Barack Obama makes Valley debut - East Valley Tribune: News

Barack Obama makes Valley debut

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Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 10:12 am | Updated: 7:48 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled make his first two major campaign appearances in Arizona on Friday.

The senator from Illinois will headline a rally in Tempe at 10 a.m., and lead a fundraiser luncheon in Phoenix at 12:30 p.m.

His visit comes at a time when most Arizona voters are still trying to decide which candidate to support in the state’s presidential primary election on Feb. 5.

Only 34 percent of registered Democrats and just 19 percent of registered Republicans definitely have settled on candidates, according to an Arizona State University/KAET-TV 8 survey released Tuesday.

Among Democrats who have identified a favorite, Hillary Clinton is the clear frontrunner.

The results: Clinton commands 70 percent support, while Obama has 18 percent, John Edwards takes in 9 percent, and all others earn a combined 3 percent.

Among Republicans who have identified candidates, the field is tighter.

The results: John McCain has 29 percent support, Mitt Romney at 25 percent, Rudy Giuliani with 19 percent, Fred Thompson with 17 percent, and all others at 10 percent.

“This question shows how important the wording of questions is when conducting polls,” said poll director Bruce Merrill.

“Asking people who they would choose from a list of contenders measures who people are leaning toward supporting, but does not measure their level of commitment,” Merrill said. “Asking people if they have definitely settled on a candidate shows that there still is opportunity for candidates who can put together effective campaigns.”

Obama will appear on stage without two prominent Democrats -- U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell and former U.S. Senate candidate state party chairman Jim Pederson. Last year, Obama appeared at Tempe rally for Mitchell, Pederson and other Arizona Democrats during their campaigns.

Mitchell defeated Republican incumbent Rep. J.D. Hayworth, while Pederson lost to Repubican incumbent Sen. Jon Kyl.

Mitchell has not yet endorsed a candidate for president, his spokesman, Seth Scott, said earlier this week.

Pederson, who has returned to his shopping center development firm, said he will be out of town on Friday and will be unable to attend the rally. “I did raise some money for him for the event, because he’s a neat guy, a good guy. He helped me out on the campaign. I’m supporting Hillary in the presidential race, but he is a guy who has a lot of talent. If he doesn’t make it, we certainly haven’t heard the last from him,” Pederson said.

Pederson noted that he already has contributed $2,300 each to both Obama’s and Clinton’s campaigns. And so have his wife, son and several friends and associates.

ASU’s statewide telephone survey of 677 voters was conducted from Oct. 11 through 14. It has a margin of error of 6.3 percentage points among Democrats and 6 percent points among Republicans.

Obama visit

What: Barack Obama rally

When: 10 a.m. Friday

Where: Hayden Lawn at Arizona State University, Tempe

Admission: Free

Info: (310) 277-2008

What: Barack Obama luncheon

When: 12:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Wyndham Phoenix hotel, 50 E. Adams St.

Admission: $500 suggested donation, $2,300 VIP tickets

Info: (310) 277-2008

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