A couple days into the Arpaio run for U.S. Senate, polls have come out showing that Arpaio is already taking voters away from Kelli Ward. According to a poll done by ABC15/OHPI, it shows 85-year-old Arpaio has 29 percent support in the race, former state Sen. Kelli Ward, 48, has 25 percent support in the poll. McSally, 51, who is also expected to run, has 31 percent support, according to the poll. In a previous poll, Ward was leading McSally 42 to 34 percent, an 8 point advantage. If the polls are correct, this is bad news for Ward.
Kelli Ward was the conservative heir apparent, as a number of big names had lined up behind her before Arpaio's announcement. Those names include Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Mark Levin. President Trump tweeted approvingly of Ward in August while ripping outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R- Ariz.), but has not spoken out since Arpaio's announcement. Given the anti-establishment flavor of both Arpaio and Ward, the latter will be at a disadvantage with name identification and fundraising.
The other wildcard in an already unpredictable race will be if President Trump agrees to a deal on DACA in exchange for the border wall, and how that will create contrast on the issue. The real problem for both candidates is that while they fight for the Trump wing of the Arizona GOP, McSally can siphon off votes from them both while courting the McCain wing of the party, and steal a win while the other two fight. The race will test the strength of the Arizona Republican party in a state where the President only won by four points.
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