19 Podcast: Mike Noble on the Future of Arizona Politics

Mike Noble
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19 Podcast: Mike Noble on the Future of Arizona Politics
Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights joins Sam Stone and Chuck Warren on this weeks episode of Breaking Battlegrounds.

Mike Noble is the Chief of Research & Managing Partner of OH Predictive Insights (OHPI), a sister company of Arizona’s largest advertising agency, OH Partners. Noble is a thought leader on public opinion tracking and analysis and is known for being a trailblazer in the rapidly changing fields of predictive insights and market research.


Mike found a passion for politics while working for an Arizona Congressman before starting OHPI, the premier non-partisan Arizona polling and consulting firm. Since then, Mike has become one of the top pollsters in the West, working with clients throughout Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.


Mike’s approach involves getting in the trenches with his clients, striving to fully understand their businesses and goals with the result of providing accurate, unbiased, and actionable information. He is known for his presentations, public and private speaking engagements, and interviews where he interprets the meaning of the data. Providing this insight has led to interviews with The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Politico, The Hill, The Guardian, TIME magazine, Huffington Post, LA Times, BBC World News, and other respected television and radio outlets.


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Podcast Transcripts:


Sam: Welcome to Breaking Battlegrounds. I’m your host, Sam Stone, my co-host, Chuck Warren, in the studio with us today. Mike Noble OH predictive.


Mike: Thank you so much for having me.


Sam: The preeminent pollster in the state of Arizona.


Chuck: He is a preeminent pollster. And also they do your polling results on ABC 15, is that correct still?


Mike: Still correct? Yep, eight. While ABC 15, I think last week, twice in New York Times. But there’s basically a place we haven’t published.


Chuck: Let’s start with this real quick. How do you like working with the local news station on polling? How is it different than a regular client?


Mike: You know, it’s interesting when dealing with local news I found is that compared to maybe some of the national outlets I’ve seen, that, you know, they’re very more focused on local news centered, but also they’re usually not trying to pick favorites as much. But I have noticed, I think in the last few years, the trends, you know, like it or not, it’s just the way it is, is that I’ll put out something. Let’s say, you know, the numbers are what they are. However, you know, maybe good for the red team or Republicans, maybe good for the blue team Democrats. However, when I put one that’s good for the blue team, you see a lot of the left leaning outlets like Washington Post, New York Times publish it. And again, it’s great content. And you see the folks on the right not doing it. And again, vice versa. On the shoes, on the other foot with another release, you see Newsmax and others publish it. And it’s an interesting trend that I’ve seen, at least the difference between local and national.


Sam: People really only want the news that backs up their point of view. I mean, and from the stations down to the viewers, that’s what we’re getting more and more of.


Chuck: Well, the election integrity issue is an example A of that right now, right? It’s you have there’s some very valid points, but there’s a lot of non valid points.


Sam: Right.


Chuck: And so therefore, we go and have this horrible, divisive situation that’s not really focusing on issues. It’s sort of how Democrats are focusing on Liz Cheney. But let’s ignore the fact there’s a dozen Democrat House members that think Hamas should be able to blow up Israel.


Mike: It’s when you talk about the numbers there is that especially when you’re talking about the election election integrity, because it’s basically two themes that are going on. One, that there was rampant fraud and that the election was stolen from Trump. And the other one was that, hey, there might have been some you know, nothing is 100 percent perfect, but again, a difference when rampant fraud or in, again, an accurate election are two different things. And then when you look at the Arizona voters, for example, you see about only about five percent think, you know, the narrative that the election was stolen is the case. And then you only have about 20 percent of independents. But where it’s mainly drives from is about 54 percent of registered Republicans. So overall and then when talking about this issue as the, as a kind of a brand issue for the GOP, because as they’re further along this audit, that I think we can all agree part of a partisan views aside is that it is run very unprofessionally and there’s just a lot of red flags. I don’t think it’s a true audit in a sense in that team that’s doing it is probably way over their head. But as that continues, as the Republican Party, as a brand, I have seen in my polling that it’s actually increased a little bit among Republicans there. The the the theme that, you know, the election was stolen and pushing now the independents either farther away, but we see it across the country. Whether you’re looking in Nebraska, you look at nationally, it’s roughly about half of registered Republicans. Do believe that narrative, which up until this point, the judges everywhere else haven’t seen definitively that again


Chuck: And deeply and deeply? Right. There’s no there’s no fuzzy. I sort of believe this. It’s either you’re there or you’re not.


Sam: Right.


Chuck: And that is it, having that conversation with somebody. Well, this is no different than having a conversation for the people. For the 82 percent of Democrats in 2000 thought the election was stolen or the 71 percent of Democrats in 2016 who believed Trump stole the election. Now it’s all reverse. And trying to talk to either party, whether it was Democrats or Republicans, explain it’s not stolen, is like talking to a wall.


Mike: One hundred percent


Chuck: matter of fact, the wall is probably more receptive.Correct?


