PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party’s civil war in just a matter of seconds was “upended” yesterday and is now expected to be one very long, expensive, drawn out intraparty battle royale for their primary.
No matter who emerges at the end of August – whether it’s Joe Arpaio, Martha McSally, or Kelli Ward – they will be held accountable for taking stances on issues that are simply out of touch with Arizonan voters.
Take a look at the coverage describing this merciless AZGOP civil war that literally has no end in sight.
Arizona Republic Column: “Joe Arpaio just upended Arizona's Senate race”
“I think he is a threat all the way because he’s Trump round 2,” longtime Republican strategist Stan Barnes told me. “I’m not saying he’s going to win. I’m saying that anyone who discounts him as something less than a serious candidate is making a mistake.
“He has 100 percent name ID and has more money than God and is bear hugging Donald Trump in the public square in the most high profile of ways. You put all that together and it’s a formidable thing.”
Phoenix Business Journal: “First Joe, next Martha…”
“Barrett Marson…a prominent Arizona political consultant, said Arpaio… is still a force to be dealt with, especially in the GOP primary.”
“’Sheriff Joe was Trump before Trump. The President stole his schtick from Arpaio,’ Marson said. ‘Joe has a way of commanding media attention — for better or worse — like no other politician in Arizona can. In name ID races, Joe Arpaio can win without spending a dollar…’”
Arizona Daily Star: “News that U.S. Rep. Martha McSally was taking concrete steps to announce a formal Senate run was overshadowed Tuesday by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
Arizona Republic Column: “Arpaio is the kind of guy that sucks the air out of the room; he’s already sucking all the publicity from other Republican contenders, including Ward and Rep. Martha McSally.
Arpaio's newfound mission is good news for Trump’s fanatics and bad news for other politicians…”
Yellow Sheet: “Republican operative Brett Mecum is more bullish on Arpaio’s chances, predicting that the former sheriff will win the GOP nomination. Mecum said three factors work in Arpaio’s favor: He can raise all the money he needs, he’ll win the support of conservative voters in the primary, and he’s from Maricopa County, where the bulk of the state’s voters are from, while McSally and Ward hail from outside the county.”
Tweet by Tim Steller: “Dems have been pushing the dramatic line that there's a "civil war" in the @azgop. When it comes to the Senate seat, I'd say it's more of a cluster****.” [Arizona Daily Star, 1.9.18]
Tweet by Eric Bradner: “There's no way in which Joe Arpaio running for #AZSen is bad for Democrats. He got beat in 2016. Then convicted. Then pardoned by an unpopular president. It's a late-August primary, so all that's gonna be at the forefront the whole way.” [CNN, 1.9.18]
Tweet by Alex Burns: “Yeah, there’s a case that both Arpaio and Ward running helps McSally. There was also a case that both Roy Moore and Mo Brooks running would help Luther Strange.” [New York Times, 1.9.18]
Burns Part Two: “’2 divisive hard-liners will split the vote’ is only a winning strategy for a 3rd candidate if neither divisive hard-liner is a universally known figure who can steamroll the field” [New York Times, 1.9.18]
Tweet by Alex Seitz-Wald: “Is it possible to achieve 100% Latino turnout? We may be about to find out.” [NBC News, 1.9.18]
CNN: “Arpaio, like Roy Moore, is a controversial figure with a solid base of die-hard suporters. Ward, like Rep. Mo Brooks, is also well-liked by anti-establishment conservatives. And McSally, like Luther Strange, is the establishment preference.”
New York Times: “But this is a very serious Republican primary campaign,” Mr. Coughlin said, citing Mr. Arpaio’s name recognition and fund-raising prowess. “He has a strong chance in the primary..."