Is Arizona Finally Turning On John McCain?

Sen. John McCain

Should Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) seek another Senate term in 2016, all that matters, perhaps, is that he’s popular in his State. But according to a new poll from the Public Policy Polling Institute, that’s about the only place he can still lay claim to broad-based voter support — and that’s on the strength of an election turnout that’s now nearly four years stale.

In fact, the Institute declared McCain the least popular Senator in the country Thursday, based on the results of a three-day phone survey carried out in late February and early March.

The Institute finds McCain is universally reviled across the party spectrum — and being a Republican doesn’t give him any real standing with most Americans who identify politically as Republicans. Only 35 percent of Arizona Republicans surveyed said they approve of the job he’s doing, compared with 55 percent who said they don’t. That barely exceeds his abysmal approval rating among Democrats and independents.

From the summary: 

Only 30% of Arizonans approve of the job McCain is doing to 54% who disapprove. There isn’t much variability in his numbers by party — he’s at 35/55 with Republicans, 29/53 with Democrats, and 25/55 with independents.

“The low opinion both Republicans and Democrats have of John McCain now means he could be vulnerable in both the primary and the general election next time around,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “George McGovern lost his Senate seat 8 years after losing his Presidential bid and McCain could suffer a similar fate.”

Is Arizona finally turning the corner on McCain? The Institute indicates Arizona voters might send him home if an election were held today. In hypothetical pairings against Richard Carmona and Gabrielle Giffords (yes, Gabrielle Giffords), McCain trails by 6 and 7 percentage points, respectively. He’s still slightly more popular than former Arizona Governor and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, leading his hypothetical race against her by 8 percentage points.

McCain has remained coy about his intentions after his current term ends, but has hinted that he’s already considering another run. If these poll numbers hold, though, we could be reading stories next year announcing his retirement from an illustrious Senate career.

Out with the old.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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