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McSally, Arpaio tie in poll for US Senate race

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally have tied in a poll for the Republican primary election for the U.S. Senate.

According to a new poll, which was released Wednesday by ABC 15 and OH Predictive Insights, McSally received 31 percent of the vote and Arpaio had 29 percent.

However, the two were in a statistical tie. The margin of error of the poll was plus or minus 4.36 percent.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who announced her candidacy in October 2016, dropped to third. In a November poll, Ward led U.S. Rep. Martha McSally by eight points.

“A rock-star name like Joe Arpaio jumping into the race can completely change a race overnight,” pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights said Wednesday on KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“Everyone knows Joe. He has near-unanimous name recognition, but it doesn’t mean he is universally loved. It will be a challenge convincing voters he’s a new Joe.”

Related: Timeline of Arpaio’s career | Contempt conviction won’t block run

Ward, who was the sole Republican candidate in the race after U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake announced that he would not seek re-election, fell by 25 percent in the poll.

Fifteen percent of voters said they were undecided.

But, the poll found Arpaio would skyrocket to 35 percent of the vote with an endorsement from President Donald Trump.

The poll was conducted the same day that Arpaio announced that he was running  in part to support Trump’s agenda and policies.

Phoenix-based political analyst Stan Barnes told KTAR News 92.3 FM that Arpaio could be the “probable winner” in the race for Flake’s Senate seat.

The former sheriff gained much notoriety during his 24 years heading the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Arpaio was voted out of office in 2016, losing to Paul Penzone.

In 2017, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court for continuing immigration patrols for more than a year after a judge ordered him to stop.

Trump pardoned Arpaio later that year, essentially making him an innocent man. Arpaio’s conviction will not block his Senate run.

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