GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona thinks polls showing Dr. Kelli Ward beating him in the Senate primary race are “not relevant” and said Thursday that incumbents always run behind in off-year elections.
“Off year polls are always, incumbents are always down. It’s not that those polls are inaccurate. They’re probably accurate. You do ten of them you’ll get the same thing. It’s just that they’re not very relevant right now,” Flake said on “Morning Joe.”
One poll released in late August showed Ward with 47 percent, and Flake far behind with 21 percent. Twenty-nine percent of Republican voters said they were undecided. President Donald Trump has called Flake out repeatedly at campaign rallies and on Twitter, saying he’s “toxic” and weak on border security.
Flake compared himself to Sen. John McCain, and said the numbers don’t mean anything until the actual campaign is in full swing.
“When you run a campaign like McCain years ago, had similar poll numbers. He was going to lose by double digits to a primary opponent then double digits to a generic general opponent. But in the end you run a campaign and it comes out differently,” he said.
Co-host Joe Scarborough asked Flake if he would run as an Independent, but Flake said he was staying right where he is.
“I am a Republican. I’ve been a lifelong Republican and I think I’ll stay where I am,” he concluded.
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