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Poll: Gov. Doug Ducey holds strong lead against challenger David Garcia

Posted: 6:27 PM, Oct 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-12 02:28:03Z

Less than a month away from election day, the latest poll shows David Garcia trailing incumbent Doug Ducey by double-digits in the state's gubernatorial race.

The OH Predictive Insights poll released Wednesday shows Ducey with a 17-point lead over Garcia. Six-hundred likely voters were questioned with a 4-point margin of error. 

"Even in a blue wave scenario, where democrats turn out more voters than they've ever turned out in our state's history -- at least, in the last 10-14 years, [Garcia] is still losing," said George Khalaf, a political consultant and president of Data Orbital. 

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"[Garcia] needed to come to the middle and he has chosen to not take that angle," Khalaf told ABC15. 

Among two of the biggest issues this election cycle: education and border security. 

Khalaf believes Garcia has struggled to deliver a clear message on how he would boost funding to the state's public schools. 

On Wednesday, Garcia told ABC15 at a campaign event, "We need to close tax credits in Arizona that are draining dollars and taking them out of public schools and putting them into private schools. We need to close tax exemption loopholes in Arizona, we need to prioritize revenue going into our public schools and Arizona needs an initiative for a dedicated revenue source." 

In an interview Thursday, Ducey said while he is against a tax increase, he's open to exploring other ways of redirecting spending to public education in the future.

"I'm proud that we were able to get a 20% pay increase for our teachers by school year 2020," he said. 

Ducey and his allies have clung to a statement Garcia made months ago at the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans in which he said, "just imagine -- no wall, no wall in southern Arizona." 

Asked Wednesday, Garcia clarified he was referring to Trump's border wall expansion plan and did not suggest removing the existing barrier that exists on two-thirds of the Arizona-Mexico border.

"I'm against Trump's wall but the future for security is technology and focusing on technology is where we need to go," he said. 

Ducey told ABC15 he's concerned about drug cartels and sex and human traffickers crossing the border and is "of course" supportive of expanding the border wall, adding he also wants to explore drone technology and other methods of border enforcement.