Republican Abe Hamadeh leads the way in the GOP primary for Arizona’s 8th Congressional race with a double-digit lead over his top opponent, Blake Masters, according to an internal poll from Hamadeh’s campaign.
The poll, conducted by National Public Affairs and first obtained by Politico, shows Hamadeh, who has the coveted endorsements of former President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, with 37 percent of support in a five-way race. This level of support came on the first of two ballots in the poll before the polling outfit informed likely GOP primary voters about his endorsements.
Masters, a venture capitalist and the 2022 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona, sits 23 points behind Hamadeh with 14 percent. From there, Arizona State House Speaker Ben Toma (R-27) takes seven percent, former U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) garners six percent, and State Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27) sits at three percent. Another 34 were undecided.
2024 #AZ08 Republican Primary:
Abe Hamadeh 37% (+23)
Blake Masters 14%
Ben Toma 7%
Trent Franks 6%
Anthony Kern 3%
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) December 20, 2023
Respondents were then asked how much more likely they were to back Hamadeh after being informed of his endorsements from Trump and Lake.
The majority of 58 percent of respondents said Trump’s support made them more likely to back Hamadeh, including 38 percent who were “much more likely” and 20 percent who said they were “somewhat more likely” to support Hamadeh, Arizona’s 2022 Republican nominee for attorney general. The endorsement does not have a positive or negative impact on 20 percent of respondents, while 19 percent say it makes them, to varying degrees, less likely to vote for him.
Similarly, 56 percent, to different degrees, said Lake’s backing makes them more inclined to vote for Hamadeh, while 22 percent said it makes them less likely to get behind him. It does not have an effect on one in five voters.
The poll participants were again asked who they supported in the race after learning about the endorsements, and Hamadeh surged while Masters’s backing dwindled. Hamadeh earned 45 percent of the response on the second ballot, while Masters slipped to 10 percent. Toma and Franks tied at seven percent, and Kern came in last with two percent. The share of undecided voters dropped to 30 percent.
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Moreover, the survey found that if Masters exited the race, Hamadeh would take a majority with 53 percent, with the remaining candidates polling in single digits.
Hamadeh announced his candidacy for the seat within hours of Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) announcing her forthcoming retirement at the end of her term. In the short time span between the two announcements, Lake made it known she hoped Hamadeh would launch a bid for the seat and soon endorsed him after his candidacy materialized. Masters launched his bid less than two weeks after Lesko’s announcement.
What makes this race so interesting is the history between Hamadeh, Masters, and Lake, who were all backed by Trump in the 2022 midterms and essentially ran as a ticket together in the general election, with Lake atop the ballot as the gubernatorial nominee.
All three lost their respective races, with Lake and Hamadeh suffering extremely narrow losses, within one percentage point, while Masters was bested by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) by nearly five points after the Senate Leadership Fund pulled millions in advertising in the home stretch of the race.
Now, two of the candidates are waging battle with one another in Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District.
The poll sampled 418 likely GOP primary voters in the district from December 16-17, and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.