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PHOENIX -- The Behavior Research Center has released its first poll of the primaries for the Arizona governor's race, and the Rocky Mountain Poll showed that voters have no clear-cut favorite.

Behavior Research Center surveyed 700 Arizona voters in January and found the GOP field is led by former Go Daddy executive Christine Jones with 8 percent, followed by Mesa Mayor Scott Smith (7 percent) and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas(7 percent). Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett was fourth (6 percent). State Treasurer Doug Ducey (2 percent) and Al Melvin (1 percent) brought up the rear.

The survey found the early strength of Jones was tied to greater appeal than her rivals in attracting early votes from women. It also appears that she enjoys some strength in Pima County.

Among Democratic voters, Fred DuVal and Ron Cavanaugh were dead-even each with 14 percent but DuVal got a modest boost in his overall numbers because of his stronger appeal to independents who plan on voting in the Democrat primary.

When the preferences of independents are factored in, DuVal leads Cavanaugh by an 18 to 12 percent margin.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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