The open seat race in Arizona’s 1st congressional district is now considered to be a ‘toss-up’ as Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has closed in on one-time Republican, then Independent, and now Democrat Tom O’Halleren.
The latest National Republican Congressional Committee poll conducted in this district shows Babeu down by 3 points.
Babeu was beating O’Halleren 41-40 back in September, but a barrage of anti-Babeu ads for alleging he oversaw a child abuse at a school in Massachusetts may be responsible for the small dip in the polls.
Regardless, Babeu and O’Halleren are still locked in a dead heat.
Here is an excerpt from a Babeu press release about the NRCC poll:
“Washington Democrats have spent more than a million dollars against Sheriff Paul Babeu with little discernible effect on the race – this contest is a toss-up,” said Babeu Campaign Manager Mike Noble. “Tax’n Tom O’Halleran and his insider allies are desperately trying to personally smear the Sheriff, but voters clearly see right through the lies. 1st District voters are hungry for a candidate like Sheriff Babeu who focuses on the issues that matter most, like cutting taxes, growing our economy, defending coal jobs, and securing our border.”
Noble added: “The Democrats have spent 1.3 million dollars to hardly move the needle. The Democratic party should have spent its money finding a candidate who doesn’t flip flop on all the major issues of the day.”
While Babeu and his supporters continue to brand O’Halleren as being soft of illegal immigration reform, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has endorsed Babeu’s campaign for his hawkish stance against illegal immigration and the crime that comes along with it, including human trafficking and drug smuggling by cartels.
“Sheriff Paul Babeu is taking the fight directly to the cartels, protecting residents in Pinal County and all across Arizona by taking dangerous drugs and criminals off the streets…I know Arizona will have a partner in Congress who will work to secure our border and stop the flow of drugs and people.”
With immigration reform being the issue for Arizonans, this race could boil down to who voters believe will promote legal immigration and combat crime coming up from Mexico.