A poll released Monday suggests that just 21 percent of Arizona residents want President Donald Trump to pardon Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff.
In July, a federal judge found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt of court because Arpaio refused a federal judicial order to stop arresting people solely because they might be illegal immigrants and then delivering the arrested individuals to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
According to the poll, just 21 percent of Arizona’s residents want Trump to pardon Arpaio.
Just over half of Arizona’s residents say they do not want Trump to pardon Arpaio, the poll found.
The rest of the state’s residents, about 29 percent, say they aren’t sure how they feel or don’t know enough about the Arpaio’s contempt of court case to make a decision.
Among Arizona residents who are 54 years old or younger, just 15 percent want Trump to pardon Arpaio.
About 31 percent of the state’s residents who are 55 or older favor a Trump pardon.
Last week, Trump called Arpaio a “patriot” and suggested he will exonerate the former sheriff. “I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump told Fox News. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration.” (RELATED: Trump Mulls Pardon For Sheriff Joe Arpaio)
“I might do it right away, maybe early this week,” the president also said. “I am seriously thinking about it.”
Trump’s comments have led to speculation that the president will announce a pardon for Arpaio during a rally in Phoenix which is scheduled for Tuesday.
OH Predictive Insights, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Owens Harkey Advertising, produced the poll about how Arizona residents view a possible pardon of Arpaio.
“Half of Arizonans say pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Phoenix rally is a bad choice,” OH Predictive Insights chief pollster Mike Noble said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller.
“Another interesting takeaway from this survey besides Arizonans overall thinking an Arpaio pardon is a bad idea: It will go over like a lead balloon with the 54 years of age or younger crowd,” Noble also said.
Arpaio, 85, has dubbed himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”
The publicity-seeking former lawman, who lost his bid for a seventh consecutive term in 2016, is best known as an immigration hawk. His aggressive detention policies made him a national figure.
Arpaio was also in the news in 2012 when he sent envoys to Hawaii in a quest to track down President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
In 2013, Arpaio enlisted Steven Seagal, the star of “Marked for Death” and “Under Siege 2: Dark Territory,” to lead a training event designed to show 40 armed volunteers how to respond properly to a school shooting. (RELATED: America’s Leatheriest Direct-To-Video Badass To Teach About School Shootings)
The OH Predictive Insights poll, conducted from August 18 to August 20, is based on a sample of 1,065 Arizona residents, which mirrors U.S. Census data about the state’s population. The polling group estimates that its poll has a margin of error of 3 percent.
During the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, FiveThirthyEight’s celebrity pollster Nate Silver gave OH Predictive Insights a C+ rating.
Arpaio has not yet been sentenced for his contempt of court. He faces up to six months in prison. His sentencing date is scheduled to be Oct. 5.