McCain vs. Hayworth: Where do we stand?
Longtime incumbent John McCain now leads conservative challenger J.D. Hayworth by just seven points in Arizona’s hotly contested Republican Senate Primary race.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Arizona GOP Primary voters shows McCain ahead 48% to 41%. Three percent (3%) favor another candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.
Following the announcement that Sarah Palin would campaign for his reelection, McCain opened up a 53% to 31% lead over Hayworth in January. The two men were in a near tie in November.
But now Hayworth, a former congressman turned popular local talk radio host, is a formal candidate, and anti-immigration activist Chris Simcox has quit the race and endorsed him. For McCain, the new numbers also show him dropping again below 50%, and incumbents who poll less than 50% at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable.
Hayworth leads by seven points among male primary voters but trails by 23 among women. He edges McCain by five points among party conservatives, but the incumbent holds substantial margins among Republicans who identify themselves as moderates or liberals.
Hayworth has been attacking McCain as not conservative enough, but the senator, who just two years ago was the Republican presidential nominee, has been countering with a number of heavyweight endorsements from the right. Palin will attend a McCain rally in Tucson later this month.
Polling last fall found that 61% of Arizona Republicans felt McCain was out of touch with the party base.
Arizona Republicans will choose their Senate nominee in an August 24 primary, and for now that’s the major battle of this Senate cycle since no major Democrat has announced yet as a candidate.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) of GOP Primary voters have a very favorable opinion of McCain, who has represented Arizona in the Senate since 1987. Fifteen percent (15%) view him very unfavorably.
Hayworth is seen very favorably by 25% and very unfavorably by 15%.
While both candidates are well-known among likely primary voters, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers at this point in a campaign.
In 2008 both of us voted for McCain for president because there was no way in Hell we were going to vote for an inexperienced, petulant, and radical candidate like Barry. Nor would we refuse to vote, and basically hand Barry a free vote. Readers here know we're not fond of McCain. He supported the Gang of 14 compromise, which helped the Democrats continue to undermine the provisions allowing a president to appoint people to other offices. In that case it was judicial nominees, and we weren't pleased with this compromise which prevented Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from executing the "nuclear option," AKA reconciliation, to push through President Bush's judicial nominees. His compromise not only threw seven very qualified jurists under the bus, but allowed the Democrats to continue their unconstitutional filibuster of these nominees.
We were irate over his attachment to the immigration reform back in 2006 which would have granted de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in America. Also, the bill would have continued to allow illegal aliens entry into the US if only they would head to their proper consulate to get an ID allowing them to stay here; the infamous Z-Visa outlined within the legislation. Illegal immigration is a problem in this country, and his comments to to Vanity Fair back in January of 2007 that he'll "build the g*ddamned fence" didn't sit well with voters, especially voters in Arizona.
(I'm not going to bore readers with a point-by-point refutation of this man's faults. I could go into his support of campaign finance reform, which whittled away our constitutional rights. I could go into his position on interrogation techniques used by the CIA and the military, and how wrong they are. But I'm not going to do that. I'm answering a question, presented by readers, to the best of my ability.)
Does this mean that John McCain is a bad man? No. Does this mean that he hasn't served this nation with dignity and honor, both as a Navy veteran, as a congressman, and as a senator? Hell no. Ronald Reagan did say it best when he reminded people that a person who agreed with him eighty percent of the time wasn't an enemy. The same goes for John McCain. 70-80% of the time he's on the right side of the issues. Can we say he didn't fight against this president hard enough? Sure, that argument can be made. However, let's remember that McCain isn't the only Republican in the Senate, and he's not the Minority Leader. So we can't hold him responsible for how the Republicans didn't fight hard enough against Barry. He is only one man, after all.
All of this said, I still haven't answered the question. Fine, let me say this to put everyone's mind at ease. Come 24 August -- the day of the GOP primary --- we will cast our vote for JD Hayworth. We believe it's time for a change in DC with our representation, and we don't think McCain is the man for the job. Give him kudos for his service to the state, but it is time for fresh blood representing the voters of Arizona.
That said, if John McCain does pull out a win, we will cast our vote in November for him. We won't toss our vote away on a third-party candidate that has no chance of winning. Nor will we cast our vote for whichever Democrat he may be facing. (My grandfather told me the first time I went to vote that "The worst Republican is better than the best Democrat, and I have abided by that creed since I was 18 casting my first vote. And my wife thoroughly agrees with me.)
Our goal this fall is to throw the Democrats out of Congress. Given what they've "accomplished" since 2006, they simply can't be trusted with foreign policy/national security issues, nor can they be trusted with domestic issues that face America in the coming years. When it comes down to Hayworth and McCain on 24 August, Hayworth will get our vote. When it comes down to the general election, we will vote Republican regardless of who the Democrat is, or what he/she promises. We've seen over the course of the last few months that a Democrat's word isn't worth the effort to speak it, or the paper it's printed on.
I hope that clears things up for readers. We're on the record. Yes, we are supporting Hayworth, but if he loses we're not going to be the petulant baby and sit at home on election day in November. If Hayworth loses, McCain will have our vote and support.