PHOENIX — When former state representative David Stringer said "60 percent of public school children in the state of Arizona are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren't enough white kids to go around," during an appearance in 2018, it was met with outrage.
In July, State Senator Sylvia Allen warned a group about the browning of America, "we're going to look like South American countries very quickly," she said. Allen's remarks were also met with outrage.
In August, State Representative Jay Lawrence told a roomful of gun control advocates that black and brown communities "are better armed than the police officers who are supposed to be controlling them." Later adding, "black communities in particular have gangs and gangs have to be stopped."
"It's crystal clear the GOP is not winning with moderates," says Pollster Mike Noble of OH Predictive Insights.
Noble says Arizona voters are moving increasingly toward the middle. But that is not where many elected republicans want to go.
"You're seeing a pattern here," Noble says. "All these folks making these inflammatory statements are in very safe, either rural or conservative districts, and that plays well with your base."
But not with the Republican brand.
Nathan Sproul is a longtime Republican campaign strategist. He says, "I think the biggest concern the Republican Party faces this cycle is Joe Arpaio getting back into the county sheriff's race."
Sproul is hoping a more mainstream Republican candidate will run against Arpaio in the primary. Sproul believes if Arpaio appears on the general election ballot he could be a problem for any Republican running statewide.
Something pollster Mike Noble sees signs of already.
"Right now Democrats are up three points over Republicans which I never thought I would see. Where's the pain point? They're losing the battle with self identified moderates and leaners and suburban voters who will be the ones to decide the next election."
***In an earlier edition it was reported former State Senator Russell Pearce was planning to run for Maricopa County Treasurer. Pearce says he will not be a candidate. Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora (R) will run for re-election in 2020.