John McCain's Standing in Arizona Continues to Crumble

Last week I pointed to polling out of Arizona showing that John McCain's standing with voters in the state has deteriorated dramatically. To the point, in a hypothetical matchup against Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano, who will be barred by term limits from seeking another term in 2010 when McCain is next up for reelection, McCain trails by 11 points, failing to even get close to 40 percent support. Now new polling out of the state seems to confirm the results of the previous poll -- John McCain is becoming less and less popular in Arizona, where he once enjoyed wide-ranging support. The Associated Press has the story.

A new poll finds Senator John McCain's standing in the 2008 presidential race in his home state continuing to slip though he remains slightly ahead of 3 fellow Republicans regarded as his chief rivals.

A telephone survey conducted by Arizona State University found that of 295 Republican voters surveyed, 24% favored McCain.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney drew support from 19%, Rudy Giuliani 18% and Fred Thompson 17%.

The level of support for McCain was down from 32% in late April and 44% in February in similar polls conducted by ASU's Cronkite school of journalism and KAET-TV.

The 20-point drop since the beginning of the year is remarkable. Seldom do serious candidates for the presidency exhibit such trouble rallying support in their own home states. For instance, Howard Dean won the Vermont presidential primary convincingly in March 2004 despite having failed to win any other binding primaries or caucuses previously, despite having tamped down his campaign drastically, despite having dropped significantly in national polling. So the fact that McCain is doing so terribly in Arizona is quite telling.

At this point it's not at all clear to me that McCain would win a race for another term in the United States Senate in 2010 (of course assuming he is unable to win the presidency next year...). As a result, make sure to chalk this up as one of the many races to keep an eye on for next cycle.

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



couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

Should have said yes to Kerry when he had the chance. He'd be working in the White House right now.

by desmoinesdem 2007-08-29 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: couldn't have happened to a nicer guy

I think the increased risk of assassination will prevent any President from ever naming a VP from the other party.

by hwc 2007-08-29 05:07PM | 0 recs
Draft Napolitano!

The Democrats in Arizona need to get a movement going. Has she expressed any interest in moving to the US Senate? We need at least one progressive in that state to balance out Jon Kyl's tomfoolery.

I'm tired of getting my hopes up over popular governors becoming candidates just to see them take a pass at challenging incumbent senators they could easily defeat (i.e. - Kitzhaber in Oregon, Easley in NC). If this happens again this cycle with Jeanne Shaheen passing up the Sununu rematch or Mark Warner declining the presumably open seat in Virginia, I'm going to rip my hair out.

by TarHeelStateDem 2007-08-29 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Draft Napolitano!

TarHeelStateDem:  "Janet", as most Arizonans call her, is way too smart to telegraph anything about such an intention.  The way she has achieved such popularity in a 55% Republican state (my estimate) is to avoid any hint of partisan ambition.  Even those who hate all Democrats acknowledge her verbal deftness in handling almost any situation.  She would say modestly that concentrating on being a good governor doesn't leave her any time for such speculation.  Not only is she extraordinary at finding the right words even for a politician, she comes off as a really good non-partisan manager.  We had a gasoline pipeline break a couple of years back, and she struck exactly the right tone in scolding and disciplining the big company responsible.  Again, even her detractors give her credit.  Keep an eye out Arizona way!!  She's an excellent prospect as a future Cabinet Member or even a Vice President.  

by NoMcW 2007-08-29 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Draft Napolitano!

As I said below, I strongly suspect she has an eye on that Senate race.  Certainly, a cabinet post is a possibility (I'm less sold as a Presidential candidate).

But the stars seemed to be perfectly aligned for her to become the first Democratic US Senator since Dennis DeConcini, one of her political mentors, if she wants it.

by DesertRat 2007-08-29 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Draft Napolitano!

Make that a Vice-Presidential candidate.

by DesertRat 2007-08-29 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Draft Napolitano!

I sincerely doubt you are going to need to draft her.  She's term-limited out in 2010.  She's been popular throughout her 1-1/2 terms as Governor, and was a popular state Attorney General before that.

I've believed that she was perfectly setup to take on McCain in 2010 for the Senate seat for a while, and thought she had a good chance of knocking him off even when he was a lot more popular than she is now.  There's no doubt in my mind she is capable of beating him in a 2010 Senate race, particularly now in his weakened condition as a candidate.

However, the big worry is I'm not sure whether McCain runs again.  The loony right base of the state Republican Party hated him before, and hates him even worse now, and they are firmly in control of the party at this point.  It's also worth noting that McCain will be 74 years old by election day 2010.  With the hostility of the base, I'm wondering whether he'd be up for both a hard, contested primary fight (and there will be one, believe me), followed by an even harder race against Janet.

by DesertRat 2007-08-29 07:25PM | 0 recs
Howard Dean won Vermont...

...despite having actually formally dropped out of the race.

That's the key fact that is usually excluded from most reports of "Howard Dean only won one state" that, to me, is really remarkable.

I would be interested in finding out if anyone knows if this has ever happened before.

The reason Dean won was primarily a result, I believe, of a grassroots-funded TV ad campaign -- the best Dean ad of the whole campaign, I'd say -- as well as a coordinated letter-to-the-editor campaign which prompted local VT papers to endorse Dean as a point of Vermonter pride.

And I and many other Vermonters proudly helped Dean to win almost 60% of the vote...

Almost 60% AFTER he dropped out. Amazing.

by Vermonter 2007-08-29 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: John McCain's Standing in Arizona

Given McCain's age, I would be surprised if he ran for reelection in 2010.  I would also be surprised if George Voinovich tried to hold his seat in 2010.

by KTinOhio 2007-08-29 07:27PM | 0 recs

Another maverick Arizona conservative fails to close the deal. What is it with these guys? (I'm reading Rick Perlstein's excellent book on Goldwater and the rise of the modern conservative movement right now. These people are CRAZY!)

by kovie 2007-08-29 10:13PM | 0 recs


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