Although polls from earlier this summer showed the potential for a close race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Arizona, more recent polls have shown Trump regaining a fairly consistent advantage.
Because of this, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Trump to keep making campaign appearances in Arizona — but that’s exactly what he did again this week during a Tuesday evening rally that marked his sixth visit to the state of the campaign cycle.
Republicans in the state tell NBC News that they’re getting fed up with Trump stepping onto their turf — and not just because they think his time could be better spent elsewhere.
One GOP Arizona operative says that he’s tired of his candidates being asked to answer for every word that comes out of Trump’s mouth.
“Every time he’s come, it kind of sucks up all the energy from everything else going on,” the Republican said. “If you’re not attending [you’re asked], ‘Why not? Are you distancing yourself?’ If you are, it’s ‘Are you getting too close to him?’ It’s just kind of annoying from that perspective.”
Grant Woods, who served as John McCain’s first chief of staff, tells NBC News that he was very unhappy when Trump decided to use Arizona as the location for his incendiary speech on immigration in late August.
“I would’ve preferred he not give the speech at all, and if he was going to give it somewhere, maybe in Alaska,” he said. “I personally thought the speech was embarrassing for all involved.”