If a recent survey commissioned by the Citizens United Political Victory Fund is any indication, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) will have to double his current polling numbers with Arizona Republicans if he hopes to hang on to his Senate seat in the 2016 election cycle.
Released Monday by Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, the poll shows only 29.3 percent of the likely voters in the GOP primary would vote for McCain, while an overwhelming 64.2 percent would vote for an unnamed “new person.”
From the summary:
Arizona Senator John McCain confronts a very challenging primary landscape should he decide to run for a sixth term in 2016. Although his job approval-disapproval rating among Republicans statewide is evenly split, and his image is slightly underwater (47.7% favorable, 51.4% unfavorable), it is the fact that Republican Primary voters in Arizona are over twice as likely to elect “a new person” (64.2%) than they are to re-elect McCain (29.3%) that spells trouble.
… This is not simply “trouble with the Tea Party” or “far-right angst.” Senator McCain struggles at various levels with Republicans across the ideological spectrum, as shown in the Appendix (Tea Party Republicans, Strong Republicans, Not-so-strong Republicans and Independents).
Not only does McCain fare poorly against a hypothetical unnamed opponent, but he also can’t beat named opponents pitted against him in the Citizens United poll. According to the results, current Republican Governor Jan Brewer would beat him (47.7 percent to 29 percent), Arizona District 5 Representative Matt Salmon would beat him (48.2 percent to 30.3 percent) and current Arizona Congressman David Schweikert would beat him (40.1 percent to 33.9 percent).
“Heading into 2016, Senator McCain will have the normal trappings of a Senator who has been in the United States Senate for 30 years, e.g., solid funding and the power of incumbency and in his case, the unique service to our nation of a war veteran,” the summary observes. “Still, to fellow Republicans in his own state, that incumbency seems to cut both ways, and currently, appears to be a liability.”
When his present Senate term — his fifth — expires in 2016, McCain will be 80 years old. The Senator held a fundraiser late last year in New York City, inviting guests to the St. Regis Hotel to lend their financial support “as I consider running for re-election to the US Senate.”