Jeff Flake’s retirement was supposed to be Kelli Ward’s ticket into the Senate. But this poll shows why she’s looking as toasted as Flake himself is.


In a Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 photo, former Republican Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward smiles as she is greeted by supporters at a campaign fundraiser, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Ward was expected to run against Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake in the Arizona 2018 primary, but Flake has bowed out of a re-election, announcing his retirement on Tuesday. Flake’s decision to bow out of a re-election fight could spur a rush of other Republican candidates who hope to take on his only announced challenger in the Arizona primary next year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

OH Predictive insights polled Arizona for ABC 15. Martha McSally leads the poll at 31, with Joe Arpaio in second at 29, leaving Kelli Ward behind at 25. Ward had been leading McSally, but in the three cornered race, the anti-establishment vote splits, and McSally comes out in top.

It’s hard to see how Ward has any chance as long as Arpaio is splitting her vote. After all, Ward has been positioning herself since before Flake even left the race as the pro-Donald Trump candidate, first against Jeff Flake, and now against Martha McSally. But Arpaio has gotten a great deal of personal support from Trump in the form of a pardon and some kind words.

Arpaio and Ward appeal to the same kinds of voters. They are in direct competition, while McSally is a more traditional Republican. That gives McSally a huge edge, and seem to leave Ward completely on the outs here.