Dropping like a hot rock: Sheriff Joe Arpaio's numbers go further south; Terry Goddard whips Candy Thomas' keister in test election.

Despite today's analysis from Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett that "Arpaio is still a rock star as far as politicians go," a new Rocky Mountain Poll shows that Sheriff Joe's numbers have slipped even further than a Cronkite-Eight Poll from last month revealed. Released just before Thanksgiving, the Cronkite-Eight Poll stated that, "Sixty-one percent had a very positive (32 percent) or generally positive (29 percent) opinion of Sheriff Arpaio." That's a dip of some 20% from Joe's traditional 80% approval ratings. And this fresh Rocky Mountain Poll indicates that the trend for Arpaio is downward.

"Countywide today, 59 percent of Maricopa County residents say his job performance meets with their approval," states the RM poll, "while 22 percent rate him as doing a poor job."

In March, Rocky Mountain had Joe at a 64% approval rating, 16% rating him as poor. But as I mentioned, in the past his approval numbers have been in the 80s. As Republic reporter Dennis Wagner noted in a boilerplate bj-piece on Joe at the beginning of November, "Through it all, the sheriff's approval ratings have hovered around 85 percent, arguably making him the most revered elected official in Arizona."

Heh, not any more.

The news for County Attorney Candy Thomas is even worse. The poll notes that his approval ratings remain "relatively static" at 29%. However, his negatives are up, and in a head-to-head mock election between Attorney General Terry Goddard and Thomas, Goddard flails Thomas' fanny 42% to 29%! Not that I'm a fan of Goddard, as he's a member of the Gov. Janet Napolitano "do nothing" school of politics, but if he can stop Thomas at the Rhineland, that would admittedly be a good thing.

Finally, Republic journo Wagner makes up for some of his previous Arpaio butt-licks with a story on today's front page. Therein, he documents the revolt of the residents of Aguila, who're p.o.'d at the Sheriff's shoddy police work in their burg. Seems Aguila's been overrun by crime while the Sheriff showboats in the parking lot of Pruitt's.

Have we got these dastardly varmints Arpaio and Thomas on the run? I don't wanna be Pollyannaish, but, as the song goes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


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