Mike: Absolutely right. You’re 100 percent spot on there, Chuck, because when you look at the I try to liken it and digest it because polling politics can be a little complicated for some folks. So how can you kind of translate it to something they get. Think of it as your favorite team is in the Super Bowl against another team. They’re down at halftime. I didn’t think they had a chance to win, which was Trump’s scenario thought is going to get blown out. And he came back like Seabiscuit and got much closer than thought. But again, just came fall short. It’s like your team, you know, down at halftime. They’re down. They are surging back. But guess what? They’re down in the one yard line and they forget to look at the clock. Game’s over and you and you lose by just that much. Right. And that’s essentially what happened in this election. But at the end of the day, it is what it is. And you have another game or match that’s going to be played on. And I think that’s pretty much a scenario. But again, they just don’t want to accept that again. And the elections we’ve had, we’ve had tons of elections since America has been founded and think about it, how many has there been two winners, right? Well, one wins, one loses.


Sam: But I think, Mike, that goes a lot to the point you were talking about earlier about who distributed your polling when it possesses messaging. That’s strong for the laughter, strong for the right. We have never had elections before where people did not receive the same news. I mean, that is a really new phenomenon.


Chuck: Could you imagine this happening in 1960 with Kennedy and Nixon?


Sam: No.


Chuck: And for those of you illiterate in history look that up some time, that’s that. I mean, literally almost on a bipartisan basis, people believe that Johnson stole that election for Kennedy.


Sam: Yeah.


Chuck: I mean, and you


Sam: in Texas, they’re very certain of it and quite proud. As a matter of fact.


Chuck: And one and one to redo it. There’s things they want to redo.


Sam: When I was in Austin, the folks at KLBJ Radio were very clear that that had to absolutely happen. And it was one of the proudest moments in Austin’s history.


Chuck: Mike, let’s thanks for joining us today. With Mike NOBL, infamous pollster here in Phoenix Metro and elsewhere, building his outreach to other Southwest states. How did you get involved in this? It’s a it’s an interesting business, not only providing data, but you sort of become a mini celebrity in a lot of ways. Right. You have to


Mike: I have essentially become what I had never thought of or never aspired to be whatsoever, which was basically like an elected official is probably the best way to liken the type of work and everything else is. Because I started out my career after graduating from Arizona State University, but I was from Wisconsin originally. But I love Arizona and Arizona State forks up. No pity for the kitty as you would say my wife, though, is a Arizona native. But also you have a. So she is a house divided.


Chuck: Oh, wow. That’s tough. Oh, yeah.


Sam: Folks folks, I’ve got to cut them off because we’re going to bear down and throw this guy out of the studio when we go to break here.


Mike: I was really starting to like you there for a minute It’s starting is that so I came up, worked in politics and, you know, like everybody, a lot of folks that started working on campaigns, managing races, running Senate races and congressional races and so doing all the groundwork until you can do the job to promote yourself out of it. I became a full blown general consultant, which I thought is that, well, is the top of the mountain in campaigns, however, what happened was, is that I did it for three or four years. It was fine. It just it wasn’t really for me, because, again, it takes a special person, I think a very unique and again, just didn’t fit me in for I saw in the public opinion space. My issue was with polling. It was that I felt like a lot of people hand numbers to them, but they weren’t really crossing the divide from, OK, here’s this polling for this decision maker, consultant, et cetera. But again, how applying that and kind of crossing that bridge from data to reality, because, OK, the data says this, but there’s also a lot of context that comes along with it. And so that was really for, you know, tailoring data to decision makers, but also putting data readily out there, because Arizona basically doesn’t have a, you know, a top notch public opinion and full blown research company. They basically have to use out of staters. And I truly believe Arizona is, you know, the state’s barely a hundred years old. It’s very much the Wild West. I like to liken it to. And it’s a it’s a great place for opportunity. But for us Arizonans, I think that we deserve not only a top notch polling company, but I think a, you know, nationally top notch. You know, if Gallup can come out of New Mexico, guess what? I have a strong suspicion that, you know, we as Arizonans can show folks that, again, how to do things


Sam: Arizona might be the most interesting state in the Union for the next decade or more when it comes to politics, because it’s entirely possible the next few presidential elections will all be decided right here.


Chuck: It’s truly a wild card state. And Arizonans like to. Take on the persona that I’m this maverick. I’m this rebel. I may have a cause, I may not. I mean, for example, go to Scottsdale. One of the wealthiest zip codes in the country, and they’re still selling that cowboy crap all the time. And there’s no one in Scottsdale. There’s no one in Scottsdale, except some 20 something women who wear cowboy boots and skirts of the bars on the weekend who was actually a cowboy. Right. I mean, that disappeared like 40 years ago. Right. But we we have a segment of our population like cowboys that you’re not there’s nothing to cowboy about you.


Sam: But let me tell you, Chuck, if you can throw if you can throw your Stetson down, put your boots up on the chair next year and drop the keys to the Mercedes on the bar, you’re going to do really well tonight in Scottsdale.


