Although Arizona’s Republican primary is more than a year away, a new poll shows that freshman Sen. Jeff Flake is already vulnerable to a challenge from the right.
In fact, the Political Marketing International (PMI) poll showed that among likely Republican primary voters in the Grand Canyon State, conservative Kelli Ward actually defeats Flake by 30 to 23 percent.
The survey comes at a time when Ward, former state legislator and osteopathic physician, recently filed to challenge Flake for renomination. Last year, Ward lost the Republican primary to the Grand Canyon State’s senior Sen. John McCain by 51 to 40 percent (with the remainder going to two other candidates).
Less than a year after losing to McCain, PMI found, Ward has a recognition rate of 74 percent among Arizona Republicans and independents likely to vote in the GOP primary (which is permitted under state election law).
Flake never endorsed Donald Trump in 2016. Moreover, he has been criticized from conservatives within his own party for his stand on several issues, from his support of the “comprehensive reform” approach to illegal immigration to his long-standing support for the U.S. opening to Cuba executed by Barack Obama.
The latest poll comes two months after the same survey showed Flake barely edging Ward by 31 to 29 percent.
A further sign of Flake’s vulnerability is that, at a time when the average campaign war chest for senators facing the voters in 2018 is $3 million, the Arizonan has raised only $650,000.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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