The midterm election cycle affecting the Senate is set to be underway in about a year. Due to the impending election cycle, projections are starting to be generated in several important races. In light of these numbers, one anti-Trump Senator is going to be very unhappy.
Earlier this week, a survey of 400 likely voters was undertaken in Arizona for the 2018 General Election. As it would turn out, Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has made it known that he dislikes President Trump, is down 14 points over Republican opponent Kelli Ward, according to consultants with HighGround Public Affairs. Simultaneously he is also down eight points to Democrat opponent and US Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Chuck Coughlin, the President & CEO of HighGround, commented on the results. He noted that “While Election Day may still be more than a year away, Senator Jeff Flake’s campaign has a lot of work to do to persuade Republican primary voters that his form of principled Republican conservatism can trump the nativist populism…”
The consensus seems to be that Flake has a lot of work to do if he hopes to have a chance at winning the race next year. However, the results are not the only place where Flake has been viewed with unsure eyes.
President Trump has spoken out against Flake, specifically on August 17th. He tweeted: “Great to see Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He’s toxic!”
The President is not a fan of Flake, seemingly because of his “toxic” view on the President and his policies. Many more people are supporting his Republican counterpart, Kelli Ward.
According to The Washington Examiner, Ward thinks that Flake is launching provocative attacks against her because he knows that his days in the US Senate are numbered. A $10,000 donation from the Senate Leadership Fund resulted in the digital ad that Flake released.
Flake’s ad stated that Ward’s “embarrassing behavior and dangerous ideas” are bad for the country. There was also an included clip edited and placed to show an instance where Ward claimed that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.
During an interview with Fox News, Ward admitted, “I don’t think they’d be throwing out attack ads and spending thousands of dollars to attack me if I were not a threat to their establishment of power.”
Considering that Ward already has the endorsement of President Trump, it would appear that Flake doesn’t stand a chance, and only exists in the contest with his fingers crossed. The attack ad tactic is often used by people in politics who recognize their vulnerability when the unfavorable poll numbers start rolling in.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), has presided over a lackluster tenure in the US Senate. Now he has aligned himself with the anti-Trump establishment Republicans inside the beltway. Has Jeff Flake abandoned his constituents by choosing his party cronies over the people of Arizona?
The numbers from the HighGround survey was revealing, even if only 400 potential voters were surveyed. Among Republican choices, the percentage boils down to 28.2 percent for Flake, and 42.5 percent for Ward, 5.1 percent as “other,” and 24.2 percent don’t know or refused the survey.
While it appears that Ward has a landslide victory in her future, we still won’t know for another year. Flake was already flailing as a Senator–a disappointment to many of his constituents given the excitement around his initial candidacy. Coming out against President Trump without a legitimate reason may have been the final nail in his political coffin.