Chuck: Mike, we want to talk more and we’ll get in this next segment just about what attitudes are changing, how Utah is really not. I mean, Utah sorry, Arizona is not as blue as people think. Especially on some very fundamental issues. But what how as you poll, you’re obviously talking to human beings, right?


Mike: Yeah. I hope so

Chuck: Have they become, Have they become angrier?


Mike: You know, it’s interesting. So there’s a couple of things that happen. One is that typically when you have, you know, trying to sample your population, typically, let’s say you have a list of you try to sample, for example, registered voters. Right. OK, I want to go get this population. Well, best way to start, you get them voter rolls from the state of Arizona because again, are you a voter now? Because there can be a are you a voter? Yes. And actually, they’ve never registered, they thought they did


Chuck: And they don’t want to admit they’re not a voter, right? Correct.


Mike: Correct. So you have those nuances. So what are the ways around it? Make sure you have the right audience. OK, I have my target universe. And then you go and take that list and you randomize it, which is key because by randomizing you give everyone an equal chance to participate in the survey. And so when you go and do that and then you double verify by when calling them is that, hey, are you registered to vote? Are you or you say you are and that’s the case you’re able to double verify. Yes, I have my person. And if you do that correctly, you’re great. But also, I would say that the issues is that you have some people losing trust really there in some of the institutions. And so they’re opting out of not taking it. So you have we’re having to do more innovative methods of more archaic methods, actually, of like direct mail and other type of things, even door to door canvasing to be able to get to those hard to reach populations, because you’re not able to get to a certain segment that maybe has a big distrust in public opinion polling. Ultimately, you can see issues right now like Pew Research, public opinion response Rates of polling are at an all time low. It’s like four or five percent. Yes. Folks that hey, do you want to take a survey to have your input where many of these major decisions are made and they’re like, nope, don’t have time or not answering. And so, again, there are some challenges there.


Chuck: have you found those of the Democrat persuasion or liberal are more apt to respond than conservatives? Because conservatives are just so distrustful now of media?


Mike: 100 percent. So essentially what we’ve seen is that. So when you look at, you know, especially this year, we had a 100 year pandemic. I don’t know why you I wasn’t around a hundred years ago, so it was new for me. And so but this year, 100 year pandemic and then all of us working remotely. So you have all these folks now working from home. They also have a lot of time, but they’re also not getting that social interaction they usually had. So, again, you’re sitting there. Oh, my gosh, a person, you may talk to them a lot more than you would have. And we saw response rates really increase among folks on the left who were really, I guess, seeing red for lack of a better term when Trump. So, hey, do you want to take a survey? Heck, yeah, I do. And, you know, and then on the other side, the conservatives, they would say, you know, it’s B.S. like,


Sam: we got to cut you off real quick. We’re going to break. When we come right back, Breaking Battlegrounds. Mike, Noble, predictive insights in the studio. Breaking Battlegrounds coming back.


Sam: welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Sam Stone and Chuck Warren in the studio with us today, Mike Noble OH predictive. And of course, coming up, the sunshine moment with the irrepressible Kylie Kipper. She always grimaces when I call her that, but I’m going to keep doing it.


Chuck: Does she know what the word means? But we can talk about that later. All right, let’s go.


Sam: You know, Mike, one of the things we’re hearing a lot out there is that people are not being honest with pollsters. I’ve heard you say that’s not actually the case, that it’s just becoming more and more difficult to get a representative sampling. But I do think there’s a lot of Republicans in particular, a lot of conservatives who are really afraid to tell anybody the truth about what they believe in. I mean, they’re best friends. They’re afraid to tell their best friends, much less a stranger who’s calling them on the phone.


Mike: That’s a good point that we saw that, you know, and they said the data didn’t really say the lying aspect. I think what it was is, again, non-response rate. Again, people opting out of taking a poll. So it just it makes it even more difficult on our end. But also, we just have to adapt to, OK, we just have to maybe call through more, but also be able to cut off once we have, you know, so many of, let’s say, liberal Democrats that have answered, you know, be able to cut that off a little bit to again, get more to balance out the sample. But when basically we’re looking at the polling right now is that, you know, I can’t speak for others, but this past election, I was five or five. Perfect record, can’t speak for folks in like Florida, for example. However, you know, as here in Arizona, we absolutely crush it. And again, it’s different. There’s a lot of privilege. And I think there’s a lot of polling that was put out there that basically probably wasn’t up to standard. However, it made for a really good headline. And so media ran with it and ultimately put it for a little bit of a black eye on the industry as a whole. However, I think it comes down to trust into it. And again, you know, we don’t share anyone that responds a survey. It’s completely confidential. I have no idea. The folks I never even bothered to look or anything like that again. They’re essentially numbers on a spreadsheet. Again, we’re looking at demographic and other information. So it’s just again, I think it’s more the again, the reputation. I think you don’t let a few bad apples. You just got to control yourself and let your record prove it and build that trust.


