Defeating 5 term senator John McCain has proven an impossible task for Democrats and Conservative Republicans alike. Election after election they put up primary and promising general election challengers and McCain keeps knocking them out. However, freshman Senator Jeff Flake may very well be in deep trouble.
Jeff Flake is among the least popular senators in his own home state, obviously due to his support of the gang-of-eight immigration bill. According to the latest polling, Flake enjoys only 34.9% favorability rating with his own constituents. Furthermore, Flake has alienated both Conservative and establishment Republicans by being one of Donald Trump’s most ardent critics on the GOP side so a primary challenge seems imminent.
For their part, Democrats seem more united on who will take on Flake in two years. While no one is even thinking about this race yet, and no one wants to be the first to confirm a rumor, Democrats all over the state seem to be ready to embrace Kristen Sinema to take on Flake. Given her youth and popularity with the state Democrat party, Sinema could prove to be a formidable opponent for the freshman Senator.
But before possibly facing Sinema, Flake must navigate what will surely be a rough primary. Flake is surely expecting to face a tough challenge from the Conservative right. It remains to be seen if one of the more conservative sitting Congressmen will jump into this race. Matt Salmon and David Schweikert both flirted with the idea of jumping in against John McCain but decided not to. A race against Flake could prove different. There are those among the conservative movement who are hoping Kelli Ward will jump back in.
Whoever ends up running, Jeff Flake will face two very tough races in 2018. Can he survive them?