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Poll: Sheriff Joe Arpaio trails Dem by 15 points

Joe Arpaio, Donald Trump
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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a prominent Donald Trump supporter, is 15 points behind his Democratic opponent, Paul Penzone, according to a new poll.

Penzone leads Arpaio 46 percent to 31 percent in the Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News survey out Thursday.

{mosads}Arpaio, 84, has become a national figure over his hard-line views on illegal immigration and repeated clashes with the federal government. He is seeking his seventh term as sheriff of Arizona’s largest county.

Reports emerged last week the Department of Justice plans on charging Arpaio with criminal contempt after he and his deputies allegedly ignored court orders to halt racial profiling following a case over immigration policy.

Thursday’s results reflect Arizona’s new status as a battleground state after years of reliably going red.

Another Arizona Republic/Morison/Cronkite News poll out Wednesday found Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton 5 points ahead of her Republican rival in a state Democrats haven’t carried in a presidential election in 20 years.

Thursday’s edition, meanwhile, found low support in Maricopa County for positions Arpaio and Trump share.

Forty-four percent of registered voters there say a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border should “definitely not” be built, while only 13 percent support the structure, a central pledge of Trump’s White House run.

Chad Willems, Arpaio’s campaign manager, said the survey does not accurately reflect area voters.

“[It] doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to anybody who knows anything about politics and campaigns in Maricopa County,” he said, citing the poll’s sampling of more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans. 

“It is so screwed up it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on, with all due respect,” Willems added before predicting an Arpaio “landslide.”

The Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News conducted its latest sampling of 466 registered voters in Maricopa County via cellphone and landline interviews from Oct. 10 to 15. It has a margin of error of 5.6 percentage points.

Tags Arizona Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Immigration polls Republicans sheriff

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