Website says Sen. Jeff Flake at risk of losing his job in 2018 election
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) will likely face a tough road when he runs for re-election next year, data analyst website FiveThirtyEight said Wednesday.
In a post, FiveThirtyEight said Flake’s polling numbers and a possible slight shift to the left by Arizona voters could signal the senator’s time in Washington, D.C. was coming to a close.
The site said a 1-2 punch of bad poll results and the fact that Flake only won his Senate seat by a 3-point margin could knock the senator out of office. A Morning Consult poll released this week said Flake had one of the highest disapproval ratings among his counterparts.
But that assumed Flake made it to the general election. The website said he faces stiff opposition from Dr. Kelli Ward — who lost to U.S. Sen. John McCain in November but polls well with the far right — or possibly another challenger in the Republican primary.
Flake could face opposition from inside his own party. Earlier this year, it was reported that a top adviser to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, was organizing a plan to push the senator out of D.C.
It is important to note, however, that FiveThirtyEight pointed out the Democrats have yet to field a challenger with extensive political experience, though former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick was considering a run.
Arizona has also not voted for a Democratic senator since 1988 and senators who are the same party as the sitting president have a midterm re-election rate of 85 percent.
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