PHOENIX, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, awkward in a debate this week, still is a likely winner against Democrat Terry Goddard, The New York Times said Friday.
The Times said its forecast shows Brewer polling 55.8 percent of the vote in the November general election to Goddard's 41.5 percent. Brewer, the newspaper said, has a 97.4 percent chance of winning, compared with Goddard's 2.7 percent chance of victory.
The newspaper says its projections are built from statistical models, mostly based on recent polls and demographic data. Polls have shown Brewer, who is seeking a full term after taking over when Janet Napolitano joined the Obama administration, leading Goddard by 13-20 percentage points since May.
Brewer found herself speechless for 16 seconds when she lost her train of thought -- a "brain freeze," she called it -- during her opening statement Wednesday in her debate with Goddard, KTAR, Phoenix, reported. She also declined to answer quesitons about her past assertions that beheaded bodies had been found in the Arizona desert.
Brewer said Thursday she will not debate Goddard anymore, saying she only did the one Wednesday to qualify for more than $1.7 million in public campaign funds.
"I certainly will take my message in a different venue out to the people of Arizona," the Arizona Daily Star quoted her as saying.
"Why would I want to give Terry a chance to redefine himself?
She said too much was being made of her comments about headless bodies being found in the desert.
"All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," Brewer said. "That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on.
"I never said 'Arizona,' and it's unfortunate that it was construed as 'Arizona.'"
During a June 27 interview on KPNX-TV, Phoenix, Brewer said, "Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded."