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Sen. Jeff Flake not sweating early polls in re-election bid

FILE- In this April 13, 2017, file photo, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake takes a question from the audience during a town hall in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

LISTEN: Jeff Flake, Arizona Senator

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Monday he was not concerned about two recent polls that indicated his upcoming re-election race could end in defeat.

“Everybody takes stock in polls at some point, but at this stage of a re-election, then there are limits, obviously,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

A poll from HighGround showed Flake was trailing his primary challenger, former State Sen. Dr. Kelli Ward, by 14 points in next year’s primary, while a Public Policy Polling survey showed 62 percent of Arizonans said they disapprove of the work Flake has done.

The senator said he was not shocked to see the results.

“My poll numbers, according to every poll out there, and every incumbent, frankly, are down pretty much,” he said.

Flake said he was not the first Arizona senator to face a perceived uphill battle before a potentially heated re-election battle.

“Two years ago, John McCain had very similar poll numbers against a Democrat and a Republican and he ended up doing fine,” he said. “You run campaigns for a reason.”

Flake’s fight could be a little tougher than McCain’s. President Donald Trump has said he would invest $10 million of his own money to unseat the senator and met with possible challengers to last week prior to his rally in downtown Phoenix.

Ward was not part of the meeting, but Trump came close to endorsing her on Twitter.

Ward attended the rally.


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