Despite declines in national consumer confidence in the economy, 46 percent of Arizona residents believe the state is headed in the right direction, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Behavior Research Center of Arizona.
The survey showed that over the past three months, Arizonans' optimism has stabilized somewhat since April. The measure stood at 40 percent in January, and rose to 47 percent in April before dipping one point in July. The survey of 701 adults is conducted every three months by the independent research group.
The improved outlook is mainly the result of a growing confidence in the governor and in state legislators, said Earl de Berge, the center's research director.
"I think there's been a rebirth in confidence in the governor's office, but also in the state's entire political leadership," de Berge said.
With the national Consumer Confidence Index dropping nearly 7 points in July, the stabilizing state numbers point more to residents feeling secure in the state's leaders than to economic optimism.
"People aren't necessarily sure of a better economy coming in the near future," he said. "The biggest influence here is politically we're moving in the right direction."
Of those polled, 32 percent feel the state is heading in the wrong direction, while 9 percent were in the middle. As recent as October, consumer opinion in Arizona was at an all-time low of 38 percent, the only time negative opinion was higher than positive opinion.
Fifty percent of men were positive about the state's direction, and 50 percent of Republicans and those younger than 35 also had positive opinions.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.