Sheriff Joe's Democratic challenger Paul Penzone is gaining on the aged autocrat, with a new poll by Switchboard Communications (commissioned by the Penzone camp, natch) showing Penzone within 4.7 points of Arpaio.
That's narrowed from the 5.5 percent Arpaio was up by a month ago, according to the same firm. Republican-turned-Independent Arpaio-stooge Mike Stauffer still is running fourth behind "none of the above," though his numbers have dropped to 3.4 percent from 8.24 percent in September.
That's an indication that the public is getting the message about Stauffer being a wannabe spoiler in this race.
Here are the numbers from the October 8 automated telephone survey:
Joe Arpaio 46.8 percent
Paul Penzone 42.1 percent
None of the above 7.7 percent
Mike Stauffer 3.4 percent
Arpaio's favorability rating has dropped slightly as well to about 43 percent.
The pool was smaller: 494 likely voters, instead of last month's 850. Representation of Independents was beefed up this time around though, with self-identified voters at 37.9 percent Republican, 28.3 percent Democrat, 30.2 percent Independent, and 3.6 percent Other.
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Switchboard's last poll had self-identified voters at 41.3 percent Republican, 33.5 percent Democrat, 22.8 percent Independent, and 2.4 percent Other. Some criticized the September poll as under-representing Indies.
The Penzone camp's press release notes that Arpaio is pouring gobs of money onto the airwaves in the form of feel-good advertising, in an increasingly desperate bid at re-election.
But Joe's millions only buy him so much. In his latest TV commercial, he looks like he's being propped up, as he stands, quiet as a dead man, while his wife Ava sings his praises.
Arpaio never looked more corpse-like. Maybe he's auditioning for a remake of the '80s comedy classic Weekend at Bernie's, with Joe in the starring role.