lead Over Ann Kirkpatrick in Tucson’s CD2 Congressional Race

Dr. Matt Heinz
Dr. Matt Heinz

A survey of likely Democratic primary voters in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District shows Dr. Matt Heinz holding a 4-point lead over former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the race for the Democratic Party nomination.

This is within the survey’s margin of error of +/-4.9%.

The poll was commissioned by Heinz. The Heinz campaign released a three-page summary offering highlights of the telephone survey but did not release the entire poll. The live phone survey was conducted by FM3 Research and dated May 9, 2018. It found that:

  • “While Democratic primary voters are familiar with both candidates, they are more likely to hold a favorable opinion of Heinz, and after hearing equal positive information about these two candidates, support for Heinz increases.”
  • “Furthermore, the survey shows that many aspects of Kirkpatrick’s voting record in Congress pose a serious problem for her among Democratic primary voters, particularly her support of Republican tax cuts, cuts to Medicare, and her former “A” rating from the NRA.”

In an initial Democratic primary ballot test, Matt Heinz currently leads the field with 27%, giving him a four-point edge over Ann Kirkpatrick (23%). These results show the highly competitive nature of the Democratic primary, and despite her high-profile and well-financed statewide candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2016, 2nd District Democrats have not embraced Kirkpatrick. The contest is very much a two-person race, as the other candidates generate only mid-single-digit support.

Former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick

Heinz doubles his initial lead over Kirkpatrick after voters hear positive profile statements about both candidates. After learning more positive information about the candidates’ backgrounds, including their professional experience, Heinz increases his vote by 13 points and moves to an eight-point advantage (40%-32%) over Kirkpatrick.

Arizona 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary Vote
After Positive Candidate Profile Statements

The survey data also show significant primary voter concern about many aspects of Kirkpatrick’s record. Survey respondents were read a series of descriptive phrases, and were asked if they would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who matched such a description. Votes for Congressional Republicans’ legislation to cut Medicare and the support for Bush-era tax cuts elicited severe negative reactions – more than eight in ten Democratic primary voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate – like Kirkpatrick – who took those positions.

Voters also responded negatively to the idea that a candidate failed to vote on the DREAM Act, as six in ten (62%) said they would be less likely to vote for that person for Congress. Voters in the survey also reacted negatively to Kirkpatrick’s having received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.

The poll is misleading in that it mentions that Kirkpatrick “missed voting on the DREAM Act,” which would have granted legal status to certain immigrants brought here as youths. The bill never passed Congress. The statement is accurate but does not mention Kirkpatrick reportedly underwent a minor surgical procedure the day of the vote.

“In summary, these survey results show Dr. Matt Heinz to be well-positioned for the August Democratic primary election in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. Most voters who know him hold a favorable opinion of him, and as voters learn more information about him and Ann Kirkpatrick, Heinz significantly increases his overall support and extends his lead. Furthermore, the other top contender in the race is already viewed negatively by a fifth of the primary electorate, and opinion of Kirkpatrick has the potential to turn more negative as voters learn about her Congressional record,” the report states.

Survey Methodology: From April 29-May 3, 2018, FM3 conducted a survey of 400 randomly-selected likely August Democratic primary voters in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. Interviews were conducted via landline and
cell/mobile telephone by live interviewers. The full sample margin of error is +/-4.9% at the 95% confidence level. Due to rounding, some percentages may not sum to 100%.


  1. Interesting poll results and, in all honesty, I’m not surprised.

    So, this year Independent voters are allowed to vote in the AZ primary of one of the recognized parties (Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian) because it is a non-presidential election year.

    I just looked up the CD2 registered voter statistics as of 3-13-2018:
    Democrat- 133,381
    Green- 1,084
    Libertarian- 3,188
    Republican- 132,719
    Other- 120,248

    It seems to me that the Democratic primary in CD2 might have produced a people’s choice nominee that could win in November if the DCCC had focused on issues and turnout (of Democrats and Independents) instead of choosing their favorite candidate for us.

    It may very well be a competitive race right now, I certainly hope it is, but Matt Heinz is going to need a lot more money to develop name recognition. I’m hoping that he will do more in social media, very soon.

    • It’s only the Presidential Preference that Independents are excluded from, Inds were able to vote in either party’s state primary in 2016 as well!

      Polls often show what likely voters (which skew older) are thinking, but it’s possible in a unique environment like the one the president has created will mean the primary electorate is larger and less reflected by likely voters than usual. But even in a “wave” year that boosts general turnout doesn’t necessarily mean the primary electorate will be different, or at least statistically significantly different.

      • Thank you so much for the clarification on Independents and when they can vote in AZ primaries. As a registered Democrat, I haven’t dealt with this.

        Yeah, a poll of 400 likely Democratic primary voters in late April and early May certainly might be less predictive of who can win because we are living in Donald Trump’s America. The primaries very likely and hopefully will have significantly better turnout because of the resistance movements that have emphasized the importance of voting.

        I’m really glad that the Democrats picked CD2 as a district they could flip. I just wish they had devised a strategy to allow the people to choose their nominee rather than choosing for us. The likelihood of a Trump effect seems to support that as well. I fully believe people are going to be voting like there’s no tomorrow.

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