VIA| He’s earned the moniker “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” managing to frighten everyone from illegal immigrant criminals to the president of the United States. However, Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be fighting his biggest battle yet as he seeks re-election in 2016.

The 83-year-old sheriff just recently announced that he’d be seeking a seventh term in next year’s election. However, according to a recent poll, a liberal campaign has taken a toll on the sheriff, who has made fighting the Obama administration a hallmark of his time in office.

“With Maricopa County voters split on whether America’s Toughest Sheriff deserves another four years, the data shows Sheriff Joe will have his toughest campaign ever,” MBQF Consulting pollster Michael Noble said, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Republicans, Democrats, and independents are near evenly split. In addition, a small plurality of county voters say they are open to paying more for education. With most eyes focused on the presidential election next November, Arizona voters have some big choices.”

According to Noble’s poll, 50 percent of Maricopa County voters said they would vote for Arpaio versus 49 who said they would not. That’s reportedly within the margin of error in the MBQF poll, although the exact margin was not provided.
Arpaio won his sixth term in 2012 with about 51 percent of the vote, according to the Maricopa County Recorder. However, an independent candidate did manage to snag about 5 percent of the vote, making the race not quite so close as that number would indicate.

The lawman considered running for governor before announcing he’d be running for re-election again.

In spite of the close poll numbers, two things are trending in Arpaio’s favor.

First, as of now, there are no declared candidates that Arpaio hasn’t beaten in previous elections.

Second, in elections since 2000, independent or Libertarian Party candidates have always taken at least 3 percent of the vote — and sometimes as much as 12 percent — meaning that the 49 percent that will be voting against him is likely to be divided between the Democrats and a third-party challenger.

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