The sheriff invited to 'bow out' in AZ primary

Thursday, July 12, 2018
 | 
Associated Press

Sheriff Joe ArpaioA political scientist and presidential election analyst isn't overly concerned about Republicans losing Jeff Flake's Arizona Senate seat to the Democrats, even though one analysis suggests that could actually happen.

In a current compilation of polls by RealClearPolitics, Congresswoman Martha McSally – the moderate and establishment GOP candidate – had just under 35 percent of support from GOP voters in the Grand Canyon State. Conservative State Senator Kelli Ward polled at just under 25 percent, with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (pictured) with almost 21 percent support. If Arpaio were removed from the equation, it's likely that Ward could defeat McSally in the August 28 primary. As a result Fox News 2018 Power Rankings has now put Arizona in the "lean Democrat" column with Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, their presumptive nominee.

A career political scientist is suggesting that Arpaio, 86, should bow out gracefully.

"Arpaio has had his day in the sun. He has served his purpose," says Dr. Charles Dunn, professor emeritus of government at Clemson University. "The best thing for him now is to bow out and, if he wants, to indicate his support for one of the other candidates who has the best opportunity of winning in November."

Republicans in Arizona, says Dunn, will likely play their "Trump card."

"The Trump train has not yet begun to roll out of the station [there]," he offers. "We have seen how Trump can have significant impact in local races. In Arizona, he has not yet taken his train out of the station and out onto the campaign track."

Fox News argues that Arpaio's presence in the GOP primary has created "a problem" for Ward, forcing her to battle a fellow Trump supporter instead of focusing her energies on McSally, the establishment candidate.

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