Flashback: 298 Red Precincts In Arizona Rejected Sheriff Joe

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced plans to run for U.S. Senate, but his 2016 bid for sheriff showed a large lack of support from Arizona Republicans won’t.

298 precincts in Maricopa County, Ariz., supported Republican Sen. John McCain’s re-election bid last year but voted in favor of Arpaio’s opponent, Sheriff Paul Penzone. The controversial pro-Trump former sheriff did manage to earn the support of the remaining 225 precincts that supported McCain’s bid. Neither Republican won support in 199 precincts.

The race in question will fill the seat left vacant by Sen. Jeff Flake, who decided to not run again in the 2018 campaign season. Arpaio will challenge former state Sen. Kelli Ward Republican Primary scheduled for August 28, 2018.

Statistician Nate Silver indicated he felt the announcement would split the pro-Trump vote in the state and could help hand the primary victory to Rep. Martha McSally, who many consider will enter the race.

“Possible he splits the #MAGA vote and takes more votes from Ward than McSally,” Silver wrote on Twitter. “Still, things are generally going badly for Republicans in Arizona, which should probably rate as “leans Democratic” rather than “tossup” in this sort of political environment.”

Arpaio lost to Penzone in 2016 with 43 percent of the vote, Sen. McCain won his race with 53 percent of the vote.


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