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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake Was Probably Headed For Retirement Anyway

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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake Was Probably Headed For Retirement Anyway
Flake was facing strong challenges from the right and the left even before he announced he wouldn't seek re-election.
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Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake's sudden decision not to seek re-election could shake up Arizona's 2018 Senate race — but maybe not as much as you'd think.

Flake was already pretty unpopular back home: A July Morning Consult poll found he was one of three senators whose approval ratings were underwater in their home state.

And both of the race's current frontrunners — former GOP state Sen. Kelli Ward and current U.S. Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema — beat out Flake in a poll this August.

So Flake might have been retiring in 2019 whether he wanted to or not. But his early exit could prompt another GOP challenger to step into the mix.

During a visit to Arizona this August, President Donald Trump met with some potential GOP replacements for Flake — and CNN noted Trump was looking for someone other than Ward to take Flake's place.