Thursday, September 2, 2010

Welcome To Jan Brewer’s Arizona!

Welcome To Jan Brewer’s Arizona!

Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is guest blogging on The Plum Line this week.
This video of Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer's debate intro yesterday is making the rounds on the interwebs:
This is pretty painful to watch. But her later reaction (flagged by Rachel Weiner) to her Democratic opponent, Steve Goddard, who hammered her for exaggerating the extent of crime in Arizona with tales of beheadings in the desert, is even worse.
Goddard states that:
What is hurting us right now economically are statements, false statements made by Jan Brewer, about how Arizona has become so violent, that we are a place of fear, and we have beheadings in the desert. Those are false statements. They cause people to think that Arizona is a dangerous place, and they don't come here, and they don't invest here. Because our governor has said such negative things about our state. And, Jan, I call on you to today to say, there are no beheadings. That was a false statement, and it needs to be called out right now.
Brewer avoided responding directly to Goddard, but she was hammered by local reporters afterward.
Now, it's hard to see hitting Brewer on SB 1070 affecting her chances too much. At the moment, she's still ahead of Goddard, by 57 to 38 percent according to Rasmussen; another poll taken in July found Brewer ahead by twenty points. Despite having her basic facts on immigration wrong, her handling of the matter is very popular in Arizona. Rasmussen finds that 65 percent of Arizona voters continue to favor the state's draconian immigration law, and another recent poll from the Morrison Institute found similar margins of popular support.
But here's what's shrewd about what Goddard is doing -- rather than attacking the law or its faulty empirical justification, he's merely questioning Brewer's personal honesty. That allows him to avoid running into the buzz-saw of SB 1070's general popularity, which is probably the only thing Brewer ultimately really has going for her. In March, before she signed the law, her approval rating as measured by Rasmussen was only 41 percent. Last year one poll even found her trailing Godard. Now her approval is at 65 percent. The problem for Goddard is, it's not clear that the Brewer campaign will agree to any more debates, especially after how this one went. By Adam Serwer  |  September 2, 2010; 3:37 PM ET

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