Sam: You’ve had a really good record the last couple of elections here in Arizona. There are another there are other firms that have really good records, but they tend to be focused, I think, more on their local areas.


Mike: It’s tough because you’re right, because when you’re going in polling different states and we see it without a state, pollsters will come in and let’s say a big outfit like NBC News and whoever they partner with come in and pull Arizona. And the thing is, over the vast majority, there’s just a lot of nuances to a given state. You know, whether you know the size of your how you break it out, your demographic regions to your size and your sampling and turnout trends everything else, there’s just a lot of context, because when you look at previous elections, where the numbers are moving and why, what’s driving higher turnout? Was it the candidate on the ballot or why did someone underperform? Was it actually because of lower vote turnout or did the candidate really mess up a month before Election Day and ultimately tanked his vote? So there’s just a lot of context that goes into it. And I think the better, you know, not just the data itself, but also, you know, just ask Nate Silver. If it was just based off the data, he would have been perfect each time. But I think his track record hasn’t been too great.


Chuck: No, let’s talk about Covid. Every state’s been highly affected by. It seemed, Sam, and I’ve talked about this on the show, the Partisan Divide has really showed up on Covid. I can tell you what, someone 999 times out of a thousand where they are politically based on their response to Covid. And you have one side, we will call them the left. And they are simply I have to have a hundred percent guarantee we’re all going to die. And then you have the Republicans. They’re all SOB’s. I don’t trust anyone. This is the flu. Right. And then and then I think you have probably you and I. And Sam is. No, this is not the worst pandemic that’s hit the world. Yes, this is this is a little worse than the flu. Be, precautioned, but we should keep things open and get moving on with life.


Sam: If you see someone


Chuck: and we’re at war, a unique minority, right? I mean, we’re a unique minority. Right. And that’s what’s weird about it. So have you. Has it come across polling? What is that? Is that a fair description of what I’ve given the landscape of the partisan divide on COVID?


Mike: 100 percent. Yeah, because there’s actually one of the key insights from the last election, and we actually were one of the few that right when Covid made landfall here in April and we actually started tracking it then. And one of the questions was, hey, do you think things are going to get better or worse when it comes to the spread of Covid? Because of the uniqueness of about Covid? It was not so much the deadliness of it. It was really about how rapidly it spread,


Sam: transmissible


Mike: the transmissibility. And so it was interesting when doing it is that when we’re seeing it on TV and, you know, in Italy with the opera guy going and, you know, in New York is that levels are really low concern levels across the board. However, once it made landfall in Arizona, you saw it skyrocket up on all ends. The thing is, though, as we tracked it month over month, is that what you saw is that Covid absolutely turned into a political football yet. Eight out of 10 Democrats say extremely or moderately concerned about it compared to Republicans, only about 25 percent of them compared to independents, right about near the middle between the two, about 60 percent. And it’s through that time because you saw Covid there be spikes of it.

And then it come down with Republicans their concern would go up when we’re hitting the big wave, like, oh, I don’t like this ride. And they’d come over the hill and they’d be like, oh, we’re good. And they’d revert back to where they were at. But Democrats through the entirety stayed at 80 percent no matter what happened or changed. And independents caught in the middle. But we saw for the first time, actually, in our most recent polling, Democrats actually dropped to the low 60s for the first time. But the thing is, what’s unique is for an issue. Covid is like the honey badger. It does not care about your political party, your your ethnicity, income, whatever. Covid don’t care. And but however, when you look at the parties, it’s clear as day. It Absolutely. Got turned into a political football. And that’s what we’re seeing at this hyper partisan politics, is that ultimately it’s affecting economic numbers. It’s affecting, again, opinions on something that all of us should be on the same board on. So, again, it’s some of the interesting things.


Chuck: It is. A perfect example, of the division, especially how it’s represented in national media. Think about what’s happening with the colonial pipeline.


Mike: Right.


Chuck: And if Donald Trump had been on TV yesterday and said it came from Russia, but we know it’s not the Russian government,


Sam: he would have been lit on fire and burned to the ground before he got off the TV even


Chuck: I’m not even dismissing that they know it came from there. You know, let’s give the benefit. But I don’t think any of us believe that the Russian government didn’t know this was happening. But if Donald Trump had done that, they would lit things up. So now you have Republicans you about Democrats like. No, no, no, no. But if have been reversed, Republicans been defending Trump for saying it and Democrats saying, Torgeir, they bought him. He’s a puppet, you know, and so how do we go? And we’ll go into this. The next segment was we’re going to take a quick commercial break here, Mike. But when you come back, let’s discuss what what is there we can bridge on? What is there a bridge we can go and, well, communicate with each other on?


