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Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said on Wednesday that it was “quite possible” that Donald Trump would lose his state after a series of polls showed the race between the presumptive GOP presidential nominee and Hillary Clinton as either extremely close or in the former secretary of state’s favor.
But Flake, in an interview with Business Insider, said he did not expect the presidential race to affect fellow Sen. John McCain’s efforts at reelection in the traditionally deep-red state.
“I think it is possible that Trump can lose. I think that’s quite possible. But I don’t think that will trickle down on the McCain race. Sen. McCain has his own brand and has been attacked by Donald Trump. So I just don’t think that will affect the McCain race much.”
Clinton is leading Trump by half of a percentage point in Arizona, according to the RealClearPolitics average of several polls. The presumptive Democratic nominee was given a 53.9% chance of winning the state in FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast, which was released Wednesday. The projection gave Trump a 45.7% chance of winning in November.
McCain has a 5.5-percentage-point lead over his Democratic challenger, House Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, according to the RealClearPolitics average. But a recent poll from Public Policy Polling showed that McCain’s lead over Kirkpatrick had dwindled to just 2 points.
“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30% of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life. If you listen or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump. The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in 30 years.”
Flake has been a frequent critic of Trump in recent months. He has not endorsed the Manhattan billionaire.