matt salmon
GOP Candidate Matt Salmon Drops Out of Governor’s Race

June 29, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon ended his campaign, citing low polling numbers. Salmon received an average of 12 to 14 percent of the vote in recent polls against his top two contenders, Karrin Taylor Robson and Kari Lake. 

“Unfortunately, numbers are numbers, and it has become clear to me that the path to a first-place victory is no longer a realistic possibility,” stated Salmon. “Republican primary voters deserve more than having their votes split on August 2nd, and so I am leaving this race for the same reason that I entered it: because it is what’s best for the people of Arizona.”

Salmon is the latest to drop out in the crowded Republican primary. Steve Gaynor withdrew at the end of April, also citing low polling numbers against top contenders Salmon, Lake, and Robson.

“This week I received survey results that showed I would have a high probability of winning against each of the other candidates in a head-to-head matchup,” wrote Gaynor. “In a three-way race, I would have a reasonable probability of winning. However, in a four-way race, my chance of winning is low enough to be unrealistic.”

State Treasurer Kimberly Yee withdrew at the beginning of this year, deciding to run for re-election to her current office instead.

That leaves Robson, Lake, Scott Neely, and Paola Tulliani-Zen, along with several write-ins: Patrick Finerd, Carlos Roldan, and Alex Schatz. Robson and Lake are the top two contenders in the field at present. 

The most recent poll from Trafalgar showed Lake with a 12-point lead over Robson.

However, Data Orbital polling from earlier this month revealed Lake with a four-point lead over Robson. The pollsters have an A/B rating from FiveThirtyEight. 

Another poll from OH Predictive Insights this month showed Lake with an even smaller margin of two points. 

Real Clear Politics averaged Lake at a seven-point lead ahead of Robson.

The Democratic primary is far smaller: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is up against businessman and career politician Marco Lopez. Former state legislator Aaron Lieberman withdrew last month.

OH Predictive Insights has consistently shown Hobbs with a comfortable lead over Lopez. In May, the pollsters found that 43 percent of those surveyed would vote for Hobbs, while only 9 percent would vote for Lopez. However, 40 percent reported that they were undecided. 

Predictive polling on who would win the governor’s race consistently showed Hobbs with a lead.

According to a May poll from GQR Research which Hobbs sponsored, the secretary of state led Robson by one point and Lake by five points. GQR has a B rating from FiveThirtyEight.

Data Orbital polling from February, which has an A/B rating, reported slightly different leads: Hobbs would lead Robson by five points and Salmon by one point, but Lake would lead Hobbs by one point. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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