Sam: You know, I think, Chuck, real quick, I think one of the things that we touch on, the difference in the news people see and I really think one of the reasons that Republicans spiked and dipped with the spikes and dip in Covid is Democrats live and frankly live in more of a bubble than Republicans. If you’re a conservative, you can’t help but get hit with the left leaning news because it’s your local newspaper, it’s your local TV stations. It’s not just whether you’re watching Fox or CNN. So you can’t help but learn what they’re seeing on the left. But if you’re on the left and you’re not tuning in to explicitly conservative media, you never hear that counterpoint.


Mike: Well, I think we’ll dive deeper into it. I think basically what ultimately I think the issue is think of these companies. They’re all for profit companies. They have stakeholders


Chuck: Their supposed to make money.


Mike: Correct. And so we’re seeing a stronger and stronger correlation now is something I’ve been focusing more of my research efforts on is like, you know, asking people where they get their news for sources from. So we see a huge disparity like Senator Cinema and Kelly, both Democrats, however, you see that with Mark Kelly based on that minimum wage vote they did recently, that there was an issue that, again, Fox News folks liked had less of opinion compared to MSNBC


Sam: and this message to stay home, sponsored by Amazon.com and our multiple delivery services for everything you need. Breaking Battlegrounds will be coming right back in a moment.


Sam: well, folks, it’s been a while, but the sunshine moment is back, bringing some good news. Never hear that on talk radio, not to hear that on pretty much don’t get that anywhere on the Internet these days. Yeah. And here we have Kylie Kipper with the sunshine moment.


Kiley: Well, luckily for everyone that’s listening, Rob Kenny is on the Internet. He has his own YouTube channel. And who he is is he is a man that has a YouTube channel called Dad How do I? And he basically teaches his dad left when he was 14 years old, him and his seven siblings. And he teaches everyone how to do basic life skills. So how to change a tire, how to tie your tie, how to do everything that he wishes his dad would have taught him. And so he started this in April of 2020. So I’m assuming from Covid, he found some free time and decided that he was just going to see what happens. Now he has millions of YouTube followers and five million views on each video. He’s writing a book, I believe it’s released May 18th. And I just love this message because, you know, you teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.


Chuck: Oh. Oh, my goodness. She just throws it out there, doesn’t she? Does every spill in Zen today.


Sam: Wait a minute, though. I thought the answer to that was call triple-A and get a clip on.


Mike: Well, you know, I’ve been in a lot of shows and, you know, be honest, I think that was probably one of the coolest things I’ve heard in sometime so Kiley Kipper. She’s OK in my book.


Chuck: And by the way, you need to get him on the show. So I’m giving you that assignment now so we can do a more long range interview with him. But how have you when you went through and looked at this, what are people saying about this? Obviously, he has a lot of viewers that are people just saying thanks and this is helpful or.


Kiley: Yeah. So a lot of people are actually tweeting about it when it first came out, because he gained probably a million of his followers within the first month of this being released. And it’s from people who also don’t have fathers that haven’t taught them or that they just resonate with his story. And so they’re very thankful that he has videos on anything how to unclog your toilet, you know, like just things that everyone needs to know. So

Chuck: I could have used them last night trying to hang up a new painting I got that was like dumb and dumber, trying to get that done. Mike what percentage of Arizonans are from single parent households?


Mike: Uh, percentage wise, I have had my census numbers in front of me. I don’t I look at a lot of data.


Chuck: What’s your guess, though, single parent?


Mike: I can’t even. I don’t I can’t I don’t have enough that I can get you to answer,


Sam: I’m not sure. But if I remember right, the numbers in the 30s. It’s in the mid, high 30s.


Mike: Yeah. I again, I haven’t looked at it lately. We do a lot of research.


Chuck: Look there is a lot of great single parents out there doing a fantastic job. But that is that’s just a brutal start to life, not having that dual combination of being involved and active and.


Mike: Well, I can relate because my mom that’s actually brought me to Arizona, I actually would have been in Wisconsin. Typically, the trajectory is you have you know, you’re born, you have family, then you you go away in Wisconsin. But parent reason, my brother and I found ourselves out here is my my mom brought us out here but raised us through it, went through a divorce and basically raised my brother and I by herself. And when you’re younger, you don’t really understand that. But now I’m a parent of twin boys. Keeps me busy. And. But anyways, the appreciation I have, the sacrifice of how hard that is for single parent. So, again, a lot of respect for those


Chuck: they give it their all. They have no time for themselves is the ultimate sacrifice of time. So, Mike, your new father, year old twins, correct?


Mike: Yeah.Yep. Yep.Tommy and Teddy,


Chuck: what has surprised you about fatherhood?


Mike: Oh, it’s one of the things that you’re it best way to sum it up is that it’s brutally awesome. Brutal in the sense that your all your personal stuff, because, again, you’re watching out for them, so phenolic for providing but spending time with them. But it’s interesting. Your world gets a lot smaller and stuff. But again, the moments where you can get a little frustrated, but also then they throw a little smile, giggle, and it just all washes away. And again, it’s it’s been a game changer. And I’ve been able to you know, I only work four days a week now. I spend Wednesdays there and just try to spend time


Chuck: How has it changed you?


