New poll shows Republican voters in state divided between presidential candidates

Phoenix, AZ – The survey by the Behavior Research Center found Herman Cain backed by 25 percent of registered Republicans questioned, with Mitt Romney a statistically insignificant one point back. Texas Gov. Rick Perry trailed a distant third at 10 percent.

It may not have helped that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Perry will have to explain to voters why he signed a law allowing illegal immigrants to pay lower resident tuition at state-run colleges. Brewer noted that Arizona voters approved a law directly to the contrary, saying Perry will -- quote -- have to explain to the public why he made those decisions. In a broader survey of all registered voters, pollster Earl De Berge found that President Obama actually could win Arizona over any of the current GOP front runners.

(The Democrats are voting Democrat, the Republicans are voting Republican. But independents who are now a big number, are splitting a little bit less than 2 to 1 for the Democratic candidate. If that holds in the months that are coming ahead obviously, Obama's certainly would have reason to believe that he could lead the ticket in Arizona.)

While not predicting an Obama victory, de Berge said voters have supported Democrats in statewide races, including backing Bill Clinton in 1996. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.