Before you review the results of two new GOP polls that have Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the lead against his Democratic challenger Paul Penzone, ask yourself this question: Is Arpaio acting like a front-runner way ahead of his rival?
See also: -Joe Arpaio's Lead Drops to 4.7 Points Over Paul Penzone, as Arpaio Channels a Corpse -Joe Arpaio on the Run from Paul Penzone, Mike Stauffer the Goat in New Poll (w/Update) -"Tough" Sheriff Joe Arpaio Let a Murderer Go to Kill Again -Joe Arpaio's Fantasy Ad Targeting Paul Penzone (Video) -Joe Arpaio Creates His Own Version of What Happened in 2003 Altercation Between Paul Penzone and His Ex-Wife
Moreover, would a front runner with a commanding lead, as is suggested by both a poll done by Arpaio's professional bag-carrier Chad Willems, and by another Republican firm, Public Opinion Strategies, be throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into a desperate, deceptive ad attacking the other guy in the race?
Would a candidate with a 14 to 15 point lead need to invest in a series of campaign ads re-introducing himself as a warm and fuzzy sheriff with a heart?
As reported by Mike Sunnucks over at the Phoenix Business Journal and by Laurie Roberts over at the Arizona Republic, Willems says he has a poll showing a 15 point lead for Arpaio, 45 to 30 percent, as of October 11.
Public Opinion Strategies apparently has a poll claiming a 14 point lead for Maricopa County's snarling, bulbous-nosed autocrat, 47 to 33 percent over Penzone, as of the waning days of September
These numbers seems to contradict the Penzone poll issued last week, showing Penzone just 4.7 percent behind Arpaio.
Likely, the tusker polls are coming out now because Arpaio needs to project an image of strength as the sheriff's contest races toward the end of the first full week of early voting.
Yet Arpaio is acting as if the Penzone poll is the most accurate. On one hand, this is just smart politics on Joe's part. But it also highlights the essential weakness of Arpaio's campaign, one wounded by the multiple scandals that have enveloped his fifth corrupt term in office.
Both Sunnucks and Roberts make good points in their analyses.
Sunnucks observes that, "neither poll gives Arpaio more than 50 percent of the vote against challenger Paul Penzone."
Roberts goes a step further, noting that in the Willems poll, 21.6 percent of those polled are undecided.
She concludes, "The numbers prove that anybody could still win this race, if indeed 21 percent of voters are undecided."
In addition, Roberts finds the Willems poll over-representing Rs, and both polls under-representing Independents.
I'll take her word for it, though it would not surprise me if Latinos are under-represented as well. Keep in mind that groups such as Adios Arpaio, depicted in the Dennis Gilman video above, have registered tens of thousands of new voters. And those newbies are not on the radar of many pollsters.
Which is fine, as far as I'm concerned. Penzone is and always was the underdog, with only a small fraction of the funds Arpaio has, and a third-wheel wannabe-spoiler in the race, Mike "the Stooge" Stauffer.
If Penzone sends Arpaio packing it will be a victory of Biblical proportions, with complete humiliation for ol' Joe. That possibility is enough to have Arpaio fighting like a bleeding bobcat.
See, many Rs are also sick of the octogenarian, sick of his egomaniacal politics, sick of his spendthrift ways with our tax money, and sick of his failure to protect hundreds of victims of sex crimes in El Mirage and elsewhere.
On Channel 12's Sunday Square Off this week, Republican political consultant Stan Barnes openly declared his opposition to a sixth term for Arpaio.
"Sheriff Joe does not deserve to be re-elected in my opinion," he told other panelists discussing the contest. "I'm over him. I'm over the games he's been playing."
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Ditto a lot of county residents, Republicans and Dems, Latinos and Anglos, old and young.
Arpaio and his pudgy, six-foot tall parasite Willems know this, and they know Penzone is going after them as aggressively as he can.
In other words, the battle is live till election day, and Arpaio is running like a scared chimp with a line of lit gasoline headed for his tail.