Mike: It changed me. I am a full blown adulting now is probably the best way to describe it.


Chuck: hashtag adulting,


Mike: right, I think I feel I’ve gotten very boring in a sense, like because again, it goes if I’m not working again, if I have choices, like doing a social hour again, I’d much rather hang out with my my wife and my kiddos and and hanging out with them. And so, again, it’s it’s it was interesting experience, but I absolutely wouldn’t trade it for the world.


Chuck: That’s fantastic. What what’s a trend you see in Arizona that’s occurring that people are not paying attention to?


Mike: Well, I think the trend is that there’s this misconception that Arizona’s turn blue or it’s a purple state, right. Purple, meaning that, you know, it’s a tossup, etc. I would actually classify magenta, which is a light shade of red, is that we’re center Right. Is that very much this election was a referendum on Trump. And we see it in the elections because you look at the Maricopa County elections, but then also state Senate races that Trump very much underperformed down ballot Republicans. So they voted. The voters are still center right here. However, Trump ultimately pushed away those folks in the middle, but they delineated between that when they went.


Chuck: Let’s when we come back from our break, let’s talk about some of the issues that shows Utah. I mean, not Utah. Again, I keep going to Utah. Arizona is going to red


Mike: go Utah.


Chuck: go Utah I am proud that Governor Spencer Cox and Utah is the one that told Biden, if you don’t help people start getting their mask off, then why do we have to tell them to get vaccinated? It doesn’t make it doesn’t make any sense.


Sam: That was the biggest change in Biden’s talking point that I’ve come to appreciate that finally being honest about. OK, go get vaccinated, then take your darn mask off. Breaking Battlegrounds coming right back.


Sam: Welcome back to Breaking Battlegrounds with your host, Sam Stone and Chuck Warren again in the studio with us. And thank you very much for joining us today. Mike Noble, OH predictive, got some very good points. And when we went to break, we were talking about how red or blue is Arizona


Chuck: magenta we’re magenta? Magenta, correct? Let that sink in people


Sam: I’ve been saying light red to everybody, and they they kind of go berserk. They think we’re light blue. They think we’re leaning that way. And it’s still not true.


Mike: No. And so you look at down ballot, like you look at a Kate Brophy Mcgee ran in a district, that was interesting because it’s a, you know, half affluent, half not. So it’s a very much as it’s probably the most swing district of the legislative districts. There’s really only five of the 30 are really competitive while other ones are pretty red or blue. And so he’s looking at that district and for example, the margin there. You see Trump lost that district by about 12 points, but he ran obviously more to the right. She ran definitely more moderate. She wind up losing that race, but only by half a percentage point. So but there was about 11 points difference between the two and I guess Basically, the takeaway is for me, at least I’ve seen is that, you know, Goldwater conservative says conservatism at that level was very successful and gave Republicans dominance. However, moving more to the right or the fringes, you’re kind of alienating those key folks in the middle, which independents always organically been center Right. They not only moved left. They’ve moved significantly left. And that is where I think is the issue right now in the electorate. But overall, Arizona is still center. Right. It’s just, again, depending on where they position themselves.


Chuck: Well, it’s interesting here. A Magenta Arizona. I talked to a Washington Post reporter and he was asking if the state’s truly going blue. And I said no, let me example is your poll on 60 percent still believe we should be doing the Pledge of Allegiance. That is not a blue state,


Sam: right, correct


Chuck: I mean, that’s not, And what are some other, besides the pledge allegiance? What are some other survey questions, policies like that that you show that you say under underneath it all, this is a conservative right of center audience is not


Mike: when it comes to like, let’s say, public safety when it comes to police officers. Right. Let’s say, you know, back the blue, for example, you have a lot of talks of, you know, again, the police, the systemic issues, everything else. I mean, police went from, you know, our guardians right up there with firefighters to now, again, being vilified. And be honest, if you do a ride along with a cop, that’s your day in the job. Were jobs are a lot easier than those ones. And again, they really risk a lot to be out there being protectors of the community. And so like issues like that, we’re still very much Rula. But again, I think these narratives that get set up, you hear a lot about it. Ultimately, though, in the data, it’s just not true. But again, you know, perception is reality.


Chuck: Well, you bring up a good point. For example, if most people did a ride along, we would see less anti law enforcement messages. I remember when I worked in DC and a congressional office in the 90s, it was at that time the Sierra Club was pushing Everybody say, look, we just need to make all of the Intermountain West a state park, basically was their conversation. Right. And then they would go and show pictures of Lake Tahoe


Sam: right


Chuck: on their brochures. We all live out here. There’s not Lake Tahoe in Arizona. And not to offend anybody in Flagstaff, but you’re not Lake Tahoe. Right. And so what I started doing in this office and at work, we started flying Democrat and north. At that time, there were northeastern Republicans out to the west. And they’re just like I mean, it changed their opinion of it. They they didn’t realize what was out here. And we know from work we do in Florida and so forth, they come out here and they’re just like, I’ve never seen anything like this.


