Is Sen. Jeff Flake in Trouble in Arizona?
Is Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake’s re-election already in trouble?
Political observers think so and people close to the senator say he is gearing for a tough fight from Democrats as he gets ready for the 2018 re-election campaign.
According to Arizona media reports, Sen. Flake (R-Ariz.) is vulnerable as he goes for re-election, and with the current state of politics in America, political observers say he could be facing a tough headwind going into 2018.
A loss by Senator Flake could give Democrats the opening they need to take over the United States Senate.
Flake is one of two Republican incumbents Democrats believe are beatable in 2018. The other senator considered vulnerable is Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.
“He can see what is going on at the national level. He understands that the Democrats are motivated throughout the nation and they consider him vulnerable so he is doing everything he can to get ready,” one Arizona political observer told us this week.
To prepare for the election battle, Flake has been raising money at a furious pace.
He reported raising nearly “$1.3 million in January, February and March. He hosted former President George W. Bush for a fundraiser in April. Next month, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, will join Flake for fundraising events in Phoenix and Tucson,” reported AZCentral.com.
The Republicans control the U.S. Senate with a 52-vote majority so the loss of just a few seats will hand the chamber to the Democrats.
Senator Flake already has two challengers, one Republicans and the other a Democrat.
Former Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward who failed in her bid to unseat Senator John McCain the last time around has set her eyes on Jeff Flake in 2018. Democrat Deedra Abboud, a Phoenix Attorney and community activist has also declared her intention to contest the election against Flake or the eventual GOP nominee.
“Like almost every Senate race this cycle, it is shaping up slowly,” said Jennifer Duffy, a political analyst with the influential and nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington, D.C. “Many potential candidates in both parties are eyeing the horizon to get a sense of what the political environment may look like a year from now.”
Democrats in Arizona are also hoping that U.S. Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will decide to join the race. She however, appeared to scuttle that idea this week when she told Phoenix radio station KTAR-FM that she will be running to retain her House seat instead.
“You know, I’m running for re-election and … it has been really the greatest honor of my life to serve Arizona’s 9th (Congressional) District,” Sinema told Phoenix radio station KTAR-FM in response to a question about running for the Senate. “… I’m overcome with just gratitude about the role that I’m able to play for Arizona. And it’s my honor. So I’m running for re-election. Very happy, very proud to do it.”
Political observers are not ruling out her taking on Jeff Flake for the U.S. Senate seat anyway. They note that as of March 31, she had $2.8 million on hand compared to $1.8 million by the Jeff Flake campaign.
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