Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is in trouble from all sides. With a dismal approval rating of 18 percent, he faces a primary challenge from former state Sen. Kelli Ward. At the federal level, President Trump torched Flake for being weak on borders, crime, and being a “non-factor” in the Senate. The president also called him toxic. In July, the Arizona senator’s vulnerabilities were highlighted by FiveThirtyEight, where the publication said it might not be a bad investment for Democrats to find someone to run against Flake since the state is shifting left, he’s never been popular, and he barely won in 2012.
Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
Roll Call has also noted Flake’s vulnerabilities. Now, a poll from HighGround shows Ward with a 14-point (42/28) lead over Flake. Yet, the polling firm also noted that anything can happen, given the volatile nature of Arizona politics, noting that former Gov. Jan Bewer had been able to erase such deficits in shorter periods of time:
I know, look at the sample size. It’s only 273 for the GOP primary. Usually 350 is needed for an accurate gauge of a congressional race, 600 for statewide, and at least 1,000 for a nationwide poll. Yet, National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar noted the methodology is sound. We do have a long way to go—and it seems Mr. Flake is deep in the well right now. He’s not isolated, however. The Senate Leadership Fund is already hitting Ward for her remarks about chemtrails a year ago.