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Arizona GOP’s Focus on Election Fraud Pushing Away Independent Voters, Pollster Says

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An election worker holds ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC)vin Phoenix, Ariz., November 9, 2020. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters) Harping on election fraud may spell electoral defeat for Arizona Republicans.

Arizona Republicans’ focus on election fraud could hobble outreach to independent and unaffiliated voters, according to research by polling firm HighGround Inc.

The research indicates that while the issue of election fraud is important to the Arizona Republican base — the kind of voters who turn out in primaries — the party could struggle to build the broad coalition necessary to win general elections if they continue to emphasize the issue.

State Republicans are currently backing an audit of the election tally in Maricopa County, where Joe Biden defeated former President Trump by about 10,000 votes. However, the audit has drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike over the allegedly slipshod methods employed by Cyber Ninjas, the analytics firm hired to oversee the audit.

The company has checked ballots for traces of bamboo based on the unsubstantiated theory that ballots were shipped to Arizona from Asia, while company head Doug Logan has compared the American election to the voting process in the socialist dictatorship of Venezuela. Cyber Ninjas backed out of handling the audit at the end of May but it continues under different management.

About 52 percent of Arizona voters oppose the audit, while just 41 percent of voters are in favor, according to a survey released by HighGround on May 27. One-fifth of Republicans opposed the audit, which could give Democrats an opening to win elections in Arizona, Paul Bentz, Senior Vice President of Research and Strategy at HighGround, told National Review.

“I think it’s of concern for the General Election,” Bentz said. “It’s not enough to lose a primary, but that softness among a portion of Republicans is one of the key ways Democrats have been able to win in the past.” Democratic Senators Krysten Sinema and Mark Kelly “targeted late deciding GOP women to help bolster their chances”

Among Republicans, 77 percent backed the audit while 20 percent opposed it.

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