Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Of course he's running. The Washington Examiner reports:
Republican Joe Arpaio, a close ally of President Trump and former sheriff known for his provocative approach to combatting illegal immigration, is running for Senate in Arizona.

The 85-year-old Arpaio could shake up the late August Republican primary in a critical open-seat race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. Trump pardoned Arpaio last summer, sparing the former sheriff jail time after he was convicted of ignoring a federal court order in a racial-profiling case.

The polarizing yet iconic former Maricopa County sheriff, beloved by many conservatives for his hawkish immigration policies, presents an alternative to the unimpressive Kelli Ward and a potential obstacle to Rep. Martha McSally. She is expected to launch within days and is widely viewed as the Republicans’ strongest general election candidate.
Could Arpaio win? It's unlikely -- according to a poll conducted last summer, only 21% of Arizonans approve of his pardon; half disapproved. Arpaio lost his reelection bid in 2016 by double digits, in a county Trump won. But could Arpaio draw enough motivated voters in a GOP primary? We'll see. You'd assume his voters would be the most motivated.

When the president broke all ties with Steve Bannon, Mitch McConnell tweeted a GIF of himself grinning. But Republicans won't suddenly run out of crazy candidates with Bannon sidelined. The crazy is endemic. It will surface no matter what. Crazy GOP candidates might not attract gobs of Mercer cash, but they'll continue to run, and some of them will win primaries -- especially now, when the president is also crazy and demands unswerving loyalty. If conventional wisdom among GOP voters is that Republicanism equals loyalty to an unhinged, extreme president -- they'd say a president who's not "politically correct" -- then of course crazy candidates will emerge and draw GOP voters. Bannon's absence won't stop that. Sorry, Mitch.

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