McCain's Presidential Bid Seriously Damaging His Image in AZ

Thought that John McCain was an Arizona institution who, like Barry Goldwater before him, could not be hurt in his home state by a disastrously embarrassing and unfruitful presidential bid? Think again. Check out these new numbers pitting him against a potential 2010 Democratic challenger.

Gov. Janet Napolitano would beat Sen. John McCain if the two went head-to-head in an election, according to a new poll.

The Rocky Mountain Poll of 629 voters across the state also finds the Democratic governor is the most popular statewide elected official. She was ranked as doing an excellent or good job by 59 percent of those asked, and only nine percent gave her a poor or very poor rating. That's the lowest negative rating for Napolitano since she took office in 2003.

The poll found that 76 percent of Democrats think she's doing an excellent or good job, while 51 percent of independents and 41 percent of Republicans give her that ranking.

In a hypothetical head-to-head race for McCain's Senate seat, 47 percent of those polled would vote for Napolitano, 36 percent for the sitting Republican senator, and 17 percent were undecided.

If she so chooses, Napolitano could well be one of a whole slate of red state Democratic Governors running for the United States Senate in 2010, potentially helping the Democrats reach the mythical (at least in the last three decades or so) mark of a 60-seat majority in the chamber. Other names considered for 2010 bids include Kansas' popular Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who could potentially run for an open seat (Sam Brownback has indicated that he might retire in 2010), which would give the Democrats their first win in a Senate election in the state since 1932; and Oklahoma, where Democratic Governor Brad Henry (who won reelection over a GOP Congressman last year by a 2-to-1 margin) could conceivably defeat the, um, eccentric and unnecessarily petty freshman Republican Senator Tom Coburn.

It's not yet clear that this is something that Napolitano wants. But if she does at all, she certainly seems to at least have a path, however difficult, to victory in a Senate bid against McCain in 2010 (assuming he decides to run again).

Tags: Arizona, AZ-Sen, Janet Napolitano, John McCain, Senate 2010 (all tags)



Re: McCain's Presidential Bid Seriously Damaging H

I haven't done the research yet, but I've noticed that candidates running for president have lower polling numbers in their home state while running then they normally have. It seems like running for president is not considered part of the job they voted for you to do. Afterwards they seem to return to normal over time.

It's all hypothetical right now, based on only a few incidentally checked data points, so don't hold me on it as I haven't actually looked into it yet. It's something that struck me as interesting and worth exploring further, but it's something that I haven't found time for yet.

by Ernst 2007-08-22 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Presidential Bid Seriously Damaging H

Won't McCain be like 132 years old in 2010?

by Steve M 2007-08-22 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Presidential Bid Seriously Damaging H

nope, 133. Close though!

by need some wood 2007-08-22 10:06AM | 0 recs
Good News

Thanks for the good news, Jonathan. Polls do tend to fluctuate depending on what's hitting the news but Arizona is, indeed, becoming friendlier territory for Democrats.

What caught my eye in your post is this:

helping the Democrats reach the mythical (at least in the last three decades or so) mark of a 60-seat majority in the chamber.

The top priority of Senate Democrats in the next session of Congress should be to sharply cut back the ability to filibuster. It only needs a rule change in the way the Senate operates. At present, Republicans need only 40 votes to block any legislation & it invariably means social legislation gets killed, exs. health care, right of workers to organize, work safety, environmental  requirements. The filibuster has been the best weapon  of conservatives to thwart change in the last 50 years. Military proposals always go through.

My suggestion is limits on the use of the filibuster. Some possibilities: only can be used 2-3 times a session, direct presidential proposals emanating from the campaign be immune from filibuster, filibusters only possible if the opposing party puts out their policy position on how to remediate the problem. At a minimum, the Democrats should reduce overriding the filibuster to 55 votes rather than 60.

by carter1 2007-08-22 08:09AM | 0 recs
I think she's term-limited...

Unless she's wants a cabinet spot or veep (problematic since the Lt. Gov is GOP), it seems like her next natural step.

by Ramo 2007-08-22 08:15AM | 0 recs
Damaging His Image in AZ

2010 presents serious pickup opportunities for Democrats in the Senate if we can get the right candidates.

But that's always the hard part.  It would be great to get Phil Bredesen, Ben Chandler, Mike Easley, Mike Moore, and even Bill Richardson to run for the Senate.  In addition to our other strong challengers they could push us to 60 votes in 2008, and get us close to a supermajority in 2010.

The Republican brand is rancid.

by Vox Populi 2007-08-22 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Damaging His Image in AZ

getting 9 to 10 extra senators is going to be very hard. We have to try, but 2006 was a perfect storm. getting lightning to hit twice in the same spot is possible but darn difficult.

by Ernst 2007-08-22 09:03AM | 0 recs


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