Sam: I mean, you take a Democrat who has open borders, open borders, open borders, you actually take them down to the border. You show them what goes on. All of a sudden they get more nuanced. Right. And I would actually add something else, Mike, that doesn’t necessarily get reflected in your polling, but I think reflects in the results for Democrats to win down ballot, whether it was issues or candidates in this last cycle, they outspent our candidates.


Mike: Oh, yeah.


Sam: Massively to do it.


Chuck: Oh Not even close.


Mike: It’s never historically been the case.


Sam: Right.


Mike: which is also an interesting development.


Sam: So Kate Brophy McGee, for instance, had she been able to spend an equivalent amount of money to her opponent who outspent her? I think it was like three to one or four to one. Especially including IEs. I think she would have won still. Right. So those gains that they’ve made down ballot here were basically made on a sea of cash coming in from the coasts.


Mike: Look at just the last Senate Senate race in 18 in the midterms. That was actually the first record spending race, with 20 million spent by Sinema, 60 million by McSally. This recent Senate race, Kelly spent ninety million nine zero, and McSally spent 57 million. I mean, McSally got outspent, who’s been a long time congresswoman here from a basically a new entrant of Mark Kelly into the race. And again, so it’s interesting, not only the money wise that Republicans always win that battle, but currently they have a bit of a spending advantage


Chuck: Mike what do we need to do? I think one one sector of our public policy that’s ripe for change is public schools. I’ve heard the unions and teachers did themselves no favors with Lobert even before what I call the PTA moms. They’re fairly disgusted with it. But this what people don’t understand, this does not mean they’re going to flee their public schools.


Sam: The National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers have no idea what a bad 15


Chuck: beside the fact, those organizations are just plain evil people. And the point is here, Mike, what can Republicans do and what are policies they should promote to show Arizona moms, look, we care about your kid’s education, we care about your public school.


Mike: This is the craziest thing, is that education, it’s an issue that you got to address. And I do not know why I can’t why Republicans are afraid to face it, because you should face it, but then do it in a conservative manner, because here’s the thing of the public. They want that change education. But also the problem is you can’t just keep throwing money at it because it’s not about the dollars spent. It’s how effectively dollars are spent. Right. And so I think from that approach, I think they could actually dominate and win on that issue. But for whatever reason, they don’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole. And it just really surprises me.


Sam: You’re right


Chuck: we’ve become so enamored of school choice. And I’m a big school choice proponent. And I think you’re not one size fits all for everybody in education, but we have ignored it. We just said school choice or nothing.


Sam: Well, we’ve also I mean, I think that’s been the movement. But I think there’s another problem with that is that we’re afraid to fight that battle on the ground, that we need to fight it on. Because you look at school choice around the country, they do not get all the moneys public schools get. They have fewer dollars per student and they do a better job in in even in places where they’re doing lottery draws and things like that, where they’re it’s totally representative of the same population that public school has to take in. That charter is still doing better with less money. And we’re afraid to take that on and say, why the heck can these public schools not compete when they have more cash?


Mike: I think it’s really very much comes down to the value argument, because I think of parents in general, whether it’s private or public. I think, frankly, at the end of the day, they’re agnostic because they care what is the best for their kids, but also what is the most cost effective way to go about it. I feel like that’s something any parent can agree upon. And again, let the one win the public. Great. Here are the numbers. Here’s no numbers here. His numbers there. Again, ultimately, which one is better for the kids? so instead of treating the like a political football again, what’s best for the kids? If we do that, I think we’ll get to a better solution far quicker. And I’d love to see something along those lines. But unfortunately, again, I am surprised they don’t really engage on that.


Chuck: What are some other issues out there that you see that show that Arizona is not blue, not purple


Mike: well So last cycle was very interesting, is that think of the top issues in the state of. Kind of like the top three issues as a three legged stool. The top two issues were education and health care, which you look at that very much benefit Democrats as those issues grow in prevalence. Hence my suspicion, because the Covid exacerbation and anyway, so when you look at an immigration actually wasn’t even a top three issue, because before the pandemic, it was actually one third of Arizona voters. It was hands down the number one issue.


Covid hit social issues, took a backseat. Jobs in the economy shot up because we shot that shot down the economy. But since the elections ended, Covid education have really dropped off. But right now, the issues are the environment’s turning to be far better or more better for Republicans, because immigration actually is the number one issue. I think it’s about 34 percent now. So back to the high times we had prior, and that very much benefits Republicans. So right now, jobs and economy and immigration are the top two. With health care, I think, and and third in education. So basically the environment shaping up for the midterms are looking much better. It’s just the thing is the question is a party divided is not going to do as well. And so like with this audit going on and things of that nature, I think that is, you know, could have some residual effects. So it’d be interesting to see, you know, we’re still 15 months out.


Chuck: Are you surprised how much. Gov. Governor Ducey has taken I think he’s done. I think he’s done a fairly decent job. I think he has gotten some horribly bad rap on things.


