Arizona pollster Bruce Merrill dies

Posted at 4:14 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 19:14:37-04

Prominent Arizona political scientist and pollster Bruce Merrill has died.

Longtime friend and historian Jack August says Merrill died Saturday of stomach cancer at age 78.

Merrill was a professor at Arizona State University for nearly four decades. He regularly conducted opinion surveys of Arizona voters and was a frequent commentator on public affairs.

August says he recently conducted several oral history sessions with Merrill, who recalled that his interest in political science grew from his U.S. Navy service when he served as a liaison officer with members of Congress and other figures.

He got into polling while a graduate student at Brigham Young University.

Merrill early in his career did polling work with Richard Wirthlin, who went on to do polling for Ronald Reagan while Merrill went into academia.