Sam: You and I have talked about it, and I think the best way to describe Doug Ducey’s tenure is blandly competent. And not not that it’s not a knock. It’s been


Chuck: we need more of it.


Sam: Right. That’s effective.


Mike: I think it’s, you know, tempered, strong. And again, the movie and it’s funny watching that I would probably agree with that assessment that I think he gets a bad rap for the items. I mean, he’s just stuck between a rock and a hard place. He’s signing the election to certify it, which legally the constitutionality gave. He had to do. And I get Trump didn’t like that result of the election. I get it. No one likes losing. I completely understand. However, he had to do his job, but he gets thrown under the bus essentially just for not toeing the line. But again, if you’re in that position, do you


Chuck: follow the law He does legal counsel, the AG. You have to certify this. But the Covid thing, I mean, I just think Covid, he has gotten such a bad rap. And I it’s it’s been amazing to me that he said he has temperate leadership. If Doug Ducey were in Idaho or Utah he’d probably about 82 percent approval. And not changing anything he’s done.


Sam: Well, I mean, part of the difference is that you had a a senator who was terrified that the governor, who was pretty popular and seemed to be doing the right things, was going to jump up and run for that Senate seat and politicized it to a fare thee well and scared the heck out of a lot of Arizonans. Yeah, particularly a lot on the left,


Mike: I think. I think governor of D.C., frankly, I think, you know, he was stuck in a rock and a hard place had have population saying, hey, closedown. No one go out, you know, very hesitant. The other ones like, hey, we got to make money off of staff, their family feeds, et cetera. again, between the two of you move a little left, you make one mad move to the Right. But he had to make a decision as a leader.


Chuck: I mean, no one knew what was going to happen when this first started. When it first started, sat down, made a decision. I want to make sure everybody who works for me has one. And so my house is paid off when it took a mortgage out on it, just so we had money.


Mike: Yeah.


Chuck: but you didn’t know I mean, we were we were at the point, like our pride should be sitting on the couch for a year. You know, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, as many weren’t. So I think sometimes, too, we expect these leaders who, you know, have no special skills and a lot of ways to be omnipresent on everything and know what they’re supposed to do.


Sam: I mean, wasn’t it was it I forget if it was Johns Hopkins or one of the others that did a IQ study on Congress and the Senate about a decade ago, and no one has ever been given permission to do anything like that since, because the average IQ in the Senate was like 98.


Mike: the thing about this is that, you know, again, no one is alive, 100 year pandemic. I don’t think anyone going into 2020 is like, oh, yeah, I’m going to do X, Y, Z, and oh, yeah, a hundred year pandemic. Right, about April. Perfect timing. And so again, when going getting hit with that, again, learning with that information, adapting again to be critical in a sense is just you’ve got to give some slack because again, until you’re in that seat again. And I think from an outsider’s perspective, I think he handled as well as he could comparatively to a lot of other states. And I think us as Arizonans are very grateful to have that, you know, steady, pragmatic leadership.


Sam: I mean, between all of all of the governors, I, I look at Ron DeSantis, interestingly, indifferent to the the media narrative. He stuck to the actual science and what the CDC guidelines were. That’s not the narrative a lot of people have gotten about his actions. I think he did the best job. But if you had to add everyone else up, Ducey’s in the top three or four for navigating this, maintaining an economy and and protecting people from the virus,


Mike: I 100 percent agree. And that’s the thing, just watching this. And that’s why I think data is so prevalent. I think that’s why starting this five years ago was a big thing, because, again, there’s a lot of opinions, but at the end of the day, unbiased data, which, again, can prove it time and time again, that again, where the numbers are moving and why and try to take that emotion or that self-interest out of it. Again, just look at the numbers and again, call a spade a spade. And so,


Sam: folks, if they’re not following if you’re not following Mike Noble and OH predictive on Twitter, on social media, how do they how do they follow you?


Mike: Yeah. So mainly it’s social media for like press and things like that at OH Predictive the Twitter handle. And then we have LinkedIn page. But also I’d say check out the website OH Predictive dot com, because we actually put all the press releases we put out. Also, we do a lot of blog posts. And again, our thing is try to make data digestible for people. And how can we explain that? Again, I think it’s really great. And but again, how do you educate folks and not make it scary, but show them the value?


Sam: You do a great job at that. And I really encourage people to go to their website, OH Predictive dot com at OH predictive. Go there, see the numbers, read the data, look at it for yourself. Skip the media spin.


Mike: Yeah. Yeah, that’s correct. And so we’re trying to bring back sanity. So but no. And I appreciate the opportunity. It’s always a privilege to be on the show


Sam: Mike Thank you for joining us today for your host, Sam Stone and Chuck Warren. Mike Noble, Kiley Kipper, the irrepressible Kylie Kipper. Breaking Battlegrounds will be back.


Chuck: And she has opinions. She has opinions.


Sam: We’ll hear them one day.


Mike: